Mookie Betts’ two-run homer highlighted a four-run fifth inning, Chris Taylor added a three-run shot, and the Dodgers defeated Houston 8-1 on Sunday night with angry Los Angeles fans letting the Astros have it again.
The Dodgers took three of four in this shortened season from the team that beat them in the 2017 World Series, after which the Astros’ cheating scandal was revealed. Even with fans banned because of the coronavrius pandemic, they made their feelings known.
For the second straight day, the Astros were bombarded with messages towed by planes over Dodger Stadium. “Steal This Sign Astros” read one. “Astros Cheated! Never Forget! Go Dodgers” and “Hey Astros Try Stealing This Sign!” read others.
Surely, Los Angeles fans were even more piqued after the Dodgers blew a three-run lead and closer Kenley Jansen was charged with five runs in the ninth without recording an out in a 7-5 loss on Saturday.
The bullpen redeemed itself Sunday, helping the Dodgers avoid their first three-game skid of the season.
Eight relievers combined on a four-hitter. Brusdar Graterol opened with an inning of one-hit ball, striking out three. Jansen retired the side in the ninth, setting down Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick and Martin Maldonado — each of whom burned him in the same inning a night earlier.
Victor González (3-0) got the win with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
Taylor slugged a three-run homer into left field with two outs in the eighth, extending the lead to 8-1.
Kiké Hernández had a two-run single and Betts followed with his 15th homer. Betts’ blast hit off the top of the wall in right, narrowly eluding the outstretched glove of George Springer, who punched the air with his right arm in frustration.
Springer responded with a leadoff homer in the sixth. The Astros didn’t have more than one runner on until the seventh. Alex Wood allowed a single to Martin Maldonado and hit Abraham Toro before getting the final two outs.
The Dodgers led 1-0 on AJ Pollock’s 10th homer with two outs in the first.
Zack Greinke (3-2) gave up five runs — his five earned runs were a season high — and eight hits in five innings of his second straight loss. He struck out three and walked none against his former team.
Houston finished 2-9 on its 11-game road trip, and dropped to 23-24 overall and 7-18 on the road.
Astros: 1B Yuri Gurriel got the day off after hurting his hand while attempting to steal second on Saturday. … 2B Aledmys Diaz also had the day off after tweaking his quad when he scored in the ninth on Saturday. Both Gurriel and Diaz are expected back on Tuesday or Wednesday. … OF Kyle Tucker wasn’t in the lineup after going 0 for 5 on Saturday. He batted .216 (8 for 37) with two homers and seven RBIs on the road trip.
Dodgers: RHP Dustin May tossed a side and depending on how he responds could start Wednesday in San Diego. He took a line drive off his left foot at Arizona. … RHP Joe Kelly (right shoulder inflammation) will throw a bullpen on the off day Monday and could be activated later in the week. … 3B Justin Turner (strained left hamstring) did some work on the field, running bases and taking grounders at third.
Turner was recognized on the field by manager Dave Roberts as the Dodgers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. It honors the major leaguer who best represents the game through character, community involvement and philanthropy and is decided through fan voting.
Astros: Open a three-game set at Texas on Tuesday.
Dodgers: Begin a three-game series at San Diego on Monday in a showdown between the NL West’s top teams.