The Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2001. After sweeping the two games at Globe Life Park in Arlington, the Rangers faced the daunting task of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in back-to-back games beginning with the reigning National League MVP on the mound Wednesday.
Shin-Shoo Choo opened the game with a grounder to Adrian Gonzalez, who took it to the bag himself. After Elvis Andrus popped out to shallow left field that Justin Turner tracked down, Kershaw struck out Joey Gallo swinging to end the inning. Batting leadoff for the first time this season, Yasiel Puig doubled down the left field line on the first pitch of his at-bat.
Wandy Rodriguez then walked Chris Heisey before working his way out of the jam. A Gonzalez fly out was followed by Howie Kendrick hitting into a force out at second base that left runners on the corners with two outs. Justin Turner was unable to to get the Dodgers on the board as he flied out to the warning track in right field.
Whereas the Dodgers didn’t capitalize on a leadoff double, the Rangers did in the second. Prince Fielder found the right-center field gap and moved to third on Adam Rosales’ base hit up the middle that got by diving attempts from Kershaw and Kiké Hernandez. Rougned Odor dropped a flare RBI single into center field that scored Fielder, but also resulted in an out at second base.
Kershaw then struck out the next two batters faced to keep the Rangers’ lead at 1-0. The string of extra-base hits continued in the bottom of second as Scott Van Slyke doubled in his first at-bat since being reinstated from the disabled list. A.J. Ellis drew a one-out walk and Kershaw advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. The Dodgers remained scoreless however, as Puig flied out.
Heisey got a bad jump on the ball and it resulted in a leadoff single for Rodriguez as the center fielder’s diving attempt was a step short. Despite getting ahead in the count three-zero, Shoo went down looking three pitches later for the first out in the third. Three pitches later Kershaw had his fifth strikeout of the game.
The Dodgers’ ace wouldn’t make it out of the inning unscathed as Gallo hit a no-doubter halfway up the right field pavilion that extended the Rangers’ lead to 3-0 before the third out was recorded. Gallo robbed Gonzalez of a likely extra-base hit in the bottom of the third as Rodriguez threw a shutdown inning.