Dodgers survive Matt Moore, then strike in the tenth to earn a split with the Giants

April 27, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

AP17117855176899

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley, left, slides into home plate to score a run past the tag from San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley, right, on a sacrifice fly by Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez during the tenth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Thursday, April 27, 2017. The Dodgers won 5-1. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The Giants squandered a shot in the ninth.  The Dodgers then put together a combination of shots in the tenth to win it.

In a game with almost no offense–after Corey Seager sent the eighth pitch of the game soaring–the Dodgers’ extra-inning finish had to be termed a flurry.    But their four-run outburst felt modest, propped up by a pair of bases-populating walks, then highlighted by run-scoring singles by Andrew Toles and Justin Turner.

Instead of offense, pitching and defense ruled most of the day.  And Giants’ starter Matt Moore pitched a gem, ironically after he tailor-fitted Seager with a waist-high fastball in the first inning. Moore would motor from there, allowing just two hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts.  After Moore departed, the battle of bullpens desperately seeking consistency commenced.  On Wednesday night, that same battle went to the Giants. On Thursday, the Dodgers’ bullpen bounced back.

“Moore was tough,” Seager said.  “He’s been tough on us the last couple of times we faced him.  So you’re doing whatever you can to scratch for runs, and then in the tenth, we kind of put it together.”

In the tenth, Cody Gearrin walked the first batter, Adrian Gonzalez.  That mistake prompted manager Bruce Bochy to summon his one lefty in the pen, Steven Okert to get the next hitter, who happened to be the .088-hitting Chase Utley.  But Utley reached on an infield chop, and Yasmani Grandal drew a walk to load the bases. Andrew Toles singled to give the Dodgers a lead, and Bochy went back to his pen.

Hunter Strickland coaxed a pop out of Kiki Hernandez, but Buster Posey, playing first base, couldn’t throw out Utley tagging from third.   Seager was intentionally walked, but Strickland gave up a RBI single to Turner, and walked Chris Taylor to force in the fourth run.   Again Bochy had to change pitchers, getting Neil Ramirez to record the third out.

Offensively,  the Giants sustained very little seven singles and no extra base hits. Only Christian Arroyo’s RBI single in seventh had any lasting impact. Slumping hitters were populated throughout the Giants’ lineup on Thursday, most notably Brandon Belt and Eduardo Nunez.

Dodgers’ phenom Julio Urias, the 20-year old starter, made his season debut and looked as if he were in mid-season form.

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