Pollock haunts D-backs, hits first Dodgers HR

Los Angeles falls in 13 innings in longest regular-season home game

March 30th, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- After setting an Opening Day record with eight home runs, the Dodgers' second game of the season set a record for the longest regular-season home game in franchise history, a six-hour, five-minute, 5-4 loss to the D-backs. The 13-inning contest started Friday night and ended in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The disappointment from the final score shouldn’t diminish some of the bright spots, with ’s 4-for-6 outburst against his former team topping the list. Pollock homered, doubled, had a pair of singles, drove in three runs, scored a pair of tie-breaking runs and walked.

Pollock signed a four-year, $55 million free-agent contract to switch sides of this National League West matchup, but he downplayed the inherent rivalry as far as motivation

“It’s been fun. Obviously, [Friday] is not the result we wanted,” Pollock said. “It’s a little strange. I’ve faced Zack [Greinke, Thursday’s Arizona starter] so many times, kind of used to it. But Robbie [Ray, Friday’s starter] is a good friend of mine, and that’s a little strange. We’re competing and I’m trying to beat them. It’s a good win for them, tough one for us."

Pollock nearly won the game in the 10th inning with two outs and the bases loaded, but his bouncer up the middle was swiped by pitcher Matt Andriese with his glove behind his back.

“The only way I was going to get a hit was if he kicked that ball off,” Pollock said of the mid-paced grounder. “It was a weird play to see. He stabbed it and made the play."

After their record-mashing opener, the Dodgers had seven fewer home runs in this game. They walked 12 times, but stranded 17 runners. Reliever Joe Kelly, in his Dodgers debut, let two leads get away, one on a three-run homer by pinch-hitter Christian Walker in the seventh inning.

Arizona won it in the 13th inning with a two-out rally off Yimi Garcia, pitching for the second consecutive game. Pinch-hitter Carson Kelly’s flare double scored Nick Ahmed, who walked and stole second. That led to an intentional walk to Alex Avila, followed by Kelly’s double down the right-field line.

The Dodgers used 21 players, while only three umpires finished the game as home-plate ump Scott Barry exited at the start of the 12th, two innings after taking a 92.8 mph fastball from Andriese off the face mask when Arizona catcher Avila was crossed up.

Kenley Jansen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in his first regular-season appearance since November’s 5 1/2-hour heart procedure to resolve an irregular heartbeat.

The Dodgers were coasting, 3-0, through 5 1/3 innings, with Pollock having driven in all their runs and Ross Stripling, the All-Star fill-in starter, pitching a shutout. But with nobody on in the top of the sixth and one out, Stripling was replaced after throwing 76 pitches so Scott Alexander could face left-handed hitter David Peralta.

“The most he threw this spring was 64 pitches, to get to 76, he did a great job," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, "and now you build in a Major League game with the intensity, and there, you have a fresh bullpen, you have a three-run lead, it’s a perfect opportunity for Alexander, who did his job."

Stripling was asked if he was surprised to come out, considering the game situation.

“I was a little bit, just in that it was a quick groundout and 3-0 lead,” Stripling said. “I understand, got the heart of the lineup coming up, the lefty warm in the bullpen and a lefty coming up, so I get it. So, I was a little bit surprised, but I understand and that’s the way it went."

Alexander finished the inning without incident and Pedro Baez recorded the first two outs in the seventh. Baez had Nick Ahmed swinging through a third strike to presumably end the inning, but the high fastball was missed by catcher Russell Martin and Ahmed was safe at first base on what was ruled a wild pitch.

Baez then walked Alex Avila and, with a quick warmup in the bullpen, on came Kelly for his Dodgers debut against Walker, who launched a 3-2 breaking ball over the center-field fence to tie the game at 3.

“I wouldn’t do anything different,” Roberts said. “We just got beat.”