Machado homers in LA debut, but Dodgers fall

July 31st, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- In his first home game at Dodger Stadium, Manny Machado homered.
But when reporters wanted to know how special that moment was, Machado put into perspective the Dodgers' 5-2 loss to the Brewers Monday night and his ninth-inning solo home run that didn't matter.
"I should have hit that a couple innings before, when I had a couple runners in scoring position to tie the game up," Machado said of his fourth-inning strikeout. "A little late for that. We're here to win games. Come out with a loss like that, not fun."
Nothing went according to script in the homestand opener. Dodgers starter was worked for 34 pitches in the first inning, allowed a three-run blast to in the third inning and didn't get out of the fifth. A power outage before the second inning delayed the game for 23 minutes while crews turned the lights back on. And the Dodgers' offense, nearly no-hit on Sunday, had five hits and seven walks but stranded 11 baserunners.
As Machado said, not fun, even though fans came to enjoy their new Manny. A group of them in the left-field pavilion wore shirts spelling out "Mannywood 2.0," paying homage to Manny Ramirez circa 2008 with hope for a sequel. His home run was the 26th of the season and second as a Dodger.
Machado, who homered off a 97-mph fastball, delicately straddled the line between acknowledging adulation of the masses, as well as the significance of every loss in a pennant race.
"It was an electric crowd," said Machado, who said he saw the "Mannywood 2.0" shirts. "From day one, since I got here, everyone has been very welcoming. It's been amazing. Come up my first at-bat and get a nice ovation, it never gets better than that. Those are moments you never forget."

With Arizona and Colorado also losing, the Dodgers at least remained in first place, and Machado scored the other Dodgers run as well after a third-inning walk. He also walked leading off the seventh inning and struck out twice.
The second half of the season didn't figure to be a breeze for the Dodgers, with the first 26 games against clubs with winning records, and they are 6-5 coming out of the All-Star break.
The Dodgers mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the third against , with Machado scoring from first on a triple when Shaw's relay throw bounced past catcher . Home-plate umpire Pat Hoberg never signaled safe on Machado's hand-first slide, but the Brewers didn't appeal so the run counted. Walks to and loaded the bases, but Chris Taylor struck out.

The Dodgers had runners on second and third with one out in the fourth inning, but fouled out and Machado was called out on strikes. 
"One piece is getting guys on base, and tonight I loved the at-bats," said manager Dave Roberts. "Guys taking walks, we got those guys to use [reliever Josh] Hader in the fifth inning. We just couldn't come up with the big hit."

Maeda has allowed three-run homers in his last two starts, the previous one coming in the seventh inning in Philadelphia.
"I just don't think he was sharp tonight from the get-go," Roberts said of Maeda. "The fastball command just wasn't there. Got behind the eight-ball early, they stressed him. The second and third innings, he was better, but in the fourth inning the fastball velocity was down."
Machado mentioned his strikeout with runners in scoring position, but Taylor also had a pair of chances to make a difference. In addition to striking out with the bases loaded to end the third inning, he popped up with runners on first and second and two outs in the seventh inning.

Grandal went 1-for-3 with two walks and is batting .369 with 11 runs, four doubles, one triple, six homers and 14 RBIs in 21 July games, for a 1.232 OPS. In eight July games at Dodger Stadium, he's hitting .619 with a .742 on-base percentage.
"I just like the at-bat quality. Getting behind in some counts, taking a walk, stressing a pitcher. Every time he gets in there, there's a purpose behind it." -- Roberts, on Machado
Rookie will try to get back on track when he starts for the Dodgers on Tuesday night against the Brewers and left-hander . Buehler came off the disabled list last week and was charged with five runs in 4 2/3 innings in Philadelphia. His last win was June 8. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.