Brian Dozier and Manny Machado were not Dodgers last year. Walker Buehler spent much of last season in the minors. Yet they were the key components of Los Angeles' 3-2 "revenge" victory over the World Series Champs on Sunday as Los Angeles salvaged the final game of the three-game series, snapping Houston's four-game winning streak. The Astros are now 4-2 on their West Coast trip that has one more stop before the flight home.
Kemp: Greets Cole after HR
(c) Associated Press
Oakland completed their sweep of Detroit to move within four games of the Astros while Seattle moved back to 6-1/2 games out.
George Springer opened the game with a solo homer to center off Buehler. In the third, however, Springer injured his left thumb sliding into second base. Although x-rays were negative, the Astros have not ruled out a trip to the disabled list as he also heals from a sore shoulder suffered in Seattle.
Also on the injury front, Jose Altuve was sent back to Houston on Sunday to have his injured knee re-evaluated. He had already been ruled out for the upcoming series and the Astros are not calling this a setback.
The Dodgers took the lead in the bottom of the first off Gerrit Cole when Dozier, who was acquired at the trade deadline from Minnesota, spanked a liner into left center that was missed by a diving Springer. Joc Pedersaon and Machado both scored on the play. Machado singled again in the third and scored on a double from Cody Bellinger to give L.A. a 3-1 advantage.
Tony Kemp drilled a solo homer to bring the Astros within a run but the Astros could not mount the sort of rally that came so easy to them Saturday night when they posted 13 runs in the final four frames. Instead, the Astros could muster just one hit off a trio of relievers - a leadoff single by Tyler White in the ninth that Kenley Jansen calmly converted into his 31st save.
The quest for a reliable closer is why the Astros struck a deadline trade with Toronto for closer Roberto Osuna. He had been on a 75-day suspension for violating baseball's policy on domestic abuse stemming from an incident while in Canada. On Sunday, Osuna was activated onto the active roster when Lance McCullers was moved to the disabled list due to his injured right elbow.
The Astros front office released a statement Sunday that largely reiterated what they said the day of the trade but emphasized there is a zero tolerance policy on abuse now that Osuna is an employee of the Astros. Osuna still faces charges in Canada that carry a possible six month jail sentence although experts say it is doubtful his punishment will be that severe. His trial is scheduled for September 5th and his attorney says he is expected to plead not guilty to the charges.
Osuna did not pitch Sunday and it does not appear as if he was made available to the media for interviews.
The West Coast trip continues with a two-day venture to San Francisco and a matchup with the 57-56 Giants. Charlie Morton (12-2) is scheduled to pitch the 9:15 pm Central opner Monday night against righthander Dereck Rodriguez (5-1), a pitcher no Astro player has faced on the big league level.