World Series

Dodgers overcome Tyler Glasnow’s struggles with 11th-inning scoring spree vs. Giants

Dodgers overcome Tyler Glasnow's struggles with 11th-inning scoring spree vs. Giants

Dodgers catcher Will Smith, right, celebrates after hitting a two-run double in the 11th inning of the Dodgers’ 14-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on Saturday. (Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

Saturday was a planned “bullpen game” for the San Francisco Giants, whose rotation sports just two healthy established starters in Logan Webb and Jordan Hicks and has five pitchers — Blake Snell, Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn, Robbie Ray and Alex Cobb — on the injured list.

It turned into an impromptu bullpen game for Dodgers, which was both surprising and disappointing considering they had ace Tyler Glasnow, who was 8-5 with a 2.88 ERA and a National League-leading 135 strikeouts and had thrown five innings or more in each of his first 16 starts, on the mound.

Glasnow was rocked for five runs and seven hits in an abbreviated three-inning start, leaving Dodgers relievers to cover the final six innings.

Not only was the bullpen up to the task, it worked overtime and got contributions from every arm, with eight pitchers combining to limit the Giants to one earned run over the final eight innings of a wild 14-7, 11-inning victory in front of a crowd of 39,663 at Oracle Park.

Read more: Blake Treinen gives up walk-off home run to Giants as 3 notable Dodgers streaks end

“It was all hands on deck, really,” veteran right-hander Daniel Hudson said after the grueling 3-hour, 45-minute game. “We had to go get that one once we tied it up and took the lead [in the fourth inning]. We were all just focused on getting to the next guy.”

The Dodgers blew the game open with a seven-run rally in the 11th, but they wouldn't have gotten there if Hudson hadn’t escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 10th.

The Dodgers had scored in the 10th off 6-foot-11 right-hander Sean Hjelle when Jason Heyward grounded out to first base, advancing automatic runner Chris Taylor to third, and Miguel Rojas blooped an RBI single to shallow right-center for a 7-6 lead.

Hudson, who gave up a two-run homer to Matt Chapman in Friday night’s loss, got Nick Ahmed to ground out to shortstop to open the bottom of the 10th, with automatic runner Brett Wisely holding at second, but pinch-hitter David Villar ripped an RBI double off the left-field wall to tie the score 7-7.

LaMonte Wade Jr. was intentionally walked, and Heliot Ramos dribbled a grounder to third for an infield single — the Dodgers thought the ball hit Ramos’ foot and should have been ruled foul but were out of replay challenges — to load the bases with one out. The Dodgers brought Taylor in from center field for a five-man infield.

“I don’t,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, when asked if he could remember the last time he employed a five-man infield. “It has been that long. It’s not a strategy I love to pull out of my hat, but it just seemed like the right time given the situation.”

Will Smith hits a two-run double in the 11th inning during the Dodgers’ win over the Giants on Saturday. (Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

Hudson then escaped the jam by striking out Patrick Bailey with a nasty 88-mph slider and, with Taylor back in the outfield, getting Matt Chapman to pop out to catcher Will Smith, sending the game to the 11th.

“That guy has done everything in this game,” closer Evan Phillips said of Hudson, who was on the mound when the Washington Nationals clinched their World Series title in 2019. “There’s just nobody better to handle that, no one we trust more in those situations, and I don't think anyone batted an eye when he got out of it.”

The Dodgers, who scored seven runs in the ninth inning for an 11-9 come-from-behind win at Colorado on June 18, then broke out the heavy lumber in the top of the 11th.

Shohei Ohtani, who hit his NL-leading 26th home run to straight-away center field in the third, giving him nine homers in 12 games, was intentionally walked to open the inning, and Smith drove a two-run double to left-center field for a 9-7 lead.

Freddie Freeman followed with a bloop double to left to score Smith for a 10-7 lead. Teoscar Hernández blooped a single to right, moving Freeman to third, and Taylor grounded an RBI single to right for an 11-7 lead. Heyward roped a two-run triple into the right-field corner to make it 13-7, and Rojas hit a sacrifice fly to left to make it 14-7.

The seven runs in the 11th were the most by the Dodgers in an extra inning since they moved to Los Angeles in 1958, and, according to MLB researcher Sarah Langs, the seven-run win was baseball’s second-largest extra-inning win since 1901, behind the Milwaukee Braves’ 12-4, 11-inning win over the Brooklyn Dodgers on Aug. 29, 1954.

“We needed every bit of that,” Roberts said of the seven-run outburst. “We were down to our last arm, and I was thinking about having Miggy Ro pitch that last inning. That’s kind of where we were at. Exhausting all of our arms feels a lot better when you win.”

Rojas, who also hit RBI singles in the second and fourth innings, was ready and willing to take the mound.

“I was telling Mark [Prior, Dodgers pitching coach] to give me the ball,” Rojas said. “I've been waiting to pitch this year, to be honest with you. We've been up by nine runs, but I think we need to be up by 10 to pitch in a game that we're winning.”

Rojas might not have fared much worse than Glasnow, who limited opponents to a .179 average in his first 16 starts, the third-best mark in the league, but was tagged for seven hits in 14 at-bats on Saturday. The Giants batted around in the third, an inning in which Glasnow threw 37 pitches after throwing only 24 pitches in the first two innings.

The inning began with Glasnow’s walk to No. 9 hitter Ahmed and Jorge Soler’s RBI double to right field. Soler tried to advance on Wade’s grounder to shortstop but was thrown out at third by Rojas.

Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow walks to the dugout after the third inning Saturday. (Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

But Ramos singled to center, Bailey hit an RBI single to right, and Dodgers third baseman Cavan Biggio couldn’t get the ball out of his glove after charging Chapman’s chopper, a play that was generously ruled an RBI infield single.

Michael Conforto walked to load the bases, and Luis Matos grounded into a run-scoring fielder’s choice for a 5-2 lead before Wisely flied to left to end the four-run inning.

“The feel [for my pitches] was completely lost today from my warmups to the game,” Glasnow said. “It was just one of those days where I had no command of anything. … From pitch one, I’d think my release point was at one place, and it's at another place. It was just kind of all over the place today.”

How does Glasnow cope with such an impediment?

“I didn't today,” he said. “I think it's more about just trying to eliminate thought and just go out there and compete. A lot of stuff got away from me, and I’m just glad the team could come back and win the game.”

The Dodgers answered San Francisco’s four-run third with four runs of their own in the top of the fourth, batting around against relievers Spencer Howard and Randy Rodriguez, a rally that Andy Pages sparked with a one-out walk.

Read more: Dodgers bat boy on saving Shohei Ohtani from line drive: 'Just doing my job'

Heyward singled to right, advancing Pages to third, and Rojas grounded an RBI infield single to the shortstop hole. Lux followed with an RBI single to right. Biggio popped out on a bunt attempt, but Ohtani walked to load the bases. Smith beat out a slow roller for an RBI single, and Freeman walked with the bases loaded for a 6-5 lead.

San Francisco evened the score in the bottom of the fifth when Chapman hit a one-out single off right-hander Yohan Ramírez, Conforto walked against left-hander Alex Vesia, and Wisely, who won Friday night’s game with a walk-off two-run homer in the ninth, hit an RBI single to center for a 6-6 tie.

“That was a long one, a tough one, because of everything that happened, but the team effort was remarkable,” Rojas said. “I feel like that's the team that we have. We're always going to fight, and we're always going to be in games.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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