LOS ANGELES — In a tight game throughout, the Blue Jays edged the Dodgers in 11 innings Monday night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers returned home after a nine-game trip and came up short in extras to a scrappy Blue Jays squad.
Max Muncy’s RBI single in the first and Jason Heyward’s 10th home run of the season put the Dodgers up 2-0 early, but after that the bats were mostly quiet. Coming off a productive offensive series in taking two of three games against the Texas Rangers, the Dodgers got the bats going early Monday but fizzled out until the eighth inning when Muncy came through again. He blasted a tying no-doubt homer high into the right-field pavilion to tie the score at 3-3 for the Dodgers’ first run since Heyward’s homer in the fourth.
In the 11th, the Blue Jays took advantage of an error by Chris Taylor at third, leading to a three-run inning against Phil Bickford to take control.
Michael Grove was solid as the Dodgers’ starter, pitching 4⅔ innings of two-run ball to go along with six strikeouts, five of them in the first two innings. He cruised through four before struggling in the fifth and was replaced by reliever Caleb Ferguson, who closed out the inning and threw a scoreless sixth to keep the game at 2-2. In the eighth, Brusdar Graterol struck out the first two batters before Matt Chapman unloaded with an opposite-field home run to give Toronto a 3-2 lead. Evan Phillips and Ryan Brasier were able to hold the Blue Jays offense the next two innings before their big rally against Phil Bickford. Daulton Varsho doubled in two and Bo Bichette walked with the bases loaded.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Max Muncy starting to get his swing back
Muncy has hit a home run in three consecutive games, four in his last five and now has 25 homers this season. He is one of eight Dodgers to have at least four seasons of 25 home runs. Muncy was an All-Star not too long ago and has been a streaky hitter with the Dodgers where where he can unleash his power the way he has lately. In addition to his power, Muncy’s average has been steadily increasing. If Muncy can continue putting together good at-bats and others at the bottom of the lineup improve, it will make the Dodgers’ offense that much more dangerous.
Jason Heyward glad to be back home
It was a bit of a struggle on the recent trip for Heyward, aside from a three-run homer to center field in Baltimore. But on Monday, Heyward looked locked in and came close to ending the game a couple of times. He blasted his 10th home run of the season and it came on another fastball from a right-hander. Nine of the Heyward’s homers this season have come on a fastball and it seems as if he doesn’t miss those when they are over the plate. Heyward will look to use this homestand to get himself back into a solid place with his swing and approach.
Reinforcements on the way
Clayton Kershaw is on the mend and should be making his return soon after a recent ramped-up bullpen session. But there are other players who could be returning such as Noah Syndergaard and Trayce Thompson. Some might wonder whether the team would want those players back since they struggled badly earlier this season. But the team hopes their time getting healthy physically and mentally could lead to positive results, and that’s something the Dodgers should take if they can get it.