Los Angeles, CA—Clayton Kershaw didn’t pitched bad, the LA Dodgers couldn’t muster any runs for him when they had their chances.
Kershaw, making his second start since returning from a back injury, allowed one run and five hits in five innings. The left-hander threw 56 of 81 pitches for strikes, and gave up one walk with 4K’s.
It just wasn’t enough as the Cleveland Guardians beat the LA Dodgers 2-1 in 10 innings Friday night.
Cody Bellinger’s second-inning home run was all the offense the Dodgers could muster across the diamond. The Dodgers went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position, so they had plenty of opportunities to knock in runs but just couldn’t capitalize on their chances.
“It’s a long season and we are going to go through droughts,” Bellinger said. “It’s not because of a lack of effort or preparation.”
Cleveland scored one run to tie the score, resulting in a 26-pitch inning (Kershaw) forced Roberts to make a tough decision. He sent Kershaw back to the hill in the fifth and only seven pitches were needed to retire the side with right fielder Eddy Alvarez making a fine running catch for the second out.
The Dodgers hit the ball hard against Cleveland starter Zach Plesac, but only Bellinger’s homer went on the scoreboard. Plesac kept the Dodgers’ hitters guessing at the dish.
“Kersh looked good to me from center field,” Bellinger said. “His arsenal looks the same as always. He competes.”
Scoring opportunities came available against the Cleveland pen. Pinch-hitter Hanser Alberto opened the Dodgers seventh with a single. With one out, Trea Turner — batting leadoff because Mookie Betts was a late scratch from the lineup card with a sore rib — beat out a slow dribbler for his third hit, but Freddie Freeman grounded into a double play to kill the drive.
In the ninth, Bellinger singled, stole second, and took third when right fielder Oscar Gonzalez dropped Alberto’s fly ball with one man out. Gavin Lux struck out and Trea Turner flied out to Gonzalez to send the game into extra innings.
Beginning the 10th with a runner on second base, the Guardians scored on a sacrifice fly. The Dodgers had the speedy Trea Turner on second to start the bottom of the inning, but Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Max Muncy and Justin Turner couldn’t advance him to third let alone score him. Another opportunity wasted for the Dodgers.
Plesac had another quality start for the Guardians, allowing one run in six innings, but the bullpen of Sam Hentges, Trevor Stephan, Anthony Gose and Envel De Los Santos shut out the Dodgers over the final four frames.
“That was one of the funner games,” Francona said. “It’s good when you win, but I mean we went to guys in situations where we haven’t. I’m really excited for those guys.”
Andrés Giménez had two hits and José Ramirez had a hit in the fourth to extend his hitting streak, but his extra-base hit streak ended at eight games. Ramirez, who is second in the majors with 62 RBI, is batting 16 for 37 in the past nine games.
Los Angeles is 0-5 in extra innings while Cleveland improved to 5-2.
“Them doing it in this environment is something that they’ll be able to draw off of probably for the rest of their careers. I think it’s that big of a deal, especially with this lineup. So it was pretty cool night,” catcher Luke Maile said.
Guardians: OF/DH Franmil Reyes (right hamstring tightness) went 1 for 3 during a rehab appearance for Triple-A Columbus on Friday. He is 5 for 11 with a home run and three RBI in three games.
Dodgers: CF Mookie Betts was a late scratch from the lineup due to a right rib injury. Betts collided with Bellinger in the outfield on a fly ball during the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angeles.
Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (4-3, 3.38 ERA) has won his last three starts. He has a 2-0 career record in interleague games.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (3-6, 2.80 ERA) is 0-3 in his last four outings with five home runs allowed. His interleague career mark is 2-1.