Walker Buehler fought a high pitch count early but kept the Texas Rangers off the scoreboard to help the Los Angeles Dodgers notch a 5-3 victory on Sunday and series win. L.A. needed to hold off a ninth-inning rally by Texas as they scored three runs before an out was recorded.
Although Buehler has been efficient throughout the season, he walked three batters and needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning. That was the most pitches Buehler has thrown in the first inning of any start this year.
Buehler proceeded to get his pitch count under control as the game progressed despite the Rangers having at least one batter reach in all six of his innings. Buehler benefitted from seeing an increase in strikeouts from his last start, going from two to five.
Buehler also extended his streak of completing at least six innings in all 13 starts this season.
One night after being held to just one run, the Dodgers got their offense going early against rookie Dane Dunning. Mookie Betts’ leadoff walk was immediately cashed in by Gavin Lux on an RBI double to the left-center field gap.
Betts then led off the third inning with a home run that had enough carry to right field and stayed fair down the line. Then with Lux and AJ Pollock on base, McKinstry’s two-out double extended the Dodgers’ lead.
Matt Beaty provided more breathing room with an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Betts reached in all four plate appearances, and McKinstry went 3-for-3 in encouraging showings for both. Betts recently said he has continued to work on his swing and believed hard contact was occurring more frequently. McKinstry is looking to emerge from a rut since coming off the 10-day injured list for a right oblique strain.
Phil Bickford lost the shutout bid as he failed to retire any of the four batters faced in the ninth inning and allowed two runs. Kenley Jansen didn’t fare much better initially as Willie Calhoun greeted him with an RBI single.
Adolis Garcia then loaded the bases with a single before Jansen retired the next three batters.
Dodgers, Rangers make MLB history
The Dodgers and Rangers combined to make MLB history in the first two games of the series by trading 12-1 victories on consecutive days.
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