Derek Dietrich led off the Texas seventh inning with a tiebreaking home run and the Rangers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 in a later-than-usual Jackie Robinson Day game on Friday night.
It was the first time in six years the Dodgers were away from home for Major League Baseball’s annual observation of Robinson breaking sports color barrier. It is traditionally held April 15, the date in 1947 that he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but had to be altered because the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the start of this season nearly four months.
After Los Angeles tied the game with two runs in the top of the seventh, Dietrich's opposite-field shot to left off reliever Jake McGee (2-1) put Texas up 3-2. Shin-Soo Choo and Nick Solak added RBI hits, and Jose Trevino a sacrifice fly, in the four-run outburst as the Rangers won for only the second time in 12 games.
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The Dodgers (24-10), coming off a doubleheader sweep at San Francisco and without a series loss this season, were the only MLB team without at least 10 wins before Friday.
Mike Minor, the Texas lefty still without a win this season, pitched six scoreless innings and exited with a 2-0 lead that was gone almost immediately. Reliever Joely Rodriguez allowed doubles to Will Smith and Corey Seager before Justin Turner’s tying RBI single.
The Dodgers’ last loss on Jackie Robinson Day had been in 2014 at San Francisco, when they last played that game on the road. They were set to be at home again this year before the schedule was shortened and shuffled.
Friday marked the 75th anniversary of the day Branch Rickey told Robinson he had been chosen to be the first Black player in the majors. Robinson spent the 1946 season with Triple-A Montreal before opening the 1947 season with Brooklyn.
Choo had an RBI double and scored on a single by Solak in the third to put Texas up 2-0 against 22-year-old Dodgers right-hander Dustin May, who grew up about 30 miles away in Justin, Texas. May struck out three and walked two over six innings.
Turner was robbed of a home run in the top of the third when rookie center fielder Leody Taveras made a leaping catch on the warning track in front of the Dodgers' bullpen in left-center. Taveras extended his glove above the 8-foot fence to make the catch, while Turner held both arms over his head and could only smile.
Dodgers: Turner left the game after a head-first slide into second base on a stolen base after his game-tying hit in the seventh. Manager Dave Roberts said Turner felt something in his hamstring, though the manager felt it was likely a cramp.
Rangers: CF/INF Danny Santana (strained right elbow) was put on the 10-day injured list for the second time this season. ... 2B Rougned Odor missed his third game in a row because of an infection in his right eye.
Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.59 ERA) leads the majors with 107.4 pitches per game. Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling (3-1, 3.46), a Texas native, is winless in his last three starts after winning his first three starts this season.