EditorsNote: update 2: adds a sentence to next-to-last graf
Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger stroked consecutive bases-loaded singles in the fifth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed a 5-2 interleague victory over the host Houston Astros on Tuesday in a contentious rematch of the 2017 World Series combatants.
The Dodgers (3-2) sent 10 batters to the plate in their fifth-run fifth, chasing Astros left-hander Framber Valdez (0-1) and getting into an injury-ravaged Houston bullpen featuring nine rookies.
Valdez had just 48 pitches on his ledger through four innings and had retired seven consecutive batters before Corey Seager opened the Los Angeles fifth with a single to center field. AJ Pollock and Enrique Hernandez followed with hits to load the bases with no outs. Valdez retired Will Smith and ceded the mound to rookie reliever Enoli Paredes before the Dodgers pounced.
Mookie Betts worked a four-pitch walk that forced home Seager and cut the deficit to 2-1 before Pollock scored on a fielder’s choice from Max Muncy that pulled the Dodgers even. Turner and Bellinger followed with their singles, lifting the Dodgers to a 4-2 lead and spelling the end for Paredes.
Former Dodgers farmhand Andre Scrubb entered in relief for Houston, the sixth Astros pitcher to make his major league debut this season, and he walked in a run before settling down. Scrubb worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings before giving way to another debuting rookie, Nivaldo Rodriguez.
The Astros (3-2) claimed a 2-0 lead against Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler, with Carlos Correa belting his first home run on the season, a two-out solo shot to left in the second before adding an RBI single that scored Michael Brantley with two outs in the fourth.
Buehler, on a short leash after entering camp behind schedule, departed after 3 2/3 innings in his season debut, having allowed two runs, three hits, one walk and three strikeouts while throwing 56 pitches (40 strikes).
Correa was a central figure in a dugout-clearing flare-up that ended the sixth when he struck out and exchanged words with Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly, who nearly hit Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Correa with pitches that inning. Several Dodgers players were vocal in their admonishment of the Astros following details of Houston stealing signs during the 2017 season being released this past offseason.
Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning for the win. Kenley Jansen notched his first save with a scoreless ninth.
Correa had three of the Astros’ four hits.
—Field Level Media