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Cingrani's 'dead arm,' Baez's balk sink Dodgers

April 28, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- The good thing about starting the longest trip of the year the way the Dodgers did Friday night is that there are still 10 games left to salvage it.A 6-4 loss to the Giants had bad news all over the place.Left fielder Matt Kemp exited with a

SAN FRANCISCO -- The good thing about starting the longest trip of the year the way the Dodgers did Friday night is that there are still 10 games left to salvage it.
A 6-4 loss to the Giants had bad news all over the place.
Left fielder Matt Kemp exited with a tight left quad. Setup reliever Tony Cingrani was charged with four runs in the decisive seventh inning when he lost his velocity, which manager Dave Roberts attributed to a "dead arm." Pedro Baez, who followed Cingrani, was charged with a balk that allowed the tying run to score when his foot got stuck in a muddy mound.
"It's disjointed," Roberts said of his club's play. "You can talk about how hard guys are playing. But it definitely comes down to performance and execution, absolutely. This is enough of a sample and we're too good of a ballclub for things like that to happen. You've got to find ways to get wins."

Despite a day off Thursday and the addition of a 26th man, Walker Buehler, to start the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, the Dodgers are further shorthanded with the injury to Kemp and perhaps another one to Cingrani. Roberts said he wanted to rest Adam Liberatore on Friday for the doubleheader, further limited Friday night's options.
Of course, late-inning nightmares are nothing new to the Dodgers in San Francisco, as Terry Forster can attest. But the Giants' winning rally in the seventh was filled with unforced Dodgers mistakes. It began against Cingrani with a bunt single by Brandon Belt to defeat the defensive shift, and Belt was wild-pitched to second on a throw that took a bite out of catcher Yasmani Grandal, who stayed in the game after an athletic trainer's visit.
Belt was thrown out at third trying to advance on Austin Jackson's grounder to shortstop Enrique Hernandez, but Cingrani walked Brandon Crawford. During that at-bat, CIngrani shook his left arm after a pitch and soon Roberts and a busy trainer convened on the mound.
"I felt really good about Tony in that spot," said Roberts. "Belt with bunt hit. After that, it seemed like it wasn't coming out. As the at-bats kept going on, the velocity seemed to dip a little bit. He worked behind the walk to Crawford. Sent the trainer out, he said he was fine. He just didn't have it tonight. His last pitch was 90 (3 miles an hour slower than earlier in the inning). Took him out of the game as precautionary, saw him in the trainer room, said he had sort of a dead arm and it wasn't coming out tonight."
After a single by Gorkys Hernandez, Cingrani was allowed to face pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson, who doubled inside third base to tie the game at 4. Baez came on to face Joe Panik and, just before delivering a pitch, the shoe spike of his lead foot stuck when it grazed the mound and Baez came tumbling off it, the ball popping loose and rolling on the grass. When Baez picked it up, plate umpire Adrian Johnson called a balk and the go-ahead run scored. Panik's sacrifice fly provided the final run.

"He said his arm felt fine, but the Tomlinson at-bat, I could tell something wasn't quite right," Roberts said of Cingrani, who had stints on the disabled list with shoulder issues in 2014 and 2015 for Cincinnati. "All the tests with the trainers, it's fine. But the ball wasn't coming out. Tomorrow he comes back as long as the strength is there, he plays catch and he'll be ready to go."
This was the first in an 11-game, 10-day trip for the Dodgers that will end with three games in Monterrey, Mexico, against the Padres.
Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed only four hits, struck out seven and left after 5 2/3 innings in position to improve his record to 4-0. At one point he retired 13 of 14 batters and neither of the last two hits he allowed left the infield. And he doubled home half of the Dodgers' runs in a four-run fourth inning.
• Ryu gets it done on mound, at plate

James Farmer, who came into the game batting .214, went 3-for-4 and raised his average to .281. Farmer is 7-for-17 against the Giants in his career.
Chris Taylor didn't get the best jump on the ball, but he still made a spectacular catch with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the bases loaded, sprinting in and diving to catch pinch-hitter Nick Hundley's popup in shallow center. The catch prevented at least two of the runners from scoring.

To make up the rainout of April 6, the clubs will play a split doubleheader Saturday. In the 1:05 p.m. PT opener against Chris Stratton, the Dodgers will recall Buehler, who overcame occasional command issues to throw five scoreless innings against Miami in his first MLB start. In the 7:05 p.m. game against Johnny Cueto, Alex Wood will continue the search for the fastball velocity that made him so effective in the first half last year.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for since 2001.