Max Muncy's homer in 10th lifts Dodgers over Blue Jays

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES -- Boos accompanied Kenley Jansen's every step back to the dugout. For the sixth time this season, the Dodgers closer had blown a save opportunity. Once again, the home fans let him have it.

During last week's trip, when he tossed two scoreless appearances in nonsave opportunities, it looked as if Jansen had turned a corner after the latest rocky stretch in his inconsistent season.

When the right-hander took the mound Wednesday night, in a game in which starter Walker Buehler threw seven innings for his seventh scoreless start of the season, it looked like Will Smith's fourth-inning home run was all the offense the Dodgers would need.

After striking out the Toronto Blue Jays' leadoff man in the ninth inning, on three pitches no less, it looked as if Jansen would make the team's one-run lead stand up.

But he couldn't put away the left-handed-hitting Rowdy Tellez. Tellez worked the count full, then fouled off a four-seam fastball and a cutter down and in. On the eighth pitch, Jansen tried another cutter inside. Tellez got to it and lined it over the right-field wall.

"Went to the well one too many times," manager Dave Roberts said. "It wasn't a bad pitch, but when you give a guy like that -- who has some power -- multiple looks in the same quadrant, it decreases your margin."


An inning later, Max Muncy bailed out Jansen with a line-drive, walk-off home run against Tim Mayza (1-3). It was his fifth consecutive game with a home run, his 33rd, and gave the Dodgers a 2-1 victory to increase their National League West lead to 20 games.

After launching the low fastball to center field, Muncy glided around the bases and was mobbed at the plate. His jersey was covered with a sports drink and baby powder as he walked off the field.

"I was looking for something out over the plate that I could get extended on," Muncy said. "He left something out there for me."

But the rest of the plotline -- a late blown lead salvaged by a winning rally -- is becoming familiar for the Dodgers.


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