The Dodgers scored 5 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie and beat the White Sox 6-1 in the first game of this short two game set. It was technically another come from behind win since the boys in blue were losing 1-0. Joc Pederson’s bases loaded HBP and Austin Barnes’ pinch-hit two-run single were the big blows in that frame. Alex Wood tossed seven strong innings and the Dodgers earned their 50 home win. The Dodgers are now 50 games above .500 improving to 84-34.
The game began with a pitching duel between Wood and Miguel Gonzalez. Wood got off to a shaky and annoying start as Tim Anderson took him deep on the very first pitch of the ball game in the top of the first inning. Wood would allow four more hits over the first two frames, but just the one run.
White Sox 1 6 0
Dodgers 6 9 0
Gonzalez pitched just as well, matching Wood strike for strike. The Dodgers would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth when Cody Bellinger beat out an infield dribbler towards first Yasmani Grandal’s opposite field single advanced Bellinger to second. Yasiel Puig would walk to load the bases and Logan Forsythe’s sacrifice fly would bring the tying run home. Unfortunately Grandal would get caught off second base as the throw back to the infield was cut off. Grandal was tagged out at second as he tried to return to the bag. This happens after the run scores (there was two outs), so the game is tied.
The Dodgers fought off a Chicago rally in the top of the seventh. Wood allowed a lead-off double to Leury Garcia and he advanced to third on a Yoan Moncada grounder. Adam Engel‘s grounder was a tough one but Justin Turner’s reflexes are just too good for that ball to get by him. Our dreamy red head makes a great stop, looks the runner back to third and throws out Engel. Then Wood strikes out pinch-hitter Alen Hanson to end the frame as he pumps his fist while walking off the mound.
Both starters pitched well. Wood allowed just one earned run on six hits across seven innings. He struck out six and walked none while making 79 pitches. Gonzalez tossed six frames of one-run ball allowing just five hits and striking out four. Neither hurler was involved in the decision.
Move to the bottom of the eighth. With the game tied at 1-1, right hander Juan Minaya was called in from the Chicago bullpen. Turner started the rally with a single to left. After a force out Bellinger stole second and Grandal walked. Aaron Bummer the new Chicago pitcher walked Yasiel Puig to load the bases. Jake Petricka gets Forsythe to ground into a 5-2 force out at the plate. With two outs Joc is hit in the hip by a pitch. That forces in a run and gives the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Austin Barnes comes off the bench and singles in two runs to put the Dodgers up 4-1. After Christ Taylor’s infield single, Corey Seager’s ground ball single plates two more runs and the Dodgers take a 6-1 lead.
The Dodger bullpen had little trouble with the Chicago bats the final two frames of the game. Brandon Morrow pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Josh Fields recorded two outs in the top of the ninth and left hander Tony Cingrani recorded the final out to end the game. Dodgers win!
The Dodgers now have an 18.5 game lead in the NL West and the magic number to clinch is now at 26. The boys in blue wrap up the home stand on Wednesday evening as Yu Darvish makes his Dodger Stadium debut. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.
No Dodger game can end without Puig making another fantastic catch in right field. He did this one in the ninth inning. Check it out…..