Seager, Jansen shine for resilient Dodgers

Rookie shortstop, closer help lock down comeback vs. O's

July 5th, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- When All-Stars are announced on Tuesday, it would only make sense if the Dodgers' representatives include the rookie shortstop who scored the tie-breaking run Monday night and the closer who made it hold up.

Corey Seager tripled and scored on Justin Turner's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and Kenley Jansen locked down his 25th save with a two-strikeout ninth for a July 4th 7-5 comeback Interleague win over the Orioles.

The fifth consecutive Dodgers win included back-to-back home runs from Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal, three hits from Chase Utley and a pair of hits from Seager, who has a 17-game hitting streak and is the first-half headliner of an offense that lately has shown the resiliency to erase three-run deficits, as it did in this game.

"There's really nothing he can't do on the baseball field," manager Dave Roberts said, agreeing that Seager is the club's best player right now. "The at-bats, I mean late-inning production, playing a premium position, hitting the ball hard, driving runs in, taking a walk when he needs to, running the bases. He's really continued to get better and it's scary to think he's only 22 and how much he's grown."

Has Seager thought about becoming the club's first rookie All-Star shortstop since Billy Grabarkewitz in 1970?

"If [it happens], it's going to be really cool," said Seager, who also had an RBI single. "I experienced it with [brother] Kyle in '14, it was awesome as a fan to sit back and watch my brother play. As a rookie, that would be really cool, hard to explain it any other way, a lot of fun for sure."

Jansen is the biggest name in a bullpen that overcame early-season jitters the way it overcame teenager Julio Urias' worst start, and his last for the Dodgers for a while, pitching the final 5 2/3 innings.

Urias was charged with five runs in only 3 1/3 innings, done in by a 41-pitch marathon second inning. He's likely to be shut down to conserve innings, but his initial big league stint (1-2, 4.95 in eight starts) is pretty close to the initial big league stint of another young left-hander, Clayton Kershaw (0-2, 4.42 in eight starts) eight years ago.

His early exit meant a parade of relievers in what has become arguably the best bullpen in the league. Louis Coleman contained the damage taking over for Urias, new long man Pedro Baez pitched two scoreless innings, Joe Blanton got the win, Adam Liberatore ran his scoreless streak to 22 games (one shy of John Candelaria's club record) and Jansen added two strikeouts to his bid for a first All-Star berth. Throughout Jansen's career, he has been overshadowed by, among others, Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel whose league switch presumably opens a path for Jansen. "I'll believe it when I see it," Jansen said of his All-Star chances.