Fully vaccinated Dodger fans celebrated “reopening day,” maskless, as the stadium returned to full capacity for the team’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday night.
Mookie Betts hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and the Dodgers beat the Phillies 5-3 before the largest crowd to attend a professional sports league game in the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Betts led off the seventh by driving an 0-2 changeup from Ranger Suárez (2-1) over the left-center wall to give Los Angeles a 4-3 lead. Betts, who had three hits, also provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth.
The Phillies have lost two straight and also saw slugger Bryce Harper leave the game with lower back stiffness after he took an awkward swing in the fourth.
The Dodgers acquired Betts from the Red Sox in February 2020, so this was the first time he got to play in front of a big crowd at Chavez Ravine.
The game was played before a sellout throng of 52,078 after California lifted many COVID-19 safety measures overnight, including allowing stadiums to go to full capacity.
The first 25,000 fans in attendance received a Justin Turner bobblehead.
Joe Kelly (2-0), the third of five Dodgers pitchers, worked a scoreless seventh to get the win and Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his third save.
The Dodgers got on the board in the first when Gavin Lux got aboard with a one-out single, advanced to third on Justin Turner’s single and scored on Will Smith’s grounder.
Philadelphia quickly evened it in the second when Andrew McCutchen drove Julio Urías’ fastball into the seats in left-center.
The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on RBI doubles by Zach McKinstry and Urías. The Dodgers lead the NL in RBIs by their pitchers with 15, including eight by Urías in his last five starts.
Philadelphia evened it in the fifth by taking advantage of a pair of Dodgers errors. After Alec Brohm led off with a single, Luke Williams reached first on a throwing error by second baseman Chris Taylor. After pitcher Zach Eflin’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Odúbel Herrera’s base hit drove in Brohm. Williams scored to tie it at 3 when left fielder Matt Beaty misplayed the ball.
Urías was trying to become the first 10-game winner in the majors but was plagued by bad fielding. The left-hander allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks. It was only the third no-decision for Urías in 15 starts.
Eflin failed to make it to the sixth inning for only the second time in 13 starts. He went five, allowing three runs and seven hits with two strikeouts.
Phillies: SS Didi Gregorius’ rehab stint at Triple-A Lehigh Valley is on pause after it was determined he has pseudogout in his right elbow. General manager Sam Fuld said on the Phillies Radio Network pregame show that the team is hopeful Gregorius can resume playing before the end of the week.
Dodgers: 1B Yoshi Tsutsugo (calf) has reported to Triple-A Oklahoma City, but manager Dave Roberts said Tsutsugo has not played yet because his luggage hasn’t arrived.
The Dodgers conclude a six-game homestand with LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 3.39 ERA) taking the hill. The Phillies are the only NL team that has a winning record against Kershaw at 5-4. Philadelphia RHP Zack Wheeler (4-3, 2.29) is ninth in the NL in ERA but is 0-1 in his last three starts.