Los Angeles takes first of two games against Houston
Tensions high as Dodgers ride big inning to win against Astros
In a rematch of the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers arrived in Houston on Tuesday for the first of two games at Minute Maid Park. As expected, the rivalry found itself rekindled in an exciting matchup. Here is a quick recap:
Final Score: Dodgers 5, Astros 2.
Record: 3-2, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Brusdar Graterol (1-1, 3.86 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Framber Valdez (0-1, 4.15 ERA).
Correa drives in the first two runs
After both Framber Valdez and Walker Buehler recorded 1-2-3 first innings, they would not have as clean second innings. In the top of the second, Valdez allowed his first baserunner via a two-out walk, then allowed a single, but was able to get out of the inning unscathed. Buehler also had a two-out issue, a Carlos Correa solo home run, which put Houston ahead 1-0.
This is a Carlos Correa homer. Facts only. #ForTheHpic.twitter.com/ItlO6IkRZ5
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 29, 2020
Correa would drive in another run in the bottom of the fourth, getting an RBI-single to bring in Michael Brantley, who had singled earlier in the inning, doubling the lead to 2-0 and ending Buehler's night.
Dodgers roar back with a five-run fifth
Valdez was still on the mound in the fifth, but after loading the bases in the fifth would be taken out as Enoli Paredes would enter with one out and the bases still full. Paredes would struggle, walking in a run, seeing another come in on an error by Alex Bregman to tie the game, then giving up back-to-back RBI-singles to put Los Angeles up 4-2.
Andre Scrubb would come in to make his MLB debut and hopefully stop the damage, but instead issued a four-pitch walk to walk in another run before getting a double play to end the half-inning, making it a 5-2 deficit for Houston.
Benches clear in the sixth
Scrubb would do much better in his first full inning, retiring the Dodgers in order in the top of the sixth, including two strikeouts. In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers would send Joe Kelly to the mound, who was clearly out to send a message to the Astros.
After throwing a ball four well behind Alex Bregman, interfering with Michael Brantley's path to first base on a groundball, he would get a strikeout to retire the Astros, then entice a bench-clearing confrontation by antagonizing Houston on his way back to the dugout.
Carlos Correa and Joe Kelly exchanged words after Kelly struck out Correa. Benches cleared following the exchange. pic.twitter.com/sVHaibpN2y
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 29, 2020
Astros can't answer, Dodgers get the win
Scrubb continued in the seventh and despite loading the bases was able to complete the inning and keep it a three-run game. Nivaldo Rodriguez was yet another Houston reliever to make an MLB debut, and he was able to work around a couple of hits to record a scoreless top of the eighth.
Rodriguez continued pitching in the top of the ninth and was able to erase a few runners for another scoreless inning. The Astros would be unable to add on to Correa's two runs earlier in the game, resulting in a loss and moving them to 3-2 on the season.
Up Next: Game two of this two-game set will get underway at 6:00 PM Wednesday. The Astros have still not named their starter, and will likely rely on a young or newly acquired arm to start or go with a bullpen day, while the Dodgers will have Dustin May on the mound.