After 2-strike intentional walk, Muncy powers Dodgers
CHICAGO (AP) —
Max Muncy broke open the game with a three-run homer in the sixth inning after White Sox manager Tony La Russa ordered an intentional walk to Trea Turner with a 1-2 count, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Chicago 11-9 Thursday.
Muncy had five RBIs in his return after missing 11 games with left elbow inflammation. He entered hitting .150 to Turner’s .303.
“The baseball mind in me gets it,” Muncy said. “Obviously, my year has sucked up to this point. Trea’s been really good.”
“At the moment, I was animated and I’ll just leave it at that,” Muncy added. “But at the same time, I don’t know if walking someone with two strikes is every the right move.
“It kind of gave me something that I really haven’t had a lot of this year,” he said. “In the past I’ve always been the guy who very fiery and had a lot of edge. To kind of get that back felt really good, to be honest.”
Los Angeles trailed 4-0 before a six-run fifth and took a 7-5 lead when Freddie Freeman hit an RBI single in the sixth off Bennett Sousa. a 27-year-old rookie left-hander.
Sousa bounced an 0-2 slider for a wild pitch that allowed Freeman to take second. Wanting to set up a left-on-left matchup, La Russa ordered the intentional walk to the right-handed-hitting Turner, who had singled in a run in the fifth.
“He’s got two strikes, Tony!” a fan yelled.
“I was just confused,” Turner said. “I didn’t know if I should go to first or not, but I guess they liked the matchup.”
Muncy, whose two-run double off Dylan Cease put the Dodgers ahead 5-4 in the fifth, worked the count to 2-2 and sliced a slider to the opposite field and into the left-field seats, his fourth home run this season.
“Is there some question about whether that was good move or not?” said La Russa, a 77-year old Hall of Famer. “Do you know what (Turner) hits against left-handed pitching with 0-1 or two strikes? Do you know what Muncy hits with two strikes against a left-handed pitcher? Is that really a question? We had an open base and Muncy happened to be the guy behind him and that’s a better matchup. That wasn’t a tough call.”
Gavin Lux had four hits, including an RBI double, and scored twice. Freddie Freeman had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double in the fifth. All the runs off Cease were unearned due to third baseman Jake Burger’s fielding error on Austin Barnes’ sharp grounder.
Chicago closed with two runs against Daniel Hudson, who needed 35 pitches to get though the ninth. With two on and one out, Yasmani Grandal popped out, and pinch- hitter Gavin Sheets followed with a strikeout.
Tyler Anderson was seeking to become the major leagues’ first eight-game winner but allowed four runs, four hits and three walks in three-plus innings in his shortest start this season. The White Sox stopped Anderson’s string of scoreless innings at 28.
“Starting with Tyler, it was a grind,” Dodgers manager David Roberts said. “They were taking long at-bats and getting his pitch count up.”
Brusdar Graterol (2-2) relieved with the bases loaded, hit Adam Engel with a pitch and allowed Josh Harrison’s sacrfice fly.
Cease (4-3) threw 110 pitches while giving up six hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.
Dodgers: To make roster room for Muncy, the Dodgers optioned INF/OF Zach McKinstry to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
White Sox: Manager Tony La Russa said LHP Lance Lynn (right knee surgery) would be assessed over the next couple of days after making his third rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday. Lynn allowed seven runs — four earned — and eight hits over three innings while throwing 77 pitches.
Dodgers: Scuffling RHP Walker Buehler (6-2, 3.84) starts in San Francisco on Friday night. The two-time All-Star has allowed nine runs in 8 1/3 innings over his last two outings and was chased after 2 1/3 innings by the Mets last Saturday in the shortest start of his big league career. Buehler worked on delivery issues in a bullpen session in Chicago on Wednesday.
White Sox: Rookie RHP Davis Martin (0-2, 4.35) faces Texas RHP Glenn Otto (4-2, 4.24).
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