Dodgers’ defense costs them in loss to Phillies – Redlands Daily Facts

Philadelphia Phillies Alec Bohm, right, is tagged out by Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes after trying to score during the fifth inning Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Dodgers lost, 4-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA — They couldn’t blame the starting pitching this time.

Poor defense undermined a solid effort from the staff’s accidental ace, Gavin Stone, and led to the tying runs in the fifth inning as the Philadelphia Phillies handed the Dodgers their most recent loss, 4-3, on Wednesday night.

The loss was the Dodgers’ seventh in their last 11 games.

“It’s frustrating,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I think with him (Stone) he needs his defense. It’s just the way it is. He’s not going to go out and strike out a bunch every time and tonight he had, I think, three strikeouts. There were a lot of balls in play , not a lot of swings and misses. So you look back at some of the plays that we just couldn’t come up with, those plays, that change the game. It seemed like the ball had eyes today, and that’s baseball.”

Dodgers starting pitchers have a 9.06 ERA in that span but Stone did his best not to continue that trend Wednesday night. He gave up a leadoff home run to Kyle Schwarber in the first inning and a second run in the second inning when left fielder Miguel Vargas misplayed Brandon Marsh’s drive near the wall.

Kiké Hernandez launched an inning-ending double play from his knees at third base to avoid more damage in the third inning and the score was tied 2-2 when Whit Merrifield led off the bottom of the fourth.

He lofted a routine fly ball into center field but Andy Pages lost in the dark sky. It fell to the grass behind him and Merrifield raced into third with a triple.

“It’s twilight and sometimes when it gets up there in the sky you just lose it,” Roberts said. “(Pages) has done a good job out there in midfield and there’s just nothing he could have done right there. Just turned into a triple.”

Merrifield was still in third two strokes later. With the infield in, Garrett Stubbs bounced out to Freddie Freeman and Chris Taylor made a run-saving hit to get Schwarber’s high-bounce grounder for the second out.

But Trea Turner hit a ground ball to left off Miguel Rojas. The shortstop got to it but would have had to rush to catch the speedy Turner. It did not matter. Rojas did not choose it cleanly. Turner was safe and the go-ahead scored. Alec Bohm followed with a double and a chopped grounder by Bryson Stott brought in a second run.

“I make that play nine times out of ten. I feel like it’s on me,” Rojas said. “Not only that play but the next play when Stott hit the ball to second base. I think it’s an easier play for me than for CT at that moment.”

Turner broke his bat on his grounder and he is one of the fastest runners in baseball. But Rojas still thought he could have thrown him out to end the round tied.

“Yeah. Even though I played in the hole, he hit it up the middle, broke whatever. I feel like if I put my glove on the ball and make a play, Rojas said. “I’ve made that play before and I feel like if I catch it I have a pretty good chance with the arm to get him out. I’ve got to make sure I catch that ball.”

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