Freddie Freeman hit a clutch double in the bottom of the second and Walker Buehler threw five scoreless innings, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 victory and a two-games-to-one series win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
The series was somewhat reminiscent of last weekend’s road set against the Padres when the Dodgers sandwiched two-impressive offensive performances around a lackluster effort in the middle game. In this Saturday’s game, the team mustered just one run in the first inning on a home run by Justin Turner, otherwise spoiling a memorable night for the new franchise strikeout leader, Clayton Kershaw.
Regardless, Los Angeles took the series against the Tigers, and although a sweep would have been nice, there is a bit of momentum as the club hosts the San Francisco Giants for a quick two-game set beginning Tuesday.
Buehler was decent on Sunday, but nowhere near as effective as he was in his complete-game shutout of the Diamondbacks in Arizona last Monday. This time around, it took Buehler 92 pitches to get through five full innings, as his control was problematic at times. Still, over those five frames, the righty did not allow a run, surrendering six hits and a walk while striking out five.
With the win, Buehler improved to 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA and 26 punchouts over five starts and 29-2/3 innings.
While his average fell as low as .171 on April 19, Betts is now hitting .236 on the year. It’s not anywhere near typical Mookie numbers, but his offensive consistency appears like it’s starting to come back.
Meanwhile, JTurner’s batting average fell to a season-low .187, and Max Muncy got the day off on Sunday, sitting with a .136 average.
The Los Angeles bullpen has been raising eyebrows lately, as they’ve been nowhere near as effective as the early games of the season. Phil Bickford gave up his first runs of the year after surrendering a homer to Miguel Cabrera in the eighth inning, and Justin Bruihl allowed another long ball in the ninth to briefly let Detroit claw back into the game.
Craig Kimbrel registered the final two outs of the contest to notch his fourth save of the year.
Although there was initial hope that Blake Treinen could return as soon as the San Francisco series, he hasn’t yet began throwing, and there’s no realistic timeline on his return from shoulder soreness.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.