Dodgers, Mariners gear up for series between playoff contenders
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners both had Thursday off entering their three-game series at Safeco Field.
And they needed it after extra-inning victories Wednesday that snapped losing streaks.
The Dodgers ended a five-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants in 12 innings. Brian Dozier's sacrifice fly brought home the winning run.
"Last I checked, the majority of winning streaks always come after a loss, right?" Dozier told MLB.com. "That's the thing with baseball, it flips just like that. Hopefully, we can reel off a few in a row."
The Mariners are hoping for the same thing.
After sweeping a four-game series in Houston, the Mariners lost two in a row in Oakland before Dee Gordon's two-run homer in the 12th inning gave them a 2-0 victory over the Athletics, who Seattle is now chasing for the American League's second and final wild-card playoff berth.
It was just the second home run of the season for Gordon, who is tied for the American League lead with 27 stolen bases.
"I got lucky," Gordon said. "I thought it was gone, but I'm not going to lie. They've been catching everything we hit, so ... "
Gordon kissed each of his biceps as he crossed home plate, a signal to teammates who kid him about his 168-pound frame.
"They've been calling me skinny, so I had to let 'em know I've got some guns," Gordon said. "And it was a big situation. The 12th inning in a playoff race? We're just having fun."
The victory pulled the Mariners within 2 1/ 2 games of the streaking A's.
"We dug down. We needed to get this ballgame (Wednesday)," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We went 6-4 on the road and come back home. It's not going to get any easier, but we're starting to play with confidence again, some swag to our team. You need to win these games late, and we've been good at it."
Dodgers rookie right-hander Walker Buehler (5-4, 3.32 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night's series opener against Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc (7-2, 3.80).
Buehler will face Seattle for the first time. LeBlanc is 1-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Dodgers, including nine starts.
The Mariners got eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano back in the lineup Tuesday after he served an 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. Cano went 3-for-9 in his first two games back, playing first base for the first time in his career.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig will miss the first two games of the series -- barring an appeal -- after being suspended Thursday by MLB for inciting a bench-clearing incident in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to San Francisco.
In the seventh inning, Puig expressed frustration after fouling off a pitch and he and Giants catcher Nick Hundley proceeded to exchange heated words.
"When I missed the pitch, I knew that was the best pitch (Tony) Watson was going to throw me, so I was a little upset," Puig said after the game through an interpreter.
"(Hundley) told me to stop complaining and get back into the box, and when I got into his face, he told me to also get out of his face, so that's when I got upset.
"I didn't like that he was telling me what to do, and then he said some words to me in English that I really can't repeat. That's why I was upset."
Updated August 16, 2018