Manny fuels Dodgers as NL West race tightens

August 29th, 2018

ARLINGTON -- After sweeping the Padres, the Dodgers kept the momentum rolling Tuesday night by whipping the Rangers, 8-4, as Manny Machado drove in four runs and homered.

had a second consecutive three-hit game, adding a walk, a sacrifice fly and two runs scored as the Dodgers' offense put the ball in play when it mattered, going 5-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

"Can't win ballgames by just hitting home runs," said Machado, who has nine RBIs in the last three games. "We're preaching about passing the baton to the next guy, just taking what the pitchers give us. Today, we did a good job with that, stick to the plan and we did our job."

The Dodgers now trail the D-backs and Rockies by one game in the National League West, after an Arizona loss to the Giants and a Colorado win over the Angels.

Starter left with a lead after four innings because of pitch count (84) in 93-degree heat, but fellow rookie Caleb Ferguson (5-2) retired the four batters he faced and was credited with the win. , , Pat Venditte and closer followed.

Jansen was pitching for the first time without medication he's been on since suffering an irregular heartbeat. While on the medication, which he said made him sluggish, Jansen allowed ninth-inning home runs in three consecutive high-leverage outings last week, then was given Sunday off.

Jansen allowed four of the first five batters he faced to reach and two runs scored, but he regrouped to break 's bat, fielding the grounder behind his back and starting a game-ending double play.

"At least something [went] my way," joked Jansen. "I'll be all right."

And the Dodgers believe they are all right, even if this four-game win streak has come at the expense of two last-place teams.

"We got off on the right foot against the Padres and haven't looked back since," said Hernandez. "Our offense is starting to look like the Dodgers' offense. We needed a little pick-me-up. To see us have success, then a day off can mess with you, but to do what we did today, hopefully we can keep it up tomorrow."

Manager Dave Roberts agreed.

"It was a great job of team offense, taking walks, making the starter work, we figured him out and got to the 'pen. Situational hitting was very good. Kiké was good all night. Manny used the big part of the field. Up and down the lineup was very positive.

"Obviously, the opponent matters, in the sense you're going to see some high-quality starters. But I think that the ability to stay in the strike zone, not do too much, take a walk when you need to -- that applies to whoever you're facing, whatever pitcher, whatever team."

After putting runners on first and second with no outs in the second inning and failing to score against Rangers starter , the Dodgers got a clutch hit from Machado in the third with one out and the bases loaded, a bouncer up the middle that scored Hernandez, who had walked, and , who singled in his return to the lineup from a sore knee. With two outs, Dozier singled to score , who had singled.

Texas answered with a pair of runs on RBI singles by and , putting Buehler through a 37-pitch bottom of the third. The Dodgers restored the lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Pederson and a sacrifice fly by Machado. Dozier led off the fifth inning with his 20th home run and the Dodgers scored in the sixth on Machado's RBI single and the seventh on 's triple and Hernandez's sac fly.


It might not have meant the difference between winning and losing, but the game-ending double-play started by Jansekn mattered big-time to the Dodgers. Not only did it end another rough outing for Jansen on an upbeat note, it saved Roberts from having to use to close out the game, having already used five relievers. Maeda had just begun warming up when the game ended.

Jansen's confidence not shaken


Dozier has hit at least 20 home runs in five consecutive seasons. He has an MLB-leading 94 homers at second base since 2016.


"I just wasn't as crisp. Wasn't my best day. That's why we've got offense and bullpens." -- Buehler


The Dodgers had runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth inning when the Rangers turned a sharp double play on Dozier's grounder to third baseman . Dozier was called safe at first base, but the Rangers challenged the call and it was overturned by replay.


Alex Wood opposes Mike Minor in Wednesday's 5:05 p.m. PT series finale. He was originally scheduled to start Sunday against San Diego, but was pushed back for this and will be pitching on eight days' rest. In his last start against St. Louis, he was removed after four-plus innings.