Rangers score 8 unanswered, beat Dodgers, 8-4

An early grand slam by Max Muncy was all the Dodgers could muster Sunday

The Dodgers only offense of the game Sunday came in the first inning off the bat of Max Muncy. After a Mookie Betts double to lead the game off and a Freddie Freeman single to center to stay hot, the bases were juiced for Muncy. He proceeded to put a ball halfway up the bleachers in right field for a grand slam and put the Dodgers ahead early.

All looked great to begin the game, but the Dodgers’ fortunes turned as Emmett Sheehan took the mound. He could not locate the ball Sunday afternoon and the Rangers stacked offense (even without their best hitter Corey Seager) took full advantage. Sheehan only lasted 3 ⅔ innings and gave up eight earned runs en route to a loss. 

Martin Perez on the other hand settled in very nicely after that first inning grand slam. The Dodgers rallied in multiple innings off of the veteran lefty, but he dug in and got out of every jam for the rest of his start and allowed no runs to score through the sixth inning.

Here are my three takeaways from the game: 

The Bullpen is Dominant As Of Late  

The Dodger bullpen only gave up four runs in this nine game road trip which is an excellent performance. They have had to come in early at times for the shaky starting staff and clean up or hold leads for the offense and they have delivered time and time again. It has been quite the turnaround for a bullpen that at one point was the worst since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. 

The Starting Pitching Is Shaky 

Bobby Miller had a great outing on Saturday, but Emmett Sheehan could not follow it up on Sunday. This staff has seen its ups and many downs as of late and this team has relied on the bullpen and offense to get by in most games. If it weren’t for those two departments, we would be talking about a serious issue within the team. With the trade deadline looming, there still has to be moves made to improve the pitching. 

Dodgers Have Great Road Trip

The Dodgers finish the road trip against the Orioles, Mets and Rangers with a 6-3 record. They cannot complete a sweep to save their lives but winning a series is the most important part of keeping a division lead. With the Giants and Diamondbacks losing Sunday, the Dodgers maintain a solid four game lead in the National League West and will return home atop the division. 

The Dodgers welcome the Toronto Blue Jays into Dodger Stadium for a three game set. Michael Grove takes the mound for the Dodgers against Jose Berrios of the Blue Jays. First pitch in Los Angeles is set for 7:10 p.m. PT.