LOS ANGELES (AP) — Walker Buehler pitched six scoreless innings of five-hit ball to remain unbeaten since 2019, and Mookie Betts homered and scored three runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers held off the Texas Rangers 5-3 on Sunday.
Down 5-0, Texas scored three times in the ninth inning and had the bases loaded with no outs before the rally fizzled.READ MORE: Lifeguards Battle For Bragging Rights In Hermosa Beach
Zach McKinstry had a two-run double while going 3 for 3 with a walk, and Gavin Lux added his own RBI double in the fifth victory in six games for the Dodgers (39-26), who pulled within one game of NL-leading San Francisco (40-25) atop the division.
After Buehler (6-0) survived a rough first inning and made it through his second straight scoreless start, the Dodgers’ bullpen struggled in the ninth.
The first six Texas batters reached base, but Kenley Jansen got three straight outs to secure his 15th save and Los Angeles’ series-clinching win after the clubs traded 12-1 victories in the first two games.
Dane Dunning (2-5) yielded four runs on seven hits and two walks in four tough innings for the Rangers, who have lost 14 of 17.
Jason Martin and Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in runs in the ninth off reliever Phil Bickford, allowing the Rangers to avoid their eighth shutout loss of the season.
Jansen came on and gave up an RBI single to Willie Calhoun on his first pitch before Texas loaded the bases. The veteran closer then got two popups before Nick Solak grounded out to end a nine-pitch at-bat.READ MORE: Business Taking New Precautions As COVID Cases Surge
One night after Texas ended its franchise-record-tying 16-game road losing streak, the Rangers fell to an MLB-worst 8-25 in interleague play over the past two seasons.
Buehler wasn’t dominant by his own lofty standards, but he lasted at least six innings for the 13th time in his 13 starts this season — a feat he also accomplished in his final two playoff starts last season. He hasn’t lost a decision since September 2019, going 10-0 in 28 appearances.
After throwing seven scoreless innings at Pittsburgh last Tuesday, Buehler threw 33 pitches in the first inning against Texas. He walked the bases loaded, and the Rangers stole two bases before Buehler escaped without allowing a run.
The Dodgers took the lead two batters later when Betts walked and Lux drove him in with a double to the left-center gap.
Betts sliced his seventh homer into the short right field porch in the third, and McKinstry drove in two more runs with a two-out double later in the inning. The rookie also had two singles and a walk, ending his 2-for-23 slump since returning from his oblique muscle injury.
Matt Beaty drove in Betts with a single in the seventh.MORE NEWS: Joseph Jimenez Charged With Murder, Attempted Murder In Corona Movie Theater Shooting
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