The offensive fireworks were definitely not as prolific as they’ve been for the Dodgers recently. and the middle of the Los Angeles bullpen was once again victimized by some very timely hitting. In a contest that was very quiet for the first half of the evening, the Giants walked away with a 4-2 win against the Dodgers in the series opener Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Things were sluggish offensively until Chris Taylor ripped a solo home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the fifth to put the Dodgers on the board.
Two batters later, Alex Verdugo, pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Julio Urias, lifted a mammoth shot to deep center, extending the Los Angeles lead to two runs. Verdugo isn’t typically known for his power, but he certainly showed off his muscle with the 431-ft. blast into the night.
The Dodgers couldn’t have asked much more from Urias. The 22-year-old threw five scoreless innings, scattering just three hits while striking out seven opposing batters and walking none. Many pundits questioned the youngster’s role on the big league squad in the early stages of Cactus League play, but if Monday night was any indication, he’s definitely throwing like he wants to remain in the rotation.
Nevertheless, things got dicey for the Dodgers in the sixth frame when Brandon Belt, facing righty reliever Joe Kelly, lifted a first-pitch heater into the center field stands, cutting the Los Angeles lead to one. Kelly, who’s been struggling mightily in the early stages of the season, surprisingly went back out to pitch the seventh.
Yangervis Solarte led off the seventh inning with a single to left and moved into scoring position after Gerardo Parra rolled a fielder’s choice grounder to Max Muncy at first base. Next, Joe Panik was retired on a chopping comebacker to Kelly, advancing Solarte to third. In the following AB, veteran Pablo Sandoval delivered a pinch-hit single to center, scoring Solarte and tying the game at two. Consequently, center fielder Stephen Duggar ripped a double to right that would’ve scored anyone else except the slow-footed Sandoval.
All four runs were charged to Kelly.
Lefty starter Drew Pomeranz went five full innings for the Giants, surrendering just two runs on the homers by Taylor and Verdugo. He scattered six total hits, striking out six Los Angeles batters while walking one.
Right-hander Trevor Gott threw a perfect sixth inning in relief and registered the victory. Righty Mark Melancon was perfect in the seventh inning before giving way to southpaw Tony Watson in the eighth and Will Smith in the ninth.
Smith notched his second save of the year.
Righty Pedro Baez relieved Floro and went unscathed in the top of the eighth. Baez came back out to throw the ninth and escaped any damage after leaving Parra stranded at third.
First pitch is slated for 7:10 PM Los Angeles time.