CLEVELAND — Andrew Miller escaped a crucial bases-loaded jam but later allowed the first home run off him since Game 7 of last year's World Series, as the Indians fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
Miller (3-1) entered in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, relieving Trevor Bauer in a 2-2 tie. As he has so consistently, Miller erased the threat, striking out Yasiel Puig with a slider to keep it tied.
In the eighth, though, Cody Bellinger became the first hitter since the Chicago Cubs' David Ross in Game 7 to homer off Miller, drilling a solo shot to right field to put the Dodgers up, 3-2. From there, the Dodgers cruised.
The Dodgers (40-25) added on later in the inning. Chris Taylor walked and later scored via a throwing error on Jason Kipnis that made it 4-2. And in the ninth, Bellinger struck again in what proved to be the decisive blow, blasting a three-run home run off Boone Logan that put the game out of reach.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Daniel Robertson drilled a three-run home run to the Home Run Porch off Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher in left field to make 7-5, but closer Kenley Jansen (12 saves) quickly ended any threat of a complete comeback by striking out Kipnis to close out the game.
Earlier in the game, Puig drove a two-run home run off Bauer to put the Dodgers up 2-0 that ended with Puig appearing to flip off the Indians' crowd as he rounded the bases. Bauer lasted 52/3 innings, gave up two runs on six hits and three walks and struck out five.
The Indians (31-30) were able to do some damage against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (9-2), Bauer's counterpart and the best pitcher in the game today. Daniel Robertson led off the third inning with a double to left field before Kershaw easily recorded the next two outs. Trying to take advantage of the type of scoring chance that doesn't often present itself against Kershaw, Michael Brantley roped a mislocated pitch into right field for a single that cut the Dodgers' early lead to 2-1.
Two innings later, a display of power from Roberto Perez the Indians haven't seen since last October. Perez has struggled offensively all season and had yet to hit a home run. As unpredictable as baseball can be, Perez belted a 430-foot, no-doubter home run to tie it 2-2. Per Statcast, that home run, which had an exit velocity of 110 mph, was the second-hardest home run hit off Kershaw since the beginning of 2015. The last time Perez hit a home run in a game that counted was in the World Series.
Unfortunately for the Indians, Perez's blast wasn't the only unlikely home run of the night, with Bellinger's solo shot eventually giving the Dodgers the upper hand.
(c)2017 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.