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Dodgers Unable to Stop Late Rally; Falling 5-3 to Guardians
By Jarred Davis, Contributing Writer
Published June 22, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) attempts to record an out in a 5-3 loss against the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, June. 19, 2022 (Courtesy Photo)

The Cleveland Guardians rallied back late to overcome a one run deficit in the seventh to pick up a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers behind strong performances from Andrés Giménez and Oscar Gonzalez on Sunday at Dodgers Stadium.

Giménez singled to center field while bringing in the go-ahead run with the bases-loaded in the ninth and Ernie Clement added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to bring in Josh Naylor for a commanding two-run advantage.

“We always play to the final out,” said Naylor. “We just go out there, roll with the punches whatever they may be. We play our hardest through and through. I think that’s what leads to wins late in the game.”

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Cleveland (34-28) scored one run each in the second, sixth and eighth, while tallying two in the ninth to put the game away to pick up two of three wins over the Dodgers.

Los Angeles (40-25) fell to 7-9 in the month of June but still sit at the top of the NL West, maintaining a half-game lead over the San Diego Padres (42-27).

Mookie Betts missed his third game for the Dodgers after going on the injured list due to a cracked rib, resulting in the team turning to infielder Eddy Alvarez, who got the start at right field and struggled as a result.

Alvarez failed to correctly track fly balls and openly admitted his timing being off due to the sun and inexperience in the outfield.

“This one was definitely on me,” said Alvarez. “I do hold myself accountable for a lot of the runs scored today. I hold myself to a high standard, and I didn’t realize how tough it was to read the ball off the bat in the daytime.

“It’s certainly not Eddy’s fault. He hasn’t played right field, I wanted to get his bat in there,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on putting Alvarez in right field. “It’s a tough sun field. He’s doing the best he can. I’m sure he said it was on him but if it is on anyone, it’s on me for sure.”

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Shane Bieber started for the Guardians and gave up two early runs before getting into a rhythm and pitching until the sixth inning.

Dodgers pitcher Andrew Heaney made his first start in two months after returning from the injured list and went five-plus innings with seven total strikeouts.

“I felt good… something to build on,” said Heaney on his first game back from the IL.

“He threw the ball outstanding. He just ran out of gas a little bit. He gave us what we needed and hoped for,” Roberts said of Heaney.

Austin Hedges recorded a sac fly to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.

A Gavin Lux’s two-out double scored Chris Taylor in the bottom of the second and Freddie Freeman led off the third inning with a solo home run to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Oscar Gonzalez recorded his first major league homer in the top of sixth for the Guardians to tie the game at 2-2 and also scored the winning run off a Giménez single.

Alvarez scored for the Dodgers to retake a 3-2 lead in the seventh but it was the Guardians who closed the game out scoring the final three runs with one in eighth and two in the ninth.

Craig Kimbrel (0-3) got in a jam late, walking Gonzalez before allowing Naylor to hit a fly ball down the right-field line for a double in the ninth. Kimbrel then gave up a Giménez single and a Clement sac fly as the Dodgers were unable to spark a late comeback in a 5-3 defeat.

“I’m not necessarily giving up a lot of hard-hit balls,” Kimbrel said. “But when you’re walking guys and then giving up singles or balls that aren’t hit so hard, they’re going to score. Seems like I’ve had quite a few outings where that’s happened.”

The Dodgers will next start a nine-game road trip in Cincinnati on Tuesday night at 3:40 p.m. with RHP Tony Gonsolin getting the start against the Reds.

Categories: Baseball | Sports
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