The Los Angeles Dodgers moved into a tie with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot behind a xx-xx win. It was spearheaded by a stellar outing from Walker Buehler and Yasiel Puig’s pair of solo home runs.
Puig’s line drive carried just enough to clear the fence in left-center field, giving the Dodgers an early lead. It also extended the club’s Los Angeles franchise record to 22 consecutive games with a home run. Puig’s homer in the ninth provided Kenley Jansen with a bit of breathing room.
While the Dodgers made Jack Flaherty labor early, he fought off a high pitch count to get through six innings with just the one run allowed. The performance was similar to what Flaherty put forth in a duel with Buehler at Dodger Stadium last month.
But this time Flaherty was bested by his counterpart. Buehler began the night by throwing three straight balls to Matt Carpenter. Buehler fought to get back into the count and wound up striking out the NL’s home run leader.
Buehler racked up five strikeouts through four perfect innings and retired Marcell Ozuna to start the fifth before losing his perfect game on a Paul DeJong base hit. Harrison Bader’s infield single put Buehler in a bit of a jam but he escaped it by inducing Yadier Molina into a groundout to end the inning.
The sixth saw the rookie right-hander strike out the side, and Buehler retired the side in order in the seventh inning. Efficiency allowed him to pitch into the eighth inning for the first time in his career.
He issued a leadoff walk, his first free pass of the game, snapping a string of seven batters retired in a row. Buehler bounced back to induce a force out and foul out but then walked Bader.
It brought Carpenter to the plate as the go-ahead run. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had Zac Rosscup warming up in the bullpen though opted to remain with Buehler. The decision paid off as his 105th got Carpenter swinging to give Buehler a career-high tying nine strikeouts.