EditorsNote: fixes slug
Hill good enough as Dodgers down Detroit
DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers got a close-up look at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Traveling Record-Breaking Show on Friday night, and now they understand.
Chris Taylor banged out four hits, drove in two runs and scored once to lead the steamrolling Dodgers to an 8-5 victory over the Tigers, their fifth straight win and 20th in their last 23.
“They’re confident at the plate, that’s for sure,” losing pitcher Jordan Zimmermann said Friday after getting tattooed for 10 hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. “Every ball they see they think they can hit.”
Rich Hill (9-4) wasn’t dominating for the Dodgers but with Los Angeles scoring seven runs while he was in the game, he didn’t have to be. Hill gave up six hits and three runs in his five innings, walking three and striking out five, leaving with a 7-3 lead.
“Richie obviously didn’t have his best stuff but still found a way to compete,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. “He worked out of some jams.
“That ball off bat of (Justin) Upton — the line drive off of CT’s (Taylor’s) glove. But to get out of that jam was big for him. And where he was at with his pitch count (84) and the trust that we have in our bullpen to go to them at that point in time made sense.”
The Tigers’ Victor Martinez greeted reliever Josh Fields with his 10th home run, a drive to right, making it 7-4 one batter into the sixth.
After Fields worked his inning, Pedro Baez pitched two scoreless innings and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth. Jansen gave up Upton’s second home run of the game and 25th of the season plus two more singles before striking out Martinez and James McCann to end the game.
Corey Seager hit a sacrifice fly to center, driving in Logan Forsythe to give the Dodgers a 7-3 lead in the sixth. Forsythe had doubled and stopped at third on a single to left by Taylor that ended the night for Zimmermann (7-10). Enter reliever Daniel Stumpf, who gave up the sacrifice fly.
“I thought his slider was flat, just like in his last outing,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of his starter. “He doesn’t have the same velocity that he once did. He’s got enough to get outs, but he can’t get through a lineup without a breaking ball. That’s been the problem again in the last couple starts, after he looked much better for a stretch.
“We can’t continue to give up this many runs and expect to win games. It’s been a lot of home runs and a lot of walks. We were counting on some guys to build on what they were doing in late July and early August and that hasn’t happened.”
Upton trimmed the Los Angeles lead to 4-3 with his 24th home run in the third. Upton got just past second base but put a finger up and retreated to retouch second and then first base just in case he had missed the first bag.
Los Angeles restored its three-run margin to 6-3 in the fourth when Forsythe walked and Joc Pederson and Taylor followed with RBI doubles.
The Tigers took an early lead when Hill gave up a pair of runs in the first on a walk to Ian Kinsler plus doubles by Upton and Miguel Cabrera.
“I didn’t have a great curve ball,” Hill said. “That’s something I’ve got to work on going forward. I had to be creative out there. My breaking ball wasn’t really breaking all that well.”
Yasmani Grandal opened the second with a walk off Zimmermann and stopped at third on Gonzalez’s sharp double off the right-field wall. Forsythe singled past third to drive in Grandal. Taylor doubled to right tie the score at 2-all.
Seager gave Los Angeles a 4-2 lead with a two-run single to right.
“Offensively, we were grinding at-bats, getting on base, talking the walk, running the bases well,” Roberts said. “CT at the top of the order, that’s what he’s done for us all year get on base He got on four times for us.
“We do a lot of answering back. When they score in the first we seem to in that next half-inning seem to respond with a run or two. We did that twice.”
Los Angeles (86-34) owns the best record in baseball and has won 51 of its last 60 games.
NOTES: RHP Anibal Sanchez (left hamstring) was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday by Detroit, which called up CF JaCoby Jones from Triple-A Toledo to replace him. ... 1B Adrian Gonzalez was activated from the 60-day disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who optioned utility player Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler was fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for his derogatory remarks about umpire Angel Hernandez earlier in the week. ... Dodgers’ RHP Yu Darvish (sore back) will get an extra day of rest before making his next start, manager Dave Roberts said.