Dylan Moore wasn’t supposed to be at third base Monday night until Ty France’s injury forced some shuffling of Seattle’s infield.
The Mariners were fortunate Moore was there for one of the crucial moments of their 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Moore thwarted a Dodgers rally with a terrific defensive play to end the seventh inning on a night the Mariners used a couple long balls off Dodgers starter Dustin May, a strong start by Justus Sheffield and a solid bullpen effort to come out on top in a matchup of early season division leaders.
“He has a knack for making plays,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s super athletic. You see the diving plays, and he finishes plays. A lot of guys dive and knock it down but the ball kicks out of their glove. Doesn’t happen so much with Dylan.”
Seattle handed the Dodgers a second straight loss, the first time on the young season Los Angeles dropped consecutive games. Rookie Taylor Trammell homered and added a key RBI double, but it was Moore’s catch and the performance of Seattle’s bullpen that was on the Mariners’ minds afterward.
Seattle’s four relievers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings with one hits, two walks and one hit batter.
“It goes to show what our bullpen is, how much talent we have down there,” Sheffield said. “When they get ahead it’s just tough on the hitter.”
When France was lifted, Sam Haggerty initially jogged to third base. But Servais quickly swapped Haggerty and Moore, who had been at second. It proved to be the right decision.
The Dodgers threatened in the seventh with two runners on and one out, but Kendall Graveman struck out Justin Turner and Moore made a leaping catch at third base to rob Will Smith of a base hit that would have tied it.
“The Will Smith liner … it could have been a different game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Los Angeles threatened again in the ninth against closer Rafael Montero after a walk and Mookie Betts getting hit put the tying run at second with one out. Corey Seager grounded into a game-ending double play, and Montero recorded his third save.
Roberts said Betts — who was hit on the right forearm — would have some tests on his arm and was unsure his availability for Tuesday.
José Marmolejos got Seattle started with a two-run shot in the first inning that barely cleared the wall in right field. Trammell, one of Seattle’s top young prospects, added a solo homer to deep left-center in the second inning, and his RBI double with two outs in the fourth capitalized on an error by second baseman Chris Taylor for a 4-2 lead.
Sheffield (1-1) threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, three walks and striking out six. His lone mistake was Seager’s two-run homer to center field in the third inning. Zach McKinstry added an RBI single in the sixth that ended Sheffield’s night.
May (1-1) struck out eight, but the two long balls were the first homers he’s allowed this season.
“It was a tough feeling for me. I guess I failed the team today. The hitters hit well. It was kind of poor execution on my end,” May said.
France was replaced after getting hit on the right forearm by a 98 mph fastball from May in the fifth inning. France initially stayed in the game but was removed before the start of the sixth inning. X-rays were negative.
Dodgers: OF Cody Bellinger is traveling with the Dodgers and ramping up his baseball activity. Roberts said Bellinger (calf) did some light jogging, fielding and took some swings before Monday’s game. “Today was a good, considerable day. Hopefully he comes out of today feeling good and we just continue to progress,” Roberts said.
Mariners: Seattle expects AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis to make his season debut Tuesday. Lewis has been out for nearly a month due to a bone bruise in his knee suffered late in spring training. Servais said Lewis played in an alternate site game Monday and appears set to be brought off the injured list. … Servais said the team has arranged a vaccination clinic for players and staff following Tuesday’s game. The Mariners are off on Wednesday before opening a series in Boston on Thursday. Servais said as of now he doesn’t believe the Mariners will get to the 85% vaccination rate among Tier 1 personnel that would lift some COVID-19 restrictions teams must currently follow.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (2-0) looks to remain perfect on the young season. Urías gave up a season-high four earned runs in his last start against Colorado.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1) makes his fourth start of the season. Gonzales was roughed up in his first two starts but allowed just two runs and three hits in his last start against Baltimore.