Yoan Moncada made his long-awaited debut and represented himself well. He went 0-for-2, but he drew a walk in his first plate appearance, missed extra bases by feet in his second before grounding out, and lined out to center in his third and final trip to the plate. He looked collected at the plate, even when falling behind 0-2 in his first couple of battles against Kenta Maeda.
The nine-pitch walk could have been special, as it put runners on first and second with nobody out. Then Rick Renteria called for Tim Anderson to bunt with two strikes, and he ended up bunting into a 1-5-3 double play. There were three problems with it:
No. 1: Anderson didn’t run as hard as he could have out of the box, and he ended up being out by a half-step.
No. 2: He bunted it too firmly, and it made it an easy force play at third, especially with Matt Davidson running.
No. 3: He bunted it too firmly because Renteria called for a two-strike bunt after the first two batters reached. He didn’t want to strike out, and that happened.
The Sox trailed 2-1 at the time after solo homers in each of the half-innings, and Renteria’s most ridiculous bunt call of the season — and there’s plenty of competition -- sent it careening downhill from there.
Granted, they wouldn’t have prevented the Dodgers’ 11th consecutive win with the way Carlos Rodon pitched tonight. His line tells the story: 3 2⁄3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4 HR. He had little and Dodgers made him pay time and time again.
The Dodgers ramped up the cruelty in the sixth inning. Chris Beck pitched a 1-2-3 fifth, but when he was stretched to try the sixth, it blew up on him. He allowed three smoked doubles for two runs to open the inning before he gave way to David Holmberg, and Holmberg gave up two line-drive singles for a four-run frame. Holmberg did end up getting a strikeout, but left the bases loaded for Juan Minaya after his second walk of the inning.
Thankfully, Minaya induced a double play to end the inning, stopping the damage at four runs, and struck out the side in the seventh to speed up the game. Brad Goldberg took over in the eighth and retired both batters he faced before a driving rain brought this game to an appreciated early ending.
*Melky Cabrera hit his 12th homer of the year as he continues to market himself to potential future teams.
*Rodon’s night could have been even worse if Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward didn’t gift him a run with one of the dumber sends you’ll see.