SEATTLE -- The Dodgers' last five losses have come in the opponent's final at-bat, and to keep that dubious streak intact Saturday night, the Kenley Jansen-less bullpen found its most creative way to lose yet.It came on a walk-off balk by Dylan Floro with one out in the bottom of
SEATTLE -- The Dodgers' last five losses have come in the opponent's final at-bat, and to keep that dubious streak intact Saturday night, the Kenley Jansen-less bullpen found its most creative way to lose yet.
It came on a walk-off balk by Dylan Floro with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Mariners a 5-4 win after the Dodgers erased a three-run deficit on late solo home runs by Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Player Page for Max Muncy.
But with one out, the bases loaded, the infield and outfield in close and Kyle Seager (who homered in the first inning) up, Turner broke toward third base to keep baserunner Cameron Maybin closer to the bag should there be a ground ball and a play at the plate.
When that happened, Maybin appeared to distract Floro, who stepped off the rubber. But first-base umpire Andy Fletcher ruled that the pitcher's hands separated from the set position before he stepped off, waving Maybin home with the winning run.
"In that spot, bases loaded, one out ... let the players handle it and determine the outcome," said Turner. "That's the worst part about tonight. It was decided by an umpire. There was nothing egregious about that. If anything, you can say the hands separated a half-second before he stepped off, but there's no way the first-base umpire could see that from behind."
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt conceded it was a balk, but also wondered why the call would come from the umpire behind Floro and not the one in front of him, third-base umpire Mike Estabrook.
"I think Turner tried to deke me a little bit, so when he did his little move, I kind of jumped a little bit and it might have startled him a little," said Maybin. "However you can get 'em, you take 'em. And that was a big one."
Floro sounded about as shell-shocked as would be expected after adding a game-losing balk to a walk-off walk a week ago in Colorado.
"I did it a little bit [the hand separation] as I look at it. ... It's a tough situation. I'm just frustrated right now," said Floro. "I feel like it should have been the third-base umpire's call."
The loss left the Dodgers in third place in the National League West, two games behind Arizona and 1 1/2 games behind Colorado. Since Jansen went on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat on Aug. 10, the Dodgers have lost on Ryan McMahon's walk-off homer off JT Chargois, Floro's walk-off walk, a four-run ninth off Scott Alexander, Kenta Maeda's ninth-inning loss after he was bumped from the rotation and now a walk-off balk.
"We've had some tough breaks in the last week or so," said starting pitcher Rich Hill, who allowed a three-run homer to Seager and spotted Seattle a 4-1 first-inning lead, then regrouped with five scoreless innings. "Right now, it's not time for panic. At the same time, winning ballgames is a must. No other way to put it, we need to win."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
After leaving two runners on in the first inning, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with two outs in the second inning but Maybin made a diving catch in left-center of Manny Machado's sinking liner. According to Statcast™, Maybin covered 48 feet in 3.4 seconds, making it a four-star (out of five) catch.
Turner's second stole base of the season in the top of the 10th inning gave the Dodgers 19 steals this month, which leads MLB.
Turner extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Bellinger extended his to 11 games.
HE SAID IT
"It was close. It was borderline, but Andy got it right. There was a flinch." -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, on the balk call
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Dodgers successfully challenged a safe call on a stolen-base attempt in the third inning by Seager, who had drawn a two-out walk. After a quick review, the call was overturned, taking the Mariners out of the inning and erasing what would have been Seager's third stolen base of the season.
In the Sunday series finale, Clayton Kershaw opposes Roenis Elias and the Mariners in a 1:10 p.m. start. Kershaw dominated the Giants, as he usually does, in his last start with nine strikeouts in eight innings. Kershaw hasn't pitched against the Mariners since 2012.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.