Dodgers look to power Walker Buehler to win vs. Rangers

Wed Jun 12 8:38am ET
Field Level Media

After winning the first two games of a three-game series on the road against the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers are poised for the same outcome Wednesday night at home against the Texas Rangers.

The Dodgers dominated the series opener Tuesday with a 15-2 victory over the Rangers after hitting four home runs in a seven-run sixth inning. Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Teoscar Hernandez and Jason Heyward all went deep in the frame.

Will Smith had a three-run home run in the first inning for Los Angeles and Mookie Betts had a three-run double in the fourth. Nearly lost in the avalanche of runs was a strong outing from left-hander James Paxton, who gave up one run on two hits and two walks over six innings to earn the win.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers will send right-hander Walker Buehler (1-3, 4.82 ERA) to the mound.

Despite playing well this season, the Dodgers still are looking for more consistency from the offense.

"I think there's a little bit better conviction, at-bat quality," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "We ran into some really good arms on the road and navigated our way through that. Tonight, I just thought they won a lot of at-bats, pitches."

Buehler is in search of his own consistency as he makes his seventh start since spending nearly two full years away after his second Tommy John surgery. Since earning his only win of the season May 18 with six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds, he is 0-2 with a 5.52 ERA over his next three outings.

On Thursday at Pittsburgh, Buehler gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits in a season-low three innings as the Dodgers struggled on defense but still won 11-7.

"This game is hard, and when I make 30 pitches an inning, it's hard for everybody to be on their toes all the time," said Buehler, who is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the Rangers. "So, at the end of the day, being a starting pitcher, a lot of that kind of boils down to me."

The Rangers were without former Dodger Corey Seager for a fourth consecutive game because of a left hamstring strain, and his availability Wednesday remains in doubt.

"Obviously you want to be out there with your guys and probably a little more just because it's the first time (against the Dodgers this season)," Seager said.

Not even Seager could have made the difference Tuesday. The only Texas offense came on a sacrifice fly and a home run from Ezequiel Duran.

Rangers starter Dane Dunning was tagged for six runs in 3 2/3 innings, while reliever Grant Anderson gave up seven runs in just two-thirds of an inning. The only Texas pitcher who did not give up a run was catcher Andrew Knizner, who went the final 1 2/3 hitless innings.

"These games aren't fun; no getting around it," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "We have to put it behind us. This is a tough team, and if you get behind, they'll make you pay for it."

Rangers right-hander Jon Gray (2-2, 2.12 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start since May 21. He spent time on the injured list with a right groin strain and returned Saturday with a scoreless 2 1/3 innings of relief against the San Francisco Giants in a 3-1 Texas loss.

Gray knows all about the Dodgers, spending seven seasons in the National League West with the Colorado Rockies. He is 5-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 20 career starts against Los Angeles.

TEX LogoTexas Rangers
LAD LogoLos Angeles Dodgers

Wed Jun 12 10:10pm ET