After a frustrating home split against the woeful Giants, the Dodgers embarked on their first road trip of the 2020 season. Guess where they played their first road games? At Minute Maid park against the Houston Trash Cans of course. Luckily with no fans in the stands any trash can bangs would be easily heard throughout the park. The Dodgers were dealt a blow before the game when Alex Wood was placed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone to see this, but here we are.
As for the game, the Dodgers would put up five runs in the top of the fifth and hold on to beat the Astros by a 5-2 score. Walker Buehler took the mound in his first start of the season for the boys in blue. Buehler was ok, allowing two earned runs on three hits with three punchouts across 3.2 frames. The Dodgers were quiet with the bats against opposing starter southpaw Frambler Valdez, who tossed 4.1 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while walking one.
The Astros scored once in the second and another run in the fourth. They tallied just four hits the entire game with three of them off the bat of Carlos Correa. The aforementioned Correa launched a line drive home run to center to put the Astros up 1-0 in the second. Then an RBI single from Correa in the fourth to score Yuli Gurriel would put Houston up 2-0. That was it for the Astros bats the rest of the game fortunately.
In the fifth three consecutive singles from Corey Seager, AJ Pollock, and Enrique Hernandez loaded the bases. After a Will Smith fly out Mookie Betts walked to force in a run and then, Max Muncy’s bouncer to third allowed another run to score when his errant throw to the plate was off the mark. With rookie Enroli Paredes still on the mound for the Astros, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger’s back-to-back singles notched two more runs to put the Dodgers ahead 4-2. With Andre Scrubbs now on the mound, Chris Taylor gave the Dodgers their second bases loaded walk of the inning to make the score 5-2 Dodgers. Pollock was the star of the game offensively notching three hits.
There was a reason why the Astros didn’t score after the fourth inning. The Dodgers bullpen was excellent, holding the Astros to just one hit and three walks over 5.1 scoreless innings. Adam Kolarek, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, Caleb Ferguson, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen combined for six strikeouts and just three walks. Jansen recorded his first save of the season.
Speaking of Kelly, he had an interesting encounter with Correa in the bottom of the sixth with two men on and two outs. Kelly was a bit wild in that frame throwing behind Alex Bregman before getting Correa fishing on a sweeping curve. Things got a bit chippy when Kelly made some faces at Correa and told him to shut up while walking off the mound. Benches cleared, but nothing else happened and no other incidents were reported. Baker claimed Kelly was throwing at them on purpose, but clearly he doesn’t understand Kelly’s infamous control problems. The Astros are lucky that the Coronavirus pandemic has allowed them to sleaze their way out of what would have been massive public and fan backlash over their cheating. The Dodgers have one more game in Houston (Dustin May will get the start tomorrow) then they’ll head to Arizona for a four game series starting on Thursday night.