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Dodgers lose to Phillies due to poor defense – Press Enterprise
Dodgers lose to Phillies due to poor defense – Press Enterprise

Alec Bohm (right) of the Philadelphia Phillies is taken out of the game by Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes after attempting to score in the fifth inning on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Dodgers lost 4-3. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA – This time they couldn’t blame the starting pitcher.

Poor defense undermined a solid performance by the team’s accidental ace, Gavin Stone, and led to the decisive runs in the fifth inning as the Philadelphia Phillies inflicted their latest 4-3 loss on the Dodgers on Wednesday night.

For the Dodgers, it was their seventh loss in their last eleven games.

“It’s frustrating,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“I think he (Stone) needs his defense. That’s just the way it is. He’s not going to go out and hit hard every time, and tonight I think he had three strikeouts. There were a lot of balls in play, not a lot of misses. So when you look at some of the plays that we just didn’t come up with, those game-changing plays. It seemed like the ball had eyes today, and that’s baseball.”

The Dodgers’ starting pitchers had a 9.06 ERA during that time, but Stone did his best not to continue that trend Wednesday night, allowing a leadoff home run to Kyle Schwarber in the first inning and a second run in the second when left fielder Miguel Vargas misplayed Brandon Marsh’s drive near the wall.

To avoid further damage in the third inning, Kiké Hernandez started an inning-ending double play from his knees at third base, and when Whit Merrifield entered the game on first in the bottom of the fourth inning, the score was 2-2.

He hit a routine fly ball to center field, but Andy Pages lost it in the dim sky. It fell to the grass behind him and Merrifield raced to third base with a triple.

“It’s twilight and sometimes when it’s up there in the sky, you just lose control,” Roberts said. “(Pages) did a good job out there in the middle of the field and there’s just nothing he could have done. He just made a three-pointer.”

Merrifield was still on third base two batters later. When the infield was back in, Garrett Stubbs hit a ball to Freddie Freeman and Chris Taylor hit a jumped grounder from Schwarber to secure the run and make the second out possible.

But Trea Turner hit a ground ball to Miguel Rojas’ left. The shortstop came up, but he would have had to hurry to catch the speedy Turner. But that didn’t matter. Rojas didn’t catch the ball cleanly. Turner was safe and the decisive point was scored. Alec Bohm followed with a double and a chopped grounder by Bryson Stott brought a second point.

“I make that play nine times out of 10. I think it’s me,” Rojas said. “Not just that play, but the next one when Stott hit the ball toward second base. I think that’s an easier play for me than it is for CT at that moment.”

Turner broke his bat on his grounder, and he’s one of the fastest runners in baseball, but Rojas still thought he could have thrown him out to end the inning with the score still tied.

“Yeah. Even though I was playing in the hole, he hit the ball down the middle, broke his club, whatever. I think I’d have a chance if I put the glove on the ball and made a play,” Rojas said. “I’ve made that play before and I think if I catch it, I’ve got a pretty good chance of getting it out with my arm. I’ve got to make sure I catch the ball.”

By Aurora