Dodgers ride 8th-inning rally to defeat Jays

Dodgers ride 8th-inning rally to defeat Jays

TORONTO -- After a no-decision duel by starting pitchers Ross Stripling and Marco Estrada, the Dodgers took Sunday's rubber game of the three-game Interleague series over the Blue Jays, 4-2.

Toronto scored in the third inning on Ryan Goins' fielder's-choice grounder after a leadoff double by Kevin Pillar. Joc Pederson tied the game with a two-out solo homer off Estrada in the seventh. Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher allowed a seventh-inning, two-out single to Justin Smoak and walked Troy Tulowitzki before Pillar singled. Smoak was held at third but scored when right fielder Trayce Thompson couldn't cleanly field the bouncer for an error.

But the Dodgers scored twice in the eighth. Toronto reliever Drew Storen walked Chase Utley leading off, and Corey Seager followed with a ground-rule double. The Dodgers tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal off Roberto Osuna, and Howie Kendrick followed with the tie-breaking line single. Seager added an insurance RBI single in the ninth.

"Our at-bats are getting better, the quality throughout the lineup," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose club struggled through a six-game losing streak before this week's trip to Tampa Bay and Toronto. "Before that, there was a lot of inconsistency."

Stripling allowed one run on one hit in six innings with six strikeouts. Estrada allowed one run on three hits over seven innings with eight strikeouts. Hatcher got the win, and Pedro Baez struck out a pair before Kenley Jansen recored a four-out save, his 11th.

Stripling's impressive start

"We're going to turn things around, this team is too good not to," Estrada said. "We faced really tough pitching over there, and that's what happened. They showed what they can do, pitching-wise, and they did a really good job, so you just tip your hat to that and move on to the next one."

Estrada's dominant start

Bullpen woes: Nursing a 2-1 lead, John Gibbons turned to reliever Storen against the top of the Dodgers' order to start the eighth. Storen got the hook after allowing a walk and a double, and both inherited runners scored in the inning off Osuna. The Blue Jays' bullpen has now blown six of their 14 save opportunities and lost their Major League-leading 10th game.

Grandal's game-tying sac fly

"We do need him," the Blue Jays manager said about Storen. "What hurt him tonight was the leadoff walk, and it was the same thing the last night, but that time he got out of it and ended up getting the save."

Out of position: Kendrick, starting at first base for the first time since 2011, made a diving stop of Goins' smash playing in with one out in the third inning. But Kendrick was still on the ground while trying to throw home, and Pillar was able to score from third base.

Smoak scores a go-ahead run

Roberts said he considered putting designated hitter Adrian Gonzalez at first base in the ninth inning and forfeiting the DH, but instead kept Kendrick at first.

Pillar time: After starting the season in a 9-for-48 funk, Pillar continued his hot stretch with his 12th multihit game. Pillar doubled and scored the first run of the game in the third, and then singled with two on and two out in the seventh, forcing Thompson's bobble and allowing Smoak to give the Blue Jays a temporary 2-1 advantage. Pillar finished the afternoon 2-for-4 and saw his average bump up to .301 for the season.

Goins' RBI grounder

Joc out of the park: Pederson's seventh-inning home run was a team-leading sixth. He had nine at this point a year ago en route to 20 at the break and an All-Star berth.

Pederson's solo shot

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"With eight days off, just wanted to attack. Last few outings, I feel I've been average and just been been begging for strikes instead of attacking. Had some walks, and that's uncharacteristic for me. Yeah, these guys are great hitters, but I don't want to give them anything. Just pump strikes." -- Stripling, after not issuing a walk for the first time despite eight days of rest

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Dodgers: Scott Kazmir (2-2, 5.68 ERA), who starts for the Dodgers in Monday night's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Mets at Dodger Stadium, is coming off his 100th career win, against Tampa Bay. He flew back from Toronto ahead of the club.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.82 ERA) will take the mound on Monday when Toronto opens a three-game series in San Francisco against the Giants at 10:15 p.m. ET. Sanchez has never faced the Giants before, but he is coming off a solid performance, in which he threw seven innings of three-run ball in a no-decision against Texas.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.