LOS ANGELES (AP) One pitch, two replays, three outs.
”I’ve seen triple plays, but none quite like that,” Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp said Tuesday night. ”I guess there’s a first time for everything.”
The Cleveland Indians turned an unorthodox triple play that required a pair of video reviews, and David Murphy broke out of a 1-for-44 slump with three hits and two RBIs in a 10-3 victory over Los Angeles.
Lonnie Chisenhall started things off for Cleveland with a two-run homer against Josh Beckett (5-5). Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes also drove in two runs apiece for the Indians, held to one hit in back-to-back shutout losses to the Mariners and Dodgers.
The dormant Cleveland lineup finally came out of its shell – so much so that Justin Masterson was all smiles after one of his shortest outings this season.
”The offense was great and the bullpen was great,” Masterson said. ”I think we as a team feel very fortunate. We hadn’t been hitting as well as we would have liked to the last few games. And to be able to put up runs like that, I think everyone was really excited.”
This was the Dodgers’ seventh attempt at their first four-game winning streak of the season. They haven’t won more than three in a row since a six-game stretch from Aug. 25 to Sept. 3 last season.
As a result, they got knocked back into second place in the NL West one night after overtaking San Francisco.
Rookie left-hander Kyle Crockett (2-0) got the win with an inning of one-hit relief, after Masterson failed to get through the fourth with a 5-2 lead. All three of Crockett’s outs came on the triple play.
The Dodgers opened the fourth with Beckett’s second double, followed by a bunt hit by Dee Gordon and an RBI single by Yasiel Puig that chased Masterson.
Crockett, the second of seven pitchers used by manager Terry Francona, came on and Adrian Gonzalez lifted a fly to left fielder Michael Brantley, who threw out Gordon at the plate. Gomes then noticed Puig breaking for second and fired to Jason Kipnis for the tag on Puig as he went in headfirst.
Francona challenged the original safe call by second base umpire Paul Nauert and got the ruling overturned, giving the Indians three outs on one play after a replay delay that lasted 1 minute, 29 seconds. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then came out to challenge the call at the plate by Adrian Johnson, and that call stood after another wait of 1 minute, 34 seconds.
”I don’t think that play itself was frustrating at all,” Gonzalez said. ”It was just two guys trying to be aggressive – one guy trying to score and the other guy trying to get into scoring position with two outs, and they made the right throws. The only thing that matters is that we lost the game. We had them on the ropes in other innings, too. But regardless of what we did with their starter, we didn’t do much as far as winning the game.”
Masterson was charged with three runs, seven hits and three walks in three-plus innings. The right-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in each of the first two innings, after his 18th start of the season was delayed two days because of a sore knee.
”We punched some tickets, so I’d say I was decently happy with the way things took place,” said Masterson, who struck out seven. ”I didn’t go as far as I would have liked, but I was pretty happy.”
Beckett had two doubles, his first extra-base hits this season. But he gave up a season-worst five runs and six hits in five innings while striking out five. The right-hander, who pitched a no-hitter at Philadelphia on May 25, is 2-4 in seven starts since then despite a 2.51 ERA.
Masterson threw 37 pitches in the first inning and came out of it with a 3-2 lead after giving up a double to Puig and an opposite-field homer to left-center by Gonzalez – his 14th this season and second in 37 games.
Masterson needed another 25 pitches to get through the second unscathed. He struck out Puig, then intentionally walked Gonzalez to load the bases before fanning Kemp and retiring Andre Ethier on a grounder.
”We had plenty of chances to win the game,” Kemp said. ”I mean, I can’t strike out right there. I’ve got to at least put the ball in play and make something happen.”
The Dodgers had the bags full again in the fifth with none out before Vinnie Pestano struck out Drew Butera and pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez. Clint Robinson, whose first major league hit and RBI provided the only run in Dan Haren’s 1-0 win Monday, batted for Beckett and struck out against Marc Rzepczynski.
NOTES: The Indians had never been held to one hit in consecutive games in their 113-year history until Monday. … Butera has caught 10 of Beckett’s last 11 starts, including the no-hitter. … The Dodgers are batting .145 in bases-loaded situations (8 for 55). … Dodgers starting pitchers have issued fewer than three walks in 35 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the majors since a 36-game stretch by the 2005 Minnesota Twins – and the longest for an NL club since 1914.