Miguel Rojas and James Paxton help lead Dodgers to victory over White Sox


Miguel Rojas extended one of baseball’s most peculiar streaks Tuesday night, the veteran shortstop sparking a two-run seventh inning with a leadoff double to help push the Dodgers to a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox in front of an announced crowd of 35,070 in Guaranteed Rate Field.

Though Rojas is having a strong season by his standards, batting .284 with a .764 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, three homers, 11 doubles and 15 RBIs in 49 games, he is hardly a feared slugger in a lineup that features Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Teoscar Hernández and — before they were hurt — Mookie Betts and Max Muncy.

But the Dodgers are now 23-0 in games in which Rojas gets a hit, and the 35-year-old had two more of them Tuesday, none bigger than his leadoff double to left field off White Sox reliever Steven Wilson in the seventh inning of a scoreless game.

Pinch-hitter Gavin Lux grounded out to first base, advancing Rojas to third, and Kiké Hernández looped an RBI double to left for a 1-0 lead. Chris Taylor followed with a slow roller to shortstop Paul DeJong, who threw wildly past first base for an error that allowed Hernández to score for a 2-0 lead and Taylor to take second.

Left-hander Tanner Banks replaced Wilson and got Jason Heyward to pop out to third. Ohtani walked to put two on, and with Will Smith up, the skies above the stadium opened up, the sudden downpour causing a 30-minute rain delay.

Play resumed with a flash of lightning and a bolt of thunder, and after Smith walked to load the bases, Freddie Freeman flied out to deep left to end the inning.

The Dodgers tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when Taylor singled, took second on a wild pitch, third on Heyward’s grounder to second base and scored on Ohtani’s sacrifice fly to center for a 3-0 lead.

Daniel Hudson, Yohan Ramirez, Evan Phillips and Alex Vesia threw scoreless innings in relief of Dodgers starter James Paxton, Vesia retiring the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save.

The White Sox have the worst record (21-58) in baseball, a mark that includes a 14-game losing streak from May 22 to June 6, and their team ERA of 4.78 was the second worst in baseball entering Tuesday, but their starting pitcher was no slouch.

Left-hander Garrett Crochet runs his four-seam fastball up to 99 mph and complements his heater with a nifty 92.5-mph cutter, a two-pitch mix that he has used to go 6-6 with a 3.05 ERA and a major league-leading 130 strikeouts in 17 starts this season.

Crochet, who is expected to be one of the best starting pitchers on the market before the July 30 trade deadline, was dominant in 5 ⅔ scoreless innings, giving up five hits, striking out six and walking none, and he is 5-2 with a 1.53 ERA, 90 strikeouts, 12 walks and a .179 opponents average over his last 11 starts.

He shut down baseball’s hottest hitter, the newly crowned National League player of the week Ohtani, by striking out the slugger swinging at a 91-mph cutter in the first inning, inducing a grounder to shortstop in the third and blowing a 98-mph fastball by him for a called third strike in the fifth.

He escaped a two-on, two-out jam by getting Rojas to ground out to second and a first-and-third, two-out jam by getting Andy Pages to ground out to third in the third. The White Sox turned two double plays, one started by Crochet on Kiké Hernández’s fourth-inning comebacker.

Paxton wasn’t nearly as sharp as Crochet, but he kept his team level through five innings by blanking a White Sox on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks, though he needed 91 pitches to get that far. Paxton did induce a season-high 18 swinging strikes.



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