Michael Grove pitched well in his return from the 15-day injured list but surrendered two home runs to Jake Bauers, and it cost the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 6-3 loss to the New York Yankees.
Like in Spring Training and his two starts while on rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Grove’s fastball velocity was up and regularly touched 98 mph.
He retired the side in order in the first inning and struck out Josh Donaldson to begin the second before James Outman’s misplay in center field turned a likely single into a triple for DJ LeMahieu.
That wound up being a moot point as Bauers followed with a 414-foot home run that carried more than halfway up the pavilion in right field.
After the Dodgers cut their deficit in half on David Peralta’s bloop single that dropped between three Yankees players, Bauers connected for a second two-run homer off Grove in the fourth inning. The multi-homer game was a first for Bauers in his career.
While Bauers improved to 2-for-2 with the two home runs, Grove held all other Yankees to a combined 2-for-14 with seven strikeouts through four innings.
Grove wound up allowing just the four hits over five innings while tying a career with his seven strikeouts.
Aaron Judge provided the Yankees with some insurance by lining a solo home run over the short fence in left field when Shelby Miller entered the game in the sixth.
Grove’s effort was bested by Gerrit Cole, who went six innings on an efficient 80 pitches but had to come out due to cramping. Although he only allowed one run, there were multiple opportunities for the Dodgers throughout the game.
They had the first two batters reach in the fourth inning and put runners at the corners with one out, only to not score. L.A. came away empty again in the fifth when Miguel Rojas singled but was thrown out on a stolen base attempt. Then in the sixth, Cole erased a leadoff single by getting Will Smith to ground into a double play.
Dodgers comeback falls short
The Yankees bullpen immediately allowed the Dodgers back into the game as Wandy Peralta gave up a leadoff single, followed by an RBI triple and a walk.
Michael King took over for Peralta but didn’t immediately shut off the Dodgers’ momentum as he allowed an RBI base hit to Miguel Rojas. However, King then got Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to both line out, and was given a generous call for strike three against Will Smith.
J.D. Martinez, who started as the designated hitter but took over in left field in the eighth inning, went 0-for-4 to snap his 16-game hitting streak. Martinez was robbed of a hit by Judge, who made a running catch and broke the bullpen gate in right field.
One night after hitting four home runs, the Dodgers were kept in the ballpark on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Yankees slugged four homers in their win.
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