Happy Birthday to Yu.
The Dodgers delivered another dramatic walk-off victory, handing Yu Darvish the best birthday present of all, a victory, in his Dodger Stadium debut.
Yasiel Puig capped off the lastest Los Angeles comeback with a two-run, walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth as the Dodgers rallied for their MLB-best 10th walk-off win of the season to stun the White Sox, 5-4 on Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine.
"When my teammates came into the clubhouse, they told me they won it for my birthday," said Darvish through a translator after the game. "That made me happier, but at the same time, we won the game as a team. I'm happy it was my birthday, but I'm more glad for the team."
With runners on the corners, Puig sent a full-count fastball from Jake Petrick into the gap in left-center for the game-winning two-run double as they Dodgers rallied for their 38th comeback victory of the season and MLB-best 16th sweep of the season.
"You never know with this team who it's going to be," Puig said of the 10 walk-off victories. "We've been working hard and prepared the whole season. Whether it's me or someone else, we're just happy we're winning."
The sensational finish, known as the "Wild Horse Walk-Off," salvaged an otherwise disappointing start in the home debut of Darvish who was celebrating his 31st birthday on Wednesday.
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Darvish surrendered more home runs (3) in the game than strikeouts (2), which is surprising considering he recorded back-to-back games of 10 strikeouts in each of his first two starts with his new team.
On the first pitch of the game, Darvish served up a fastball to Leury Garcia who roped one off the right-field foul pole for a leadoff home run.
Leury Garcia hits a solo home run for his 8th home run of the season!!! #SoxGameday pic.twitter.com/BsEtPxSekR— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB_) August 17, 2017
"It was an up and in fastball that I thought was a pretty good pitch," Darvish said of the leadoff home run. "I was trying to be aggressive to start the game, but he hit it perfectly. I didn't think he'd put such a good swing on the first pitch."
It was the second straight day that the White Sox hit a leadoff home run, and the first time in franchise history that Chicago hit a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the game on back-to-back days.
The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom half of the second after Logan Forsythe led off with a double, and scored two batters later on a wild pitch from left-hander, Carlos Rodon.
Rookie Nicky Delmonico sent Darvish deep in the top of the fourth inning for his second career home run and the White Sox recaptured the lead, 2-1.
Nicky Delmonico hits a solo home run for his 2nd home run of the season!!! #SoxGameday pic.twitter.com/8JWamoz31k— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB_) August 17, 2017
Delmonico has reached base safely in each of his first 13 games to start his big league career and is currently riding an 11-game hit streak.
The honorary member of the Dodgers "Slug Club," Kiké Hernandez, hit his 11th home run of the season when he tied the game off Rodon in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
"I don't play against righties [right-handed pitching], so I better peform well against lefties," Hernandez said who is tied for the team lead in home runs against left-handed pitching. "If you're the other team, you better score a lot of runs, because we're coming for your pitching staff."
Darvish was unable to limit the damage as he allowed the go-ahead home run to Jose Abreu in the top of the sixth inning.
Jose Abreu hits a solo home run for his 22nd home run of the season!!! #SoxGameday pic.twitter.com/2rrKGQSoFX— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB_) August 17, 2017
Darvish would go on to record his only two strikeouts of the game, to end the inning, but still finished with the lowest strikeout total of his career.
His previous low was three strikeouts in a game on May 27, 2012 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Darvish left the game as the losing pitcher, but did not factor in the deicion, allowing three runs on eight hits with one walk and just two strikeouts in six innings in his first MLB start at Dodger Stadium. It was only the fourth time in his career Darvish had allowed at least three home runs in a game.
"When he left the game, the manager [Dave Roberts], told him not to worry that he wasn't going to lose the game," Puig said. "What better gift to give him on his birthday and in his home debut than a Dodgers win."
The last time Darvish took the mound at Dodger Stadium was in 2009 as a member of Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic.
Another newly acquired pitcher at the trade deadline, left-hander Tony Watson, served up a solo shot to Delmonico in the top of the eighth inning, giving Delmonico the first career multi-homer game of his young career.
THE LEGEND CONTINUES pic.twitter.com/r3K9URvL0u— White Sox Talk (@CSNWhiteSox) August 17, 2017
"It feels awesome," Delmonico said of his first career multi-homer game. "To play in front of fans like that was great. It felt like a playoff game out there."
All four runs for the White Sox came via the solo home run.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers rallied against three different White Sox relievers to cap off their latest dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Cody Bellinger started the rally with a pinch-hit single and then scored one batter later on an RBI double down the left-field line from Logan Forsythe.
"We all got very excited when we saw Bellinger get that hit," Puig said following the win. "God gave me the opportunity to hit in that situation."
After a single from catcher Austin Barnes moved Forsythe to third, Puig delivered his third career walk-off hit as he became the latest hero in a season of heroes for Los Angeles.
"I just put the ball in the gap. I knew Barnes could run, but I was more focusing on bringing the tying run home from third," Puig said of the game-winning double. "Barnes was able to score and I was extremely happy."
Puig with a huge GW hit to help the Dodger defeat the WhiteSox 5-4! This team is something special. @DodgersNation pic.twitter.com/uU2LDW8xzy— SportsNotes (@SportsNotes23) August 17, 2017
The Dodgers have won 30-of-their-last-34 at Dodger Stadium and hold the best record in all of baseball at 85-34. They also have the best record in Interleague games this season, with a record of 14-3 on the year.
After an off-day on Thursday, the Dodgers will travel to Detroit for a three-game weekend series with the Tigers. Rich Hill gets the call in the opener on Friday opposite RHP Jordan Zimmerman. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10PM PST.