There aren’t many ballparks that can keep the Dodgers from hitting home runs. The Oakland Coliseum is one of them. It looks like the Dodgers are playing on the moon in that massive Park. Without the benefit of a home run the Dodgers had to play some small ball as they opened a two-game set at the Oakland Coliseum against the A’s on Tuesday night. The Dodgers had to manufacture runs in their 4-2 win over Oakland in the series opener. They didn’t hit a home run but they managed to plate four runs and Rich Hill gave them another solid start and the road warrior Dodgers moved back into first place in the National League West.
It was actually refreshing to see the Dodgers play a little small ball for once. They resembled an actual baseball club, squeezing, stealing bases and making contact. Imagine what baseball teams had to do before launch angles and uppercut swings. Putting the ball in play is a skill that is really forgotten these days. Oakland is a feel good story of baseball because they’ve had a great season competing for a playoff spot with a small payroll. Dodger Blue small ball beat Oakland moneyball in front of a raucous Oakland crowd.
Dodgers 4 9 0
A’s 2 4 0
Hill allowed just two earned runs on three hits across 5.1 innings pitched. He walked four and struck out five before being taken out in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Dodger bullpen was outstanding as four relievers tossed 3.2 scoreless innings. Dylan Floro, Scott Alexander, JT Chargois and Kenley Jansen allowed just one hit, no walks and struck out six.
The Dodgers scored one run in each of the first three frames resulting in the boys in blue sending opposing starter Sean Manaea to the showers early. Manaea lasted only 2.2 innings and his poor command was a contributing cause of him giving up three earned runs on five hits with three walks. Manaea struck out only one and took his eighth loss of the season.
The Dodgers scored one run on an RBI groundout from Enrique Hernandez in the first inning, and the second run on an Austin Barnes safety squeeze in the top of the second frame. In the top of the third Cody Bellinger’s bloop RBI single scored the third Dodger run of the night. In the bottom of the sixth with the Dodgers up 3-0, they tried another squeeze bunt with Barnes at the plate but Bellinger (who was at third) is tagged out on Ryan Butcher’s shovel pass to the plate. Bellinger’s slide made it close but the call was upheld after a lengthy review.
The A’s got back in the game in the bottom of the sixth when Khris Davis smashed a two-run home run over the center field wall. That would be all the Oakland offense could muster. The Dodgers added one more run in the top of the seventh. Joc Pederson doubled off the wall and Matt Kemp followed with an RBI floater single (over first base) into right field to score Joc and give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. That’s where it would stand. The A’s would be limited to just one base runner over the last three innings. The Dodgers were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Brian Dozier had three walks, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner each had two hits.
The Dodgers wrap up the Oakland series on Wednesday night then they fly to Denver where they can really swing for the fences. Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers while Oakland counters with newly acquired Mike Fiers. Catch first pitch at 7:07 PM PST.