BALTIMORE (AP) — Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill struggled with his control during his first start since June 19, and Los Angeles broke a sixth-inning tie by scoring two runs on a passed ball in a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
After spending 12 weeks on the injured list with a strained left forearm, Hill was supposed to go two innings in his first step toward becoming a postseason contributor for the NL West champions. Instead, the 39-year-old failed to make it out of the first.
Hill opened by striking out Hanser Alberto with a 75 mph curveball and getting Jonathan Villar to swing through a third strike. The lefty then hit Trey Mancini in the foot with a pitch, issued a four-pitch walk to Anthony Santander, hit Renato Núñez with a pitch and forced in a run by walking rookie Austin Hays with the count full.
That ended Hill’s outing after 27 pitches, 13 of which missed the strike zone.
Before the game, manager Dave Roberts said this would be the first of four scheduled starts for Hill leading up to the postseason, the next coming on Wednesday against Tampa Bay.
The Dodgers trailed 2-1 in the sixth before Cody Bellinger knotted the score with a single for his 107th RBI. Los Angeles subsequently used a walk and an error to load the bases with two outs for No. 9 hitter Russell Martin. With the count full, Dylan Bundy (6-14) fired a high fastball that Martin swung at and missed. The ball glanced off the mitt of catcher Pedro Severino and traveled to the backstop.
Instead of having an inning-ending strikeout, Bundy watched in disgust from in front of the mound — neglecting to cover the plate — while Bellinger scored from the third base and Corey Seager followed for a 4-2 lead.
Tony Gonsolin (3-2) worked three innings of relief and Kenley Jansen got three straight outs for his 29th save.
Severino homered for the Orioles, who have lost 10 of 12.
INCENTIVE TO WIN
The Orioles long ago dropped out of the playoff chase, but they have no intention of coasting to the finish.
“I care. It matters a lot how we play,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I want to see us compete to the last inning of the last game. The message has been sent to our players, and I think they’re going to do that.”
Baltimore (47-99) is poised to lose 100 games for the second year in a row. Hyde, a rookie manager, was not here for the 47-115 embarrassment in 2018 that initiated an overhaul of the organization.
“It’s a different team, it’s a different year,” he said.
Dodgers: An MRI exam on 3B Justin Turner revealed a mild ankle sprain. Roberts said Turner was unavailable Thursday and his status would be revisited Friday. “There’s less concern now that we know it’s a mild sprain,” Roberts said. “With the sprain, time heals it. What that timeline is, is to be determined.” Turner has missed four straight games. ... To make room on the roster for Hill, Los Angeles designated RHP Jaime Schultz for assignment. Schultz was 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA in four games with the Dodgers.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (13-5, 3.06 ERA), who is 9-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 career starts against the New York Mets, gets the nod Friday night when Los Angeles opens a three-game series at Citi Field.
Orioles: In the opener of a four-game series Friday night in Detroit, Aaron Brooks (4-8, 6.21) tries to bounce back from his last start, when he gave up six runs before getting an out against Texas.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4
TORONTO (AP) — Xander Bogaerts became the latest Boston slugger to reach 50 doubles, Marco Hernandez drove in two runs and the Red Sox beat Toronto to avoid a three-game sweep.
J.D. Martinez reached base three times to help the Red Sox win for the first time in six games.
One night after their 159-game streak with at least one extra-base hit was snapped in an 8-0, two-hit loss, the Red Sox racked up four doubles and 12 total hits.
Josh Taylor (2-2), one of nine Red Sox pitchers, worked one inning for the win. Brandon Workman got the final four outs for his 12th save in 18 opportunities. Clay Buchholz (1-5) took the loss in his first career outing against his former team.
Phillies 9, Braves 5
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cesar Hernandez hit one of four Philadelphia home runs and added an RBI single to help the Phillies beat Atlanta.
J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura and Adam Haseley also went deep for the Phillies. They remained two games behind the Cubs and Brewers for the second NL wild-card spot.
Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his 39th homer and Ozzie Albies doubled, homered and drove in a pair of runs for the NL-East leading Braves. Jared Hughes (5-5) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Drew Smyly. Hector Neris got the final four outs for his 26th save in 32 chances. Julio Teheran (10-9) was the loser.
Cardinals 10, Rockies 3
DENVER (AP) — Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong opened the game with successive home runs and St. Louis connected five times in all to beat Colorado.
Marcell Ozuna, Rangel Ravelo and Harrison Bader also homered for NL Central-leading St. Louis.
Fowler drove the first pitch of the game from Tim Melville (2-2) into the second deck and Wong followed with a drive that soared over the center field wall. Nolan Arenado homered and doubled to drive in a pair of runs for Colorado. Josh Fuentes hit his first big league home run.
Miles Mikolas (9-13) went five innings and allowed three runs on five hits.
Royals 6, White Sox 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Hunter Dozier hit a tiebreaking, three-run home run in the sixth, Jorge Soler had his third homer in two days and Kansas City beat Chicago.
Whit Merrifield walked and Soler singled off Lucas Giolito (14-9) in the decisive inning to help Kansas City win for the eighth time in the last 11 games. Then Dozier drove a 1-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers for a 5-2 lead. He doubled two innings later. Soler opened the scoring in the first with his 43rd homer.
Jorge López (4-7) allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. Five Royals relievers combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Ian Kennedy wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 29th save in 33 chances.
Pirates 4, Giants 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joe Musgrove pitched five shutout innings and hit a triple, Jacob Stallings homered and Pittsburgh beat San Francisco.
The Pirates took three of four in the series and have won 14 of their last 20 games in San Francisco dating to 2014. Musgrove (10-12) struck out seven, gave up four hits and walked none. Felipe Vázquez worked around a first-and-third, no-outs situation in the ninth for his 28th save in 31 attempts.
Evan Longoria homered for the Giants. Jeff Samardzija (10-12) was the loser.
Cubs 4, Padres 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Yu Darvish struck out a season-high 14 and allowed only two hits in six innings and Chicago beat San Diego to remain tied with Milwaukee for the NL’s second wild card.
The Padres scored in the ninth when Manny Machado was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs, but Rowan Wick struck out Luis Urias to end it.
Chicago split the four-game series and won for just the second time in seven games.
Darvish (6-6) retired his first eight batters before allowing his first hit, an infield single by starter Dinelson Lamet (2-5). Darvish kicked the ball with his right foot and it caromed to third baseman Kris Bryant. Darvish struck out Greg Garcia to end the inning.
The big right-hander had at least one strikeout in every inning. After Greg Garcia tripled leading off the sixth, Darvish finished strong by striking out the side, including Eric Hosmer for the third straight time.
Darvish was one shy of his career high, set Aug. 12, 2013, at Houston while he was with the Texas Rangers. He led the big leagues that year with 277 strikeouts.
Brewers 3, Marlins 2
MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Braun broke a tie with a two-run homer in the third inning and Milwaukee beat Miami to complete a four-game sweep that extended its winning streak to seven.
Milwaukee matched its longest winning streak of the season to remain tied with the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card. Before the game, the Brewers said star Christian Yelich won’t need surgery on his broken right kneecap but likely will not return this season.
Braun, bothered by a bad back for much of the season, broke a 1-1 tie against Caleb Smith (8-10) with an opposite-field drive to right, his 19th home run this season.
Gio González and four relievers retired Miami’s final 18 batters after Lewis Brinson’s run-scoring single in the fourth. Freddy Peralta (6-3) struck out three in two innings, and Josh Hader fanned two batters for his 31st save in 37 chances.
Mets 11, Diamondbacks 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Juan Lagares hit a grand slam and a two-run shot and New York set a team record with six home runs in a home game, routing Arizona for a four-game sweep.
Michael Conforto hit his 30th homer, Todd Frazier connected for the third time in the series and Robinson Canó and Tomas Nido also went deep. The Mets outscored Arizona 26-4 this week.
Boosted by Marcus Stroman’s longest start since being acquired, the Mets won for the ninth time in 13 games. New York remained two games back of Milwaukee and Chicago for the second NL wild card.
The Diamondbacks lost their fifth straight since winning 11 of 12 to get back into the playoff race. Arizona dropped 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card.
Lagares hit a slam in the third inning and connected again in the fifth, setting a career high with six RBIs in his first multihomer game.
Stroman (8-14) allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six, walked four and took a shutout into the seventh before allowing a double to pinch-hitter Ildemaro Vargas on his last pitch.
Frazier hit his 21st homer in the second and the Mets took advantage of a throwing error by shortstop Nick Ahmed to score five more in the third off Alex Young (7-4). The Mets hit three homers in the fifth and Lagares’ second homer made it 9-0.