Walker Buehler turned in an encouraging start in his return from the 10-day injured list and the Los Angeles Dodgers went on to defeat the Oakland Athletics, 5-1, in the rubber match of the three-game series.
The Dodgers intended to keep a watchful eye on Buehler in what was his first start since Sept. 8 because of a blister on his right index finger. It was a short outing, but the right-hander seemingly had every pitch working over four scoreless innings.
Buehler had four strikeouts and despite allowing a single, had four strikeouts and faced the minimum through three innings. He then stranded Marcus Semien after issuing a two-out walk and throwing a wild pitch in the fourth.
By that point the Dodgers had staked Buehler a 2-0 lead behind a blend of small power and power. Singles by Mookie Betts and Justin Turner set the table, and Will Smith delivered an RBI base hit with two outs in the first inning.
Although it was Smith who broke the scoreless tie, Turner extended his MLB leading on-base streak to 28 games. Thursday was his second time playing third base since coming off the IL, and this time he played seven innings after going five the night prior.
Corey Seager led off the third with his 15th home run of the game, and his sacrifice fly with the bases loaded capped off a three-run sixth inning that created more separation for the Dodgers.
After relatively smooth innings from Dylan Floro and Pedro Baez, Blake Treinen again labored a bit against his former team. Semien led off the seventh with a base hit and Treinen later issued a two-out walk.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went out to the mound as Adam Kolarek was warming up, but Treinen successfully lobbied his case to remain in the game. Roberts was rewarded for his trust as the veteran reliever struck out Jake Lamb to end the threat.
Jake McGee lost the shutout bid on Sean Murphy’s solo home run in the eighth inning.
The Dodgers became the first team to reach 40 wins this season and still have only lost one series — to the Colorado Rockies.
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