Major League Baseball
Dodgers rally to beat Astros 8-7 after Houston reliever Stanek called for balk in 8th
Major League Baseball

Dodgers rally to beat Astros 8-7 after Houston reliever Stanek called for balk in 8th

Published Jun. 24, 2023 11:06 p.m. ET

James Outman scored the go-ahead run on a balk by Houston reliever Ryan Stanek in a messy eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Astros 8-7 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

Stanek, his long blond hair flying, was incensed after striking out Michael Busch to end the inning. He yelled at plate umpire Manny Gonzalez, who tossed Stanek. Manager Dusty Baker came on the field to argue with Gonzalez and was ejected, too.

The Dodgers tied it at 7 in the eighth. Reliever Bryan Abreu (2-2) walked Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and J.D. Martinez to load the bases. Kyle Tucker made a sliding catch into the sun in right field on Jason Heyward’s sacrifice fly that scored Freeman. Smith scored on Outman’s ground-rule double after the ball got stuck in the right field wall.


Second base umpire Junior Valentine called the balk on Stanek, whose right leg appeared to buckle after he looked in for the pitch.

Phil Bickford (2-2) got the victory in relief and Evan Phillips pitched the ninth for his 10th save.

Alex Bregman hit a grand slam to boos in the fifth for the Astros.

Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller got hit hard in the inning, when he gave up five runs and five hits before getting yanked without retiring anyone.

For the second straight game, José Altuve and Bregman were heavily booed by the crowd of 49,281, which chanted "Cheater! Cheater!" at the only two remaining Astros from their 2017 championship team. The Astros were embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal that season when they beat the Dodgers in a seven-game World Series.

The current World Series champions batted around in the fifth. Corey Julks singled leading off, Jake Meyers walked and Altuve reached on a bunt single to first, outrunning Miller to the bag to load the bases.

That set up Bregman, whose sixth career grand slam traveled 369 feet to left field and gave Houston a 5-3 lead.

Houston's other runs came on RBI singles by Altuve in the third and Yanier Diaz in the fifth, and José Abreu's sacrifice fly that scored Altuve in the sixth.

Ronel Blanco allowed three runs and two hits in six innings of his fourth start after nine relief appearances this season. The right-hander struck out six and walked two.

The Dodgers trailed 7-5 in the seventh after David Peralta's pinch-hit, two-run homer on the first pitch from Phil Maton, who hit Jason Heyward with his first pitch of the inning.

The Dodgers got to Blanco for three runs in the first. He then retired the next 16 of his final 17 batters.

Miller gave up six runs and 10 hits in four innings of his second straight poor start. The right-hander struck out three and walked three.

Julks made a spectacular leaping catch in the first, robbing Mookie Betts of a leadoff homer. The left fielder snagged the ball in front of the Dodgers’ bullpen gate and pumped his right fist.

After Freddie Freeman grounded out, Will Smith went deep into the lower left-field seats off Blanco for his 11th homer.

J.D. Martinez walked to set up Heyward, who blasted a 380-foot line drive homer into right field for a 3-0 lead.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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