Dodgers’ day of tough news gets worse with blowout loss to Texas Rangers

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The Dodgers were having an up-and-down day Saturday, even before their interleague game with the Texas Rangers. Just as Cody Bellinger was set to return to the lineup Sunday, the team announced that infielder Max Muncy was put on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain.

Things didn’t get better later on. They lost to the Rangers 12-1 after having scored 12 runs Friday night in the first game of the series.

Trevor Bauer, who was trying to shake off a loss at Atlanta where he gave up three runs to the Braves, made the seventh start of his career against the Rangers and the first since 2018 when he pitched for Cleveland.

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Bauer (6-5) struggled with his control early and gave up six runs on nine hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. He was relieved with one out in the seventh by David Price.

Muncy and Bellinger were removed from Friday’s game with different ailments, Bellinger a strained left hamstring and Muncy stiffness on his right side.

At a mid-afternoon news conference Saturday, manager Dave Roberts was hopeful Muncy’s injury wasn’t serious and that he would be sidelined for only a couple of days.

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“Cody is feeling good, better than Max, and will play tomorrow,” said Roberts. Muncy will be out much longer.

The Dodgers called up outfielder Luke Raley from their triple-A team at Oklahoma City to fill Muncy’s spot on the roster.

The versatility of the Dodgers roster now comes into play with players such as Chris Taylor, Zach McKinstry, Bellinger and newcomer Andy Burns, all who can switch from outfield to infield positions McKinstry started in right field Saturday and will play third base on Sunday, Burns was immediately inserted into the starting lineup at second base.

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The Rangers’ Nate Lowe follows through on an RBI single as Dodgers catcher Will Smith and umpire Edwin Moscoso look on during the third inning.

(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

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To make room for McKinstry, Mookie Betts moved to center and Roberts believes that he is ready to revive his power swing during the stretch of upcoming games against Philadelphia, Arizona and San Diego.

“It is in line with his aggressiveness and confidence in his swing over the last week that I have seen,” said Roberts. “That stretch is close.”

In his first three at-bats, though, Betts grounded sharply to short, flied out to left and grounded into a double play.

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The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when they scored two unearned runs after Betts dropped a fly ball hit by shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Texas added two runs in the fourth when catcher Jonah Heim lined his third home run of the season into the right-field bleachers. The Rangers, who stole three bases during Friday’s game, added four more, three by Kiner-Falefa.

Meanwhile, Rangers starter Kolby Allard limited the Dodgers to five hits and no runs. He struck out four and threw 91 pitches, 61 for strikes.

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The Dodgers broke the shutout when AJ Pollock hit his fifth home run in the seventh.

Earlier Saturday, the Dodgers called up Burns from Oklahoma City and optioned pitcher Mitch White. They also designated pitcher Dennis Santana for assignment.

Burns, 30, had played in 30 games this season and was batting .330 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 20 runs batted in. He has spent most of his eight-year career in the minor leagues with a batting average of .268, He appeared in 10 major league games in 2016 with the Toronto Blue Jays, who originally drafted him in 2011.

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“He has performed well and done everything that we have asked,” said Roberts. Burns started the game at second base and singled to short for his first hit in the major leagues. He also walked in the fourth and even pitched the ninth when the game got out of hand.

White, who had appeared in 11 games for the Dodgers, pitched two scoreless innings in Friday’s win against the Rangers. Santana had pitched in 16 games this season and posted an ERA of 6.00 with eight strikeouts.

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