ST. LOUIS — You can’t expect to come back from five-run deficits every game.
The Dodgers nearly did, falling behind 6-1 after four innings on Tuesday night before mounting a comeback that came up short in a 7-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Dodgers made it a one-run game in the seventh inning and again in the ninth – and even had the bases loaded with no outs in that seventh – but couldn’t get the tying run across.
The loss snapped a season-high seven-game winning streak – the Dodgers’ third seven-game winning streak this season.
They came from behind in each of the last three wins during that streak, including overcoming an 8-3 deficit against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
For the most part, when they have turned to Mitch White as a fill-in starter, the young right-hander has pitched well enough to keep the Dodgers in games and give them a chance to win.
This wasn’t one of those times.
White became both the 446th pitcher to give up a home run to Albert Pujols and the eighth pitcher to give up a home run to Nolan Gorman, allowing six runs in the first four innings.
Pujols’ 685th career home run – a line drive into the left-field seats – started the scoring with two outs in the second inning. Four consecutive hits followed to produce two more runs.
Gorman’s home run came in the next inning and four more hits produced two more runs in the fourth inning. White exited after five innings having allowed a career-high 10 hits.
The Dodgers’ comeback attempt started with an RBI double by Freddie Freeman in the third inning – the last of six consecutive plate appearances in which he had a hit.
Mookie Betts led off the fifth with a single and scored when Trea Turner bounced a two-run home run off the foul pole in left field. Hanser Alberto led off the sixth with a double and came around to score on back-to-back ground outs.
The Dodgers made it a one-run game in the seventh after winning a replay challenge and getting Turner on base with a catcher’s interference call. Freeman followed with his third hit of the game (a single) and Will Smith drove Turner in with an RBI single.
Justin Turner worked a walk to load the bases with no outs against right-hander Junior Fernandez who retired just two of the six batters he faced. The Dodgers sent up left-handed Max Muncy to pinch-hit against Fernandez – giving Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol a perfect excuse to pull the struggling Fernandez and replace him with left-hander Packy Naughton.
Naughton fell behind 3-and-1 against Muncy but got him to pop up to shallow center field, Freeman holding at third. Freeman had to hold again when Alberto hit a shallow fly to left. Cody Bellinger worked Naughton for seven pitches but finally swung and missed at a 95 mph fastball, striking out to strand the bases loaded.
The Cardinals scored an insurance run off David Price in the eighth and needed it when Freeman led off the ninth with a home run that made it a one-run game again.
It was Freeman’s second consecutive four-hit game and he is batting .375 (36 for 96) over his past 23 games. But the Dodgers went out in order after his homer.
More to come on this story.