Max Scherzer lived up to expectations and quickly endeared himself to the Dodger Stadium faithful with an impressive performance to help the Los Angeles Dodgers earn a series split with the Houston Astros behind a 7-5 win.
Michael Brantley added to his career success against Scherzer with a solo home run in the first inning, but it was the Dodgers who put on a power display from there on out. Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the first inning with a game-tying blast and Jake Odorizzi only ran into more trouble.
Following a Jose Altuve error that resulted in Max Muncy being safe at second base and Corey Seager reaching, Will Smith gave the Dodgers a decided lead with an opposite-field, three-run home run.
Betts’ second at-bat of the night resulted in another home run, giving him 19 career multi-homer games, three with the Dodgers and a first this season.
AJ Pollock then extended his hitting streak to 13 games and on-base streak to 22 games with a two-run home run that broke the game open for the Dodgers in the third inning.
L.A. failed to add to their 7-1 lead from there but that wasn’t much of an issue for Scherzer. Houston scored a run on Kyle Tucker’s two-out base hit in the fourth inning but never drew any closer against the future Hall of Famer.
Scherzer tied a season high with 109 pitches as he got through seven innings and finished with 10 strikeouts. His performance was punctuated by holding Altuve to 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, much to the delight of Dodgers fans.
While Scherzer walked off the field to a standing ovation and received a curtain call, Joe Kelly entered to a rousing applause. Those ratcheted up when Kelly began his appearance by getting Altuve to chase for his second career four-strikeout game.
Kelly also struck out Michael Brantley but surrendered a solo home run to Carlos Correa before getting through the inning. Kenley Jansen allowed a two-run shot before recording an out in the ninth, but then settled in to finish the victory.
Dodgers raise bar on attendance
The Dodgers drew an announced attendance of 52,724 for Scherzer’s debut, which marked their 35th sellout and now the largest crowd for an MLB game this season, which was first set Tuesday night.
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