Walker Buehler Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher gets the win against the visiting Oakland A’s at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on Thu Sep 24, 2020 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the three-game series’s rubber game as they beat the A’s 5-1 Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers used six pitchers in the game, and they shut down the A’s offense.
The A’s offense produced three hits and one run. Dodger righty, Walker Buehler, making his first start since coming off the 10-day IL, was fantastic. He faced 13 batters in his four innings of work and allowed just one hit and one walk.
The Dodgers used five relievers, and they held the A’s to just two hits. The A’s scored their only run in the eighth when Sean Murphy blasted his seventh home run of the year.
The Dodgers put one on the board in the first inning. Dodger right-fielder, Mookie Betts, singled to start the inning. Third baseman Justin Turner singled to send Betts to second. Fiers retired the dangerous Max Muncy for the second out. Dodger Catcher Will Smith to drive in Betts to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 advantage.
The Dodgers extended the lead to 2-0 in the third. Dodger shortstop, Corey Seager, sent Mile Fiers’ first pitch over the wall in center-field. It was Seager’s fifteenth of the year. The Dodgers lead 2-0. They did not have to score again to win, but they did.
Mike Fiers’s evening ended after five innings of work. He gave up three runs and allowed five hits. A’s manager, Bob Melvin, brought in lefty Jesus Luzardo to pitch the sixth. Things did not go well for Luzardo.
Eight players hit for the Dodgers in the inning. Will Smith started the rally with a double. Smith stopped at third when Cody Bellinger doubled. Luzardo walked A.J.Pollock to load the bases with no out.
Kike Hernandez singled to drive in Smith. Chris Taylor walked to force in Bellinger with the second run of the inning. The bases were still loaded with no out. Luzardo retired Betts for the first out. Seager drove in the third run with a sacrifice fly to deep center-field. Luzardo retired Turner to end the inning. LA leads 5-0.
The A’s scored their only run in the eighth. Sean Murphy hit his seventh of the year off Jake McGee to put one on the board. The A’s trail 5-1. The Dodgers brought in closer Kenley Jansen to finish the game. He set the A’s down 1-2-3 to end the game. LA wins 5-1.
Game Notes- The A’s offense continued to struggle. The A’s managed only fourteen hits in the three-game series. They struck out thirteen times Monday night, and a season-high sixteen times Thursday night.
Robbie Grossman, Matt Olson, and Stephen Piscotty each whiffed three times Thursday night. The A’s had seven players hitting under .240. Piscotty started the game hitting .242. Tommy La Stella is the only A’s player with a batting average over .270.
If the A’s are to advance deep in the playoffs, they will have to start hitting. Should they will it all, they will join the 1906 Chicago White Sox team known as the hitless wonders.
With the loss, the A’s are now 34-22. The Dodgers improved to 40-17. The A’s line was one run, three hits, and no errors. The Dodgers’ line was five runs, eight hits, and no errors.
The A’s return home to face the Seattle Mariners for four games starting Friday night. They will play a doubleheader on Saturday. The regular season end on Sunday.