In another game that was very much winnable, the Dodgers fell to the Guardian’s in Sunday’s finale, allowing Cleveland to take the series at Dodger Stadium two games to one.
About the only good news of the entire series was seeing a healthy and happy Sandy Koufax, with the club mustering a decent effort on Saturday to commemorate the legendary southpaw’s incredible legacy with the franchise.
After a scoreless first inning in the finale, the game got a little messy in the second when Eddy Alvarez misplayed a flyball from Oscar Mercado, who eventually came around to score three batters later.
Skipper Dave Roberts appeared content with Alvarez handling the right field duties, even though Alvarez had just seven big league innings of experience in right field compared to an even 158 innings from Zach McKinstry, who was recalled to the big-league squad earlier in the day.
Los Angeles took the lead in the third when Freddie Freeman hit a solo shot to the center field bleachers, and for a moment, it seemed like lefty starter Andrew Heaney had a legitimate shot of winning his first game back from the injury list.
Nonetheless, Roberts pulled Heaney after he surrendered a game-tying home run to Oscar Gonzalez and a subsequent walk to Josh Naylor at the onset of the sixth inning. In all, Heaney went five full innings and threw 77 pitches, allowing five hits and one earned run with seven punchouts and a walk.
The Dodgers went back out in front in the seventh inning when Trea Turner drove home Alvarez, giving the bullpen a shot to secure the game and walk away with a series win. However, Alex Vesia and Daniel Hudson’s efforts in the top of the eighth resulted in Steven Kwan scoring after Richie Palacios doubled to right, tying the game at three.
Craig Kimbrel took the hill for the Dodgers in the ninth inning and picked right up where he left off with his season-long ineffectiveness and inconsistencies.
Kimbrel struck out Owen Miller to start the frame, but he followed by walking Gonzalez and surrendering a double to Naylor. Next, Kimbrel intentionally walked Kwan to load the bases, and gave up a single to Andres Gimenez that scored both Gonzalez and Naylor. Those two runs gave the Guardians a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth and ultimately the series win.