LOS ANGELES (AP) — Called on to protect a one-run lead, Brian Wilson provided little relief.
Wilson surrendered three runs in the eighth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 5-4 to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Wilson (1-3) retired only one of the six batters he faced, giving up a tying RBI single by pinch-hitter David Murphy and a two-run single by No. 8 hitter Mike Aviles after an intentional walk to Lonnie Chisenhall.
“Brian’s been throwing well. I don’t know how many innings he’s thrown before today without giving up a run, but it seemed like a while,” outfielder Scott Van Slyke said. “When you make a mistake, it usually ends up biting you. Hopefully, that’s out of the way and he can start a new streak.”
Wilson had allowed one run in his previous 19 appearances, spanning 16 2-3 innings.
Van Slyke, who started in right field for the first time this season while Yasiel Puig rested, hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth off Scott Atchison, leaving the Dodgers a run short.
Cody Allen got four outs for his eighth save, retiring Matt Kemp on a flyball to the warning track with the potential tying and winning runs in scoring position. Had Kemp been able to come through, the win would have gone to former Indians closer Chris Perez, who pitched a perfect ninth.
The Dodgers signed Perez as a free agent to a one-year, $2.3 million contract on Christmas Eve after the two-time All-Star went 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 54 appearances last season with the Tribe.
“I had some good years there and I have some friends that are still on the team. Now I look at it as just a part of my career,” said Perez, who spent the previous 4 1/2 seasons in Cleveland and recorded a career-best 39 saves in 2012. “I’ve moved on to the second chapter, and I’m definitely glad to be in L.A.”
Perez missed most of June because of a shoulder strain, the same injury that cost him a month of spring training, but was healthy for the final three months as the Indians earned a spot in the wild card game with a 92-74 record before losing to Tampa Bay.
“Unfortunately, last year I wasn’t healthy the whole year. But instead of trying to make excuses, I still went out there to try to do my job,” Perez said.
Perez has appeared in 33 games for the Dodgers, going 0-3 with a 4.85 ERA in his new role as a bridge to Wilson and closer Kenley Jansen.
“I’d rather be on a winning team, honestly. Closing for a losing team is not fun,” Perez said. “Being part of a winning team, no matter what role it is, is good enough for me.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two runs and seven hits, struck out eight, and hit an RBI double that triggered a three-run fifth against Trevor Bauer. The Indians right-hander, born in North Hollywood and pitching in California for the first time in the majors, remained 0-5 in nine career road starts with a 6.64 ERA.
Ryu did not walk a batter, his 13th straight outing with fewer than three bases on balls. Dodgers starting pitchers have issued fewer than three walks in 36 consecutive games, tying the 2005 Minnesota Twins for the longest such streak in the modern era (since 1900).
Brian Shaw (3-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to get the victory. Ryan Raburn, playing his first game since his diving catch in right field against Seattle’s Kyle Seager left him with a headache and a stiff neck, hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Cleveland.
Dodgers rookie Miguel Rojas, who has made dazzling plays all over the infield since his promotion from Triple-A – one of which preserved Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter on June 18 – made his seventh start at third base and robbed Michael Brantley of an RBI in the fifth with a diving backhanded grab of his line drive toward the line.
Carlos Santana followed with a sharp single to right field, but Van Slyke made a one-hop throw to catcher A.J. Ellis for the tag on Asdrubal Cabrera. Andre Ethier gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a two-run single.
NOTES: Kershaw, picked Wednesday as NL Pitcher of the Month for June after winning all six starts with an 0.82 ERA and 61 strikeouts, starts Friday night’s series opener at Colorado against the pitcher who opposed him in his no-hitter on June 18 – Jorge De La Rosa. … The last eight homers Ryu has given up all have come after his first time through the batting order.