LOS ANGELES ? The Dodgers played down to the level of their last opponent during their recent road trip. They had a chance to do so again on Friday night, when the Detroit Tigers visited Dodger Stadium to begin a five-game homestand.
Instead, they turned back into the Dodgers – a team that could, hit, run, field, and guarantee championships on the strength of a near-$300 million payroll. They seized an early lead en route to a 5-1 victory, halting a two-game losing streak before an announced crowd of 49,394.
Tyler Anderson (2-0) cruised through five innings to win his first game since replacing injured left-hander Andrew Heaney in the starting rotation. Chris Taylor hit his first home run of the season, a 441-foot rocket to left-center field against Tigers starter Tyler Alexander (0-3). Justin Turner also hit his first homer of 2022 for the Dodgers (13-6). Four relievers closed out the win.
The Dodgers’ defense was a comedy of errors while losing three of four games to the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Friday, they turned two double plays and benefitted from two stellar catches by center fielder Cody Bellinger – one coming in on a ball, one going back. The game ended when second baseman Gavin Lux, whose shaky glovework thwarted a few routine outs against the Diamondbacks, stopped a grounder in shallow right field and threw out Austin Meadows by a half-step in one motion.
Anderson allowed five hits, walked one batter and struck out three. His fastball command improved greatly over his first start of the season, six days earlier in San Diego, and helped him set up a changeup that got several swings and misses on pitches out of the zone. The veteran left-hander has a 2.55 ERA after four games (two starts).
Trea Turner walked and stole a base in his final plate appearance, extending his on-base streak to 38 games.
The Dodgers never trailed after Justin Turner’s two-run homer in the first inning. Taylor’s homer sailed 441 feet per Statcast – 60 feet longer than any other ball hit under a heavy marine layer.
Evan Phillips, Phil Bickford, Brusdar Graterol and Reyes Moronta each threw a scoreless inning.
Detroit (6-13) got its only run in the third inning on an RBI single by Baez.
More to come on this story.