LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers left the bases loaded three times in the first five innings, which was even more frustrating to Adrian Gonzalez than the simple flyball he hit that turned into an unusual triple play in the fourth.
Josh Beckett gave up a season-worst five earned runs over five innings, including a two-run homer by Lonnie Chisenhall in the first, and the Cleveland Indians went on to beat Los Angeles 10-3 Tuesday night. The right-hander, who pitched a no-hitter at Philadelphia on May 25, is 2-4 in seven starts since then despite a 2.51 ERA.
The Dodgers opened the fourth with Beckett’s second double of the game, followed by Dee Gordon’s bunt hit and an RBI single by Yasiel Puig that chased Justin Masterson.
Rookie left-hander Kyle Crockett (2-0), the second of seven pitchers used by Indians manager Terry Francona, came on and Gonzalez lifted a fly to left fielder Michael Brantley, who threw out Gordon at the plate. Yan Gomes then noticed Puig breaking for second and fired to Jason Kipnis for the tag on Puig as he went in headfirst.
“I’ve seen triple plays, but none quite like that,” Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp said. “I guess there’s a first time for everything.”
Francona challenged the original safe call by second base umpire Paul Nauert and got the ruling overturned, giving the Indians three outs on one play after a replay delay that lasted 1 minute, 29 seconds. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then came out to challenge the call at the plate by Adrian Johnson, and that call stood after another wait of 1 minute, 34 seconds.
“I don’t think that play itself was frustrating at all,” Gonzalez said. “It was just two guys trying to be aggressive – one guy trying to score and the other guy trying to get into scoring position with two outs, and they made the right throws. The only thing that matters is that we lost the game. We had them on the ropes in other innings, too. But regardless of what we did with their starter, we didn’t do much as far as winning the game.”
Masterson threw 37 pitches in the first inning and came out of it with a 3-2 lead after giving up a double to Puig and an opposite-field homer to left-center by Gonzalez – his 14th this season and second in 37 games.
The right-hander needed another 25 pitches to get through the second unscathed. He struck out Puig, then intentionally walked Gonzalez to load the bases before fanning Kemp and retiring Andre Ethier on a grounder.
“We had plenty of chances to win the game,” Kemp said. “I mean, I can’t strike out right there. I’ve got to at least put the ball in play and make something happen. We got hits, but we just didn’t get timely hits with runners on base.”
The Dodgers had the bags full again in the fifth with none out before Vinnie Pestano struck out Drew Butera and pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez. Clint Robinson, whose first major league hit and RBI provided the only run in Dan Haren’s 1-0 win Monday, batted for Beckett and struck out against Marc Rzepczynski.
This was the Dodgers’ seventh attempt at their first four-game winning streak of the season. They haven’t won more than three in a row since a six-game stretch from Aug. 25 to Sept. 3 last season.
As a result, they got knocked back into second place in the NL West one night after overtaking San Francisco.
David Murphy broke out of a 1-for-44 slump with three hits and two RBIs for the Indians, held to one hit in back-to-back shutout losses to the Mariners and Dodgers. Nick Swisher and Gomes also drove in two runs apiece.
The Indians broke out the bats against Beckett and got hits from three of their first four batters to grab a 3-0 lead. Asdrubal Cabrera singled with one out, advanced on the right-hander’s errant pickoff throw and scored on a double by Brantley before Chisenhall hit his ninth homer.
The Indians increased their lead to 5-2 in the third on a two-run double by Swisher. RBI doubles by Gomes and Murphy against Jamey Wright made it 7-3, and Cleveland tacked on three more in the eighth against Paul Maholm.
NOTES: The Dodgers are batting .145 in bases-loaded situations (8 for 55). … Dodgers starting pitchers have issued fewer than three walks in 35 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the majors since a 36-game stretch by the 2005 Minnesota Twins – and the longest for an NL club since 1914. … Butera has caught 10 of Beckett’s last 11 starts, including the no-hitter.