Walker Buehler was knocked around early and the Los Angeles Dodgers never recovered in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. The game went eight innings and marked the Dodgers’ second consecutive loss.
Buehler used his second Cactus League outing to work on pitching out of the stretch. He had initial success but couldn’t get the final strike on Joey Gallo in the first inning and gave up a solo home run.
Khris Davis followed with a single and Rougned Odor went to the opposite field for a two-run homer before Buehler could get out of the inning. Buehler was then a strike away from getting through a scoreless second inning, only to give up back-to-back doubles.
The second of which appeared to fool Mookie Betts as the ball carried over his head in the right-center field gap and scored Delino DeShields. Buehler did end his afternoon on a positive note by setting the Rangers down in order in the third, striking out the final batter faced.
Buehler was pleased with his velocity being closer to regular-season expectations and dismissed the idea that pitching out of the stretch was to blame for the home runs allowed.
Buehler not only exited with the Dodgers facing a 4-0 deficit, but they had yet to produce a baserunner. That changed when Betts led off the fourth inning with a single. Will Smith also doubled, but the inning was rolled over after Max Muncy fouled out.
So rather than potentially extend a rally, Chris Taylor began one with a leadoff walk in the fifth. Gavin Lux followed with a double and Sheldon Neuse’s RBI single got the Dodgers on the board. Another run scored on Zach Reks’ double play, which also saw another inning flipped.
Kenley Jansen entered in the fourth for his first appearance since spending time to iron out mechanical issues. It produced encouraging results as he allowed a single but got through a scoreless inning on 12 pitches (seven strikes) with a fastball velocity that was 88-91 mph.
DJ Peters’ solo home run in the eighth pulled the Dodgers to within a run, but that was as close as they would get. Peters has two of the team’s five homers this spring.
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