Timely hitting and strong starting pitching put the Los Angeles Dodgers on top in the NL West, but they fell short in those areas to end their winning streak.
Following a brief stay atop the division, the Dodgers will try get back on track with Hyun-jin Ryu taking the mound Wednesday against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
Trailing first-place San Francisco by 9 1/2 games on June 8, Los Angeles starters posted a 2.17 ERA during a 16-6 stretch that moved them ahead of the reeling Giants. The offense also played a role, hitting .308 with runners in scoring position.
Josh Beckett, however, wasn’t able to continue that success on the mound Tuesday, allowing five runs over five innings in a 10-3 loss that kept the Dodgers (48-38) from winning four straight for the first time in 2014.
Though they went 5 for 13 with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers were 0 for 6 with the bases loaded over the first, second and fifth innings. They’ve gone 8 for 55 (.145) in bases-loaded situations on the season.
"We had plenty of chances to win the game," said slugger Matt Kemp, who struck out with the bases full in the second. "I mean, I can’t strike out right there. I’ve got to at least put the ball in play and make something happen."
Los Angeles fell into second place with San Francisco’s win over St. Louis and now turns to Ryu (9-4, 3.12 ERA), who can reach double-digit wins for a second year in a row.
The left-hander has allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of 15 starts, but has received two runs of support in his four defeats. He gave up three runs over seven innings in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Cardinals that snapped a three-start home winning streak.
Ryu gets his first look at a Cleveland team that put up its highest run total since June 9 after getting held to one hit in back-to-back shutout losses. Yan Gomes and Nick Swisher each went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Lonnie Chisenhall – hitting .344 on the season – homered as the Indians (40-43) evened this three-game set.
David Murphy, who had been in a 1-for-44 slump, had three hits and two RBIs.
The Indians will try to continue that production for Trevor Bauer (2-4, 4.39) after the right-hander received just three runs of support in his last two starts.
Cleveland has dropped four of Bauer’s last five outings. He allowed three runs and a season-high nine hits over 6 1-3 innings in Friday’s 3-2 loss at Seattle. Bauer has particularly struggled on the road, going 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in four starts.
"I don’t really think I’ve done a good job myself," Bauer told MLB’s official website. "That’s what’s most frustrating."
In his only career start against the Dodgers, Bauer surrendered two hits over six innings in a 7-1 home win July 8, 2012.
He’ll likely have to deal with Adrian Gonzalez after the slugger hit his 14th home run Tuesday. Gonzalez is 5 for 11 in his last three games and batting .364 in his last 12 versus Cleveland.
Dee Gordon has four three-hit games in his last seven, going 15 for 30 over that span.
Hanley Ramirez, who served as a pinch-hitter Tuesday, has started once during the team’s seven-game homestand due to a calf injury. He’s expected to return to the lineup before the All-Star break.