The Dodgers scored eight runs on fifteen hits and got four scoreless innings from the bullpen to defeat the Rangers 8-4 in the interleague series opener on Tuesday night in Arlington. The Dodgers overcame a lackluster start from Walker Buehler with strong relief pitching and a productive performance from the bats. The Rangers are really bad but the bats knocked around rookie hurler Ariel Jurado for three runs on five hits over his 2.2 innings of work. Eddie Butler got served as well with the Dodger hitters taxing him for five runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings pitched.
The Dodgers plated three runs in the third, two in the fourth and single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Dodgers were 5 for 17 with runners in scoring position, a nice change of pace from their season long struggles with men on base. Manny Machado collected two hits driving in four runs while Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, Brian Dozier, and Enrique Hernandez all had two hits with Dozier smacking his 20th home run of the season in the fifth frame. Cody Bellinger tripled and scored in the sixth and Hernandez wore his tight pants helping to contribute to his two hits and two runs scored.
Dodgers 8 15 0
Rangers 4 8 3
The Rangers defense did them no favors as they committed three errors on the night. The Dodgers got on the board in the top of the third when Manny Machado drove home two with a two-run single into center. Dozier’s ground ball single plated Machado later in the inning to put the Dodgers ahead 3-0.
The Rangers ran up Buehler’s pitch count in the bottom of the third as the talented right hander ran into trouble. Buehler allowed two earned runs on four hits across four innings striking out four while walking two. He made 84 pitches and was removed for Caleb Ferguson in the bottom of the fifth. During that bottom half of the third, the Rangers scored twice, getting run scoring knocks from Elvis Andrus and Norma Mazara.
The Dodgers plated two runs in the fourth when Joc Pederson’s RBI single scored Hernandez as the boys in blue took advantage of a throwing error on Shin-Soo Choo. Later in the frame Machado’s sacrifice fly scored Taylor to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. In the top of the fifth, Dozier’s solo shot sailed over the center field wall to extend the Dodger’s lead to 6-2. Another RBI single from Machado in the seventh, and a Hernandez sac fly put the Dodgers up by an 8-2 score.
Meanwhile the bullpen was stellar. Caleb Ferguson, Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander, and Pat Vendiite allowed just a lone hit over the final six innings of the game. Unfortunately Kenley Jansen still looked like garbage, allowing more runs (two tallies on a pair of singles) in the bottom of the ninth. Although he was able to get the final outs on a broken-bat double play. With the win the Dodgers have climbed back to ten games over .500 notching a 71-61 record. If Arizona loses the Dodgers would move to just a single game back of first place. I know the Dodgers are playing some pretty bad teams at the moment, but they’ve now won four in a row. The Dodgers are at least doing what they should be doing; beating the teams they’re supposed to beat. If the Dodgers were to lose to these bottom feeders then we would have a series problem. The Dodgers will wrap up the short two game set on Wednesday evening with southpaw Alex Wood countering fellow southpaw Mike Minor and a first pitch scheduled start time of 5:05 PM PST.