Dodgers 5 12 0
Rays 0 6 0
WP- Greinke (10-3)
LP- Hernandez (6-12)
HR- Gonzalez (16)
Last night’s epic comeback was one of those games that us Dodger fans will always remember. It just reinforces the rule that you never ever leave the game early or turn off the game early even if the Dodgers are behind by six runs. Baseball is very unpredictable, and until the final out is recorded your team always has a chance to comeback from almost any deficit. The Dodgers are playing like a championship caliber team right now, and other teams should not take a mere six-run lead for granted even when they bring in their closer. You can’t stop the BLUE!
Zack Greinke was marvelous today, and the right-hander pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings good for his 10th victory of the year. Adrian Gonzalez got the Dodgers on the board early with a two-run blast in the first. The Dodgers added two more runs in the third and another run in the fourth. J.P. Howell pitched out of a jam in the seventh, and Chris Withrow pitched two perfect innings of relief. Stay tuned for Scott’s exclusive interview with Withrow!
Needless to say it was all Dodgers all day. Here’s how the game played out…
Matt Joyce doubles to the gap in center with one out in the top of the first. Zack Greinke, who is throwing a lot of off speed pitches in this first inning, comes back and strikes out Evan Longoria on a 95-mph fastball. Greinke then blows rookie Wil Myers away with another fastball, this time 96-mph, and the Rays are retired despite the double by Joyce. It took 22 pitches for Greinke to finish off Tampa Bay in the first frame.
Roberto Hernandez gets Carl Crawford to fan at a pitch out of the zone for the first out in the home half of the first. Nick Punto gets an infield single as Ben Zobrist stops the ball by diving, but his throw is not in time ahead of the head first slide. Then Adrian Gonzalez crushes a two-run homerun over the right field wall, and the amazing Boys in Blue take a 2-0 lead! That’s Gonzo’s 16th homerun of the year. Hernandez comes back and strikes out Yasiel Puig for the second out. Andre Ethier also strikes out swinging, but the Dodgers tack on two.
Skip Schumaker strokes a one-out single in the bottom of the second. For some reason Schumaker is running with A.J. Ellis at-bat, and he is thrown out by a mile trying to take second base. A.J. Ellis grounds out to end the inning.
Other than a Zobrist single in the top of the third, the Rays can’t muster much off Greinke. The right-hander strikes out Hernandez and Joyce.
In the bottom of the third Greinke leads off with a very nice at-bat against Hernandez and draws a lead-off walk. Carl Crawford doubles, and the Dodgers have men at second and third with nobody out. Nick Punto, who has the most annoying Miley Cyrus walk-up song, proceeds to single up the middle which brings home two more Dodger runs!
Evan Longoria leads off the fourth with a double, and James Loney works a one-out walk. Escobar grounds into a force out, and he just beats out the high throw at first to avoid the double play. Johnson grounds out, and the threat is resolved.
Andre Ethier hustles down the line for an infield single to lead-off the bottom of the fourth. The ball is deflected by James Loney who uncharacteristically is unable to make the play. Uribe and Schumaker hit back-to-back singles to load the bases up for the Dodgers with nobody out. Ethier tags up and scores the Dodgers fifth run on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Ellis. Uribe tags up and goes to third, but the Rays do the old hidden ball trick. Longoria sneakily has the ball and tags Uribe out when he takes his foot off the bag at third. The third base umpire is right there to see it. Very shady, Tampa Bay! Greinke grounds out, but the Dodgers do add another run to their lead, 5-0.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Roberts and Zobrist single consecutively in the fifth, but Greinke strikes out Longoria to squelch the threat.
Roberto Hernandez pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk on 72 pitches.
Former Dodger Jamey Wright is in to pitch for the Rays in the bottom of the fifth. Wright promptly strikes out Crawford. Nick Punto draws a walk. Gonzo grounds out, but Punto advances to second. Wright intentionally walks Puig, and the plan works as Ethier grounds out to end the inning.
In the sixth, James Loney is Greinke’s sixth strikeout victim. Escobar is also called out on strikes, and he angrily throws down his bat and helmet. The Rays third base coach Tom Foley is ejected after arguing.
Uribe leads off the bottom of the sixth with a single to center field off of Wright. Schumaker follows with a single. A.J. hits into a double play, and Uribe moves to third. Greinke grounds out.
Jose Molina singles with one out in the seventh inning. That’s going to be all for Zack Greinke who will exit the game up 5-0. J.P. Howell will come in to face pinch-hitter Luke Scott. Scott goes down swinging against the lefty. Zobrist grounds into an inning ending force out.
Zack Greinke pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing 6 hits, striking out 7, and walking 1 on 110 pitches.
Cesar Ramos, a lefty, will pitch the bottom of the seventh for Tampa Bay. Other than a Gonzo single and an intentional walk to Puig, the Dodgers don’t add anything to their lead.
Chris Withrow comes in an pitches a scoreless eighth for the Dodgers.
Skip Schumaker singles in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, and Skippy goes 4-for-4 which raises his batting average to .276. The Rays will have to go to their bullpen again, and they bring in Josh Lueke. He strikes out A.J. and Chris Withrow. That was Withrow’s first career at-bat.
Chris Withrow will stay in for the top of the ninth. Former first baseman James Loney lines out to current Dodger first base man Gonzalez for the first out. wiTHROW strikes out Escobar. Johnson grounds out, and the Dodgers win!
The Dodgers are now 66-50 and haven’t lost a series since June in Pittsburgh. They may never lose a series again.