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By Jon Weisman
Nothing reverses fortunes like baseball.
For the first 5 1/3 innings of Grant Dayton’s MLB career, the 28-year-old lefty made it look easy, allowing no hits while striking out nine.
Then Philadelphia shortstop Freddy Galvis burst Dayton’s big-league reverie, knocking a three-run home run in the top of the seventh that also U-turned the Dodgers’ brief stay atop the National League West with a 6-2 defeat.
San Francisco edged Miami earlier today, 1-0, and has reopened a one-game lead in the division.
The Dodgers looked like they might bust their game open early, Josh Reddick (2 for 5) scoring with one out in the first inning on Adrian Gonzalez’s double off the leg of first-base umpire Alan Porter.
Moments later, Los Angeles loaded the bases with two out on Joc Pederson’s walk. But Howie Kendrick struck out on a seven-pitch at-bat against Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson, who went on to retire the next 12 Dodgers in a row.
The Dodgers’ next threat came in the sixth inning, after Hellickson left the game with back tightness. Reddick singled for the second time in the game, and Corey Seager went to first after surviving a pitch that hit him in the right wrist. Reddick took third on a Yasmani Grandal fly out.
Seager suddenly took off for second base, and the play became a two-front pickle, with Reddick ultimately 2-6-2-5-6ed out.
To that moment, Dodger starter Scott Kazmir carried the burden with six shutout innings, becoming the first Dodger pitcher to throw that many innings this month. It took less than an inning for the winds to shift.
Philadelphia opened the seventh with a Carlos Ruiz (yes, him) single and Jimmy Paredes walk, ending Kazmir’s afternoon at exactly 100 pitches. Dayton, who had been warming up since the inning began, entered. He struck out Tyler Goeddel, but after fouling off three pitches in a row, Galvis sent a 2-2 fastball out of the park for his 11th homer of the year.
It was the first time the Dodger bullpen had surrendered a lead since Arizona’s seven-run seventh July 29, leading to the first loss by the bullpen since the Cardinals defeated Los Angeles in 16 innings July 22. That was also the date of the Dodgers’ last one-run loss.
Los Angeles did battle back in the bottom of the seventh, when Kendrick doubled and Rob Segedin drove in his sixth career run in his ninth career at-bat. But neither pinch-hitter Justin Turner nor Chase Utley could get Segedin home, nor could Pederson convert with two on and two out in the eighth.
The Phillies then laid down the hammer in the ninth off Kenley Jansen, Ryan Howard’s three-run double sending the Dodger closer’s ERA from 1.28 to 1.82.