Dodgers lose 5-2 to A’s, but ready for Utley
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shortstop Jimmy Rollins was already envisioning the energy his old Philadelphia double-play partner Chase Utley will bring to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers traded for Utley, a six-time All-Star second baseman, on Wednesday night after a 5-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
The way Los Angeles played against the last-place A’s the past two days, Utley is a welcome addition in Southern California.
“I think it would be a lot of fun,” Rollins said before the deal was confirmed. “He knows this team. He went to school over at UCLA, plays well at Dodger Stadium, actually he beats up the Dodgers when in a Phillies uniform. If everything goes through and he’s here, it’d be nice to see him playing some home games there at a place that he’s comfortable hitting. ... He can add a lot. Hopefully, No. 1, first and foremost, that he’s healthy and he’s in a good case. The way he’s swung the bat since he’s been playing, anyone can use that. We can definitely use it.
“He does have experience, he’s a tough guy. He brings that with him. More than anything that there will be some new excitement in the clubhouse. He has a chance to play some meaningful baseball late in the year again.”
Back home in the East Bay for a rare appearance in the Coliseum, Rollins hit a two-run homer in the third, but that wasn’t enough as Los Angeles dropped back-to-back contests for the first time since Aug. 9-10.
Jesse Chavez struck out six over eight innings to win for just the second time in six starts as the A’s pulled off a two-game interleague sweep.
Billy Burns hit a tying double for Oakland in the sixth then scored the go-ahead run on Danny Valencia’s double-play grounder two batters later.
After the low-budget A’s won 5-4 in 10 innings Tuesday night, they beat baseball’s biggest spender again to win consecutive games following a seven-game skid on a recent road trip through Toronto and Baltimore.
“That was huge,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Winning the game last night, everybody was a little bit more invigorated this morning.”
Chavez (7-12) allowed two runs on two hits with a pair of walks while throwing a career-high 116 pitches. He began the day tied for the American League lead in losses with Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, who was set to pitch at Boston on Wednesday night.
In a scene reminiscent of early last season for Oakland fans, former A’s closer Jim Johnson loaded the bases in the eighth before being pulled as Stephen Vogt entered as a pinch-hitter. Vogt lined a sacrifice fly to right for an insurance run off Luis Avilan, and Jake Smolinski followed with an RBI double against another new pitcher, Pedro Baez.
Los Angeles lefty Alex Wood (8-8) was trying to win consecutive starts for the first time since being acquired from the Atlanta Braves at last month’s non-waiver trade deadline. He had pitched into the seventh inning in two of his three starts for the Dodgers but was done after 5 2-3 against the club with the American League’s worst record.
Wood was tagged for three runs on five hits, struck out one and walked three before Don Mattingly turned to the bullpen. The Dodgers now travel to Houston for a weekend series against the AL West leader.
“We’re going to see what our guys are made of in a pennant race,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Are guys going to come through? Are guys going to step up? This is really the best time of year to be playing, and especially to be in the race.”
Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig had an MRI exam on his injured right hamstring that forced him to exit after an infield single in the eighth Tuesday night. He has a mild strain and will likely try to test it Friday at Houston and perhaps play during the weekend series against the Astros. Puig said he’s better. “I’m off today and tomorrow and if it’s not hurting as much I will do some work Friday,” he said.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson (7-7, 3.48 ERA) is 1-0 in two appearances with one start against Houston, and he will pitch against the Astros on Friday for the first time since Sept. 8, 2013, while with Oakland.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (1-4, 2.60) faces Tampa Bay for the first time Friday.