Bullpen meets pregame, hopes to improve

Relievers give up two late runs Wednesday, but Mattingly staying positive

Bullpen meets pregame, hopes to improve

OAKLAND -- Dodgers bullpen coach Chuck Crim called a pregame relievers meeting on the field, which was otherwise empty with no batting practice and a day game scheduled, the morning before Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the A's.

It came in the wake of Tuesday night's giveaway, walk-off 5-4 loss to Oakland.

"That was the tipping point," said Crim. "I was up thinking about it all night."

Crim said he was particularly frustrated that the club wasted another strong start by Clayton Kershaw. Then on Wednesday, after the meeting, the bullpen allowed two more late runs that were charged to Jim Johnson, although they scored with Luis Avilan and Pedro Baez on the mound.

The runs charged to Johnson reached base on a "dribbler up the middle and a bunt [single]," manager Don Mattingly said, but Johnson also issued a walk to load the bases with no outs before striking out Danny Valencia and turning things over to Avilan.

Mattingly accentuated the positive, noting that Chris Hatcher retired the four batters he faced on balls that didn't leave the infield.

All of this followed 5 2/3 innings from starter Alex Wood, who shook off a first-inning run with four scoreless innings, then allowed two more runs in the sixth inning, when better defense behind him might have kept the game closer.

"He kept us in the game," Mattingly said. "It seemed that inning, all of a sudden, he hit the wall. But we didn't do anything with [Jesse Chavez]. We didn't get anything going."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.