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Dodgers can't complete comeback, fall in extras

Ninth-inning rally doesn't make up for missed opportunities in loss
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have had a wild first half, and on Saturday night, they were involved in yet another wild finish. This time, it was a 5-4 extra-inning loss to the Angels inside a sold-out Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers' brief reign atop the National League West, for now, is over, following a contest that felt almost as frantic as their 2018 season altogether. The matchup was highlighted by a ninth-inning Dodgers rally that forced extras, but was clinched when right fielder Kole Calhoun ripped a solo shot off Kenley Jansen to give the Angels the lead in the 10th.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have had a wild first half, and on Saturday night, they were involved in yet another wild finish. This time, it was a 5-4 extra-inning loss to the Angels inside a sold-out Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers' brief reign atop the National League West, for now, is over, following a contest that felt almost as frantic as their 2018 season altogether. The matchup was highlighted by a ninth-inning Dodgers rally that forced extras, but was clinched when right fielder Kole Calhoun ripped a solo shot off Kenley Jansen to give the Angels the lead in the 10th.

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Jansen hasn't been as sharp recently, despite having picked up his NL-leading 26th save of the season earlier this week. Jansen sat out Friday's win after appearing in two straight games, and his velocity was a tad down Saturday, but he insisted he's feeling fine. The right-hander said his mistake pitch to Calhoun -- a first-pitch cutter over the heart of the plate -- was just a matter of a good batter taking advantage of an opportunity. It was Calhoun's third home run in the past two games.

"I mean, he's swinging a hot bat right now," Jansen said. "He's just zoned in."

Video: LAA@LAD: Calhoun belts a go-ahead homer in the 10th

The Dodgers got the tying run 90 feet from home in the bottom of the 10th. Center fielder Andrew Toles drove an offering from Angels reliever Jose Alvarez into left field that sent Justin Upton crashing into the wall, allowing Toles to reach second. Toles likely could have reached third on the play, and Roberts said postgame he expected Toles to do so off contact. But initially, Toles couldn't get a read on the play, and didn't want to spoil his club's chance at evening the score.

"I just didn't want to do anything risky," Toles said. "We were down a run and I had done some things in the past, and it cost us. So I was thinking, 'Just stay on second, don't try to [go to third].'"

Video: LAA@LAD: Toles doubles after Upton slips in outfield

Toles would take third on a passed ball with Chase Utley at the dish the next at-bat, a scenario only possible thanks to Utley's earlier heroics.

Utley jumpstarted the Dodgers' earlier rally in the bottom of the ninth, when he led the inning off with a pinch-hit single against Angels reliever Blake Parker. Utley scored the next at-bat when Yasmani Grandal lifted a double that sailed by Upton. The misplay allowed Utley to chug all the way home from first, sliding underneath the tag of Martin Maldonado to tie it at four.

"One thing is understanding his role," said Roberts of Utley. "The other thing is the preparation. Every time he's in the box, he knows how to approach each pitcher."

The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs for Joc Pederson in the ninth, but on a 2-0 count, he flied to right.

With the runner on third in the 10th, the Dodgers' offense sputtered again. Utley flied out and Grandal struck out to end the game. The Dodgers dropped to 52-43 on the season, snapping their five-game win streak.

Video: LAA@LAD: Wood fans 6 over 6 quality innings

Saturday's late-game antics rendered Dodgers starter Alex Wood's quality outing (six innings, three runs allowed, seven hits, two walks, six strikeouts) an afterthought, along with Chris Taylor's solo homer that tied the game earlier in the fifth.

Video: LAA@LAD: Taylor cracks a solo jack to right-center

"Painful," Jansen said of the loss. "But can't let that beat you up. We're having a good season, so just got to keep continue going. It's a battle."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Wood's hustle loads 'em up: The Dodgers staged an early rally down 3-0 in the bottom of the second. Max Muncy and Logan Forsythe led off the frame with a double and single, respectively, setting up Cody Bellinger's one-run base knock to pull within two. With two outs, runners on first and second and Wood coming up to bat, it appeared the rally was over. However, Wood's bunt attempt rolled in front of Heaney, whose throw to first pulled Jefry Marte off the bag, allowing Wood to reach safely and load the bases. Taylor was hit by a pitch on his foot, scoring another run to cut the Angels' lead to 3-2.

Video: LAA@LAD: Taylor hit by a pitch, plates a run

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Dodgers were able to tie the game when Upton misplayed Grandal's double in the bottom of the ninth. Grandal's hit had a catch probability of 77 percent, per Statcast™, but the veteran outfielder misstepped, allowing the ball to fall beyond his reach. The score was only possible because of the hustle of Utley.

Just a day removed from publicly announcing his plans to retire at the end of the season, Utley turned back the clock, sprinting from first to home while moving 28 feet per second; his season average had been 27.2 feet per second entering the game.

Video: LAA@LAD: Statcast™ measures Utley's speedy baserunning

HE SAID IT
"You make mistakes like that, sometimes they're going to get you. He got me." -- Jansen, on Calhoun's go-ahead home run

UP NEXT
Clayton Kershaw will start Sunday's Freeway Series finale for the Dodgers. The left-hander has picked up wins in each of his past two starts and has a chance to pull his record to 4-4 in his final outing before the All-Star break. Deck McGuire will start for the Angels. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT.

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers