The Dodgers have weathered injuries to Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux and Tony Gonsolin in less than three weeks.
On Monday night in Seattle, they were dealt a different dose of adversity: a game they never led, their first losing streak of the season, and a heart-stopping hit-by-pitch that sent All-Star Mookie Betts to his knees.
Mariners pitcher Rafael Montero hit Betts on the right forearm with a 95-mph sinker in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss at T-Mobile Park. Betts stayed in the game, only for Corey Seager to hit into a game-ending double play.
Manager Dave Roberts said Betts’ status for Tuesday’s game in Seattle was to be determined.
“Obviously Mookie’s going to want to be in there,” Roberts said. “Gotta make sure it doesn’t affect his throwing or his swing. He’s pretty honest with me. If he feels like he can play he’ll be in there.”
Replays showed that Montero’s pitch hit Betts in the muscular part of his forearm. Roberts described it as a “soft tissue” injury. While it was possible Betts would undergo an MRI scan, those are more frequently indicative of injuries involving “hard tissue,” such as bone.
It was a painful ending to a disappointing game for the Dodgers (13-4), who also lost Sunday in San Diego. Betts, Seager and Justin Turner reached base eight times in 14 plate appearances. The rest of the lineup went 1 for 21 with two walks. They finished 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position as a team.
Starting pitcher Dustin May (1-1) allowed four runs in five innings. Only three were earned, by virtue of an error by second baseman Chris Taylor.
Taylor Trammell, who began the day hitting .152, clubbed a solo home run and hit an RBI double that led to the Mariners’ critical fourth run.
“It was a tough feeling for me,” May said of pitching from behind. “I guess I failed the team today.”
Seager’s third home run of the season gave him bragging rights for a day over his brother, Kyle, the Mariners’ designated hitter who finished 0 for 4.
The Mariners (11-6) got the last laugh.
“We had the winning run on first base in the ninth inning,” Roberts said. “I thought we just got behind the 8-ball a little bit.”
In the bottom of the first inning, May allowed a one-out single to Ty France, followed by a two-out home run to Jose Marmolejos, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Trammell launched his third home run of the season, an opposite-field shot to left-center. The Dodgers quickly trailed 3-0.
Corey Seager got a couple of runs back with one swing. Betts swatted a double against Mariners starter Justus Sheffield (1-1) in the third inning. Seager hit the very next pitch 425 feet to center field for a two-run home run.
The next batter, Turner, worked the count full before hitting a double to left field. But Sheffield struck out Will Smith on three called strikes, stranding the potential tying run at second base. Smith went 0 for 4 out of the cleanup hole.
The Dodgers were still trailing 3-2 in the fourth inning when Luis Torrens hit a routine ground ball to Taylor at second base. The ball caromed off the heel of his glove for an error. With Torrens at first, Trammell sliced a double into right field, driving in the Mariners’ fourth run.
All the run-scoring hits May allowed came against his four-seamer, sinker, and cut fastball. For all its velocity, May said, his fastball was “all over the place.”
Meanwhile, all eight of May’s strikeouts came against his curveball. The right-hander threw 92 pitches and induced 13 swings and misses – eight on the curve.
“It felt right out of the hand today,” May said of the curveball, “so I used it in spots that I felt I could take advantage with it, and it worked today.”
The Dodgers threatened to tie the score in the seventh inning. Betts singled and Seager drew a walk against Mariners reliever Anthony Misiewicz, putting runners on first and second base.
Kendall Graveman relieved Misiewicz, struck out Turner for the second out, and induced a low line drive from Smith. Only a leaping catch by Dylan Moore at third base prevented the ball from landing in the outfield and driving in the game-tying run.
“I thought it might have had a chance to get over,” Smith said.
The Dodgers put only five balls in play that dropped for hits. They’ll hope for better luck with Betts’ test results.
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