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“I don’t see it happening,” Roberts said before the Dodgers opened a four-game series against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park with an ugly 5-4 loss, snapping their season-long nine-game winning streak.
Major League Baseball placed Bauer on leave last Friday after a woman accused him of sexual assault on two occasions at his Pasadena home and obtained a temporary restraining order against him last week. Bauer has denied the allegations through his agents. He declined to appeal MLB’s decision to place him on leave.
MLB would need approval from the players’ union to extend the leave another seven days. That would keep Bauer off the Dodgers’ roster through the All-Star break, giving more time for the Pasadena Police Department and Major League Baseball to conduct their investigations.
Criminal charges haven’t been filed against Bauer. Pasadena police are investigating him for felony assault. A hearing to determine the validity of the restraining order in civil court is scheduled for July 23. MLB can suspend a player under its domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy even if he is not charged with a crime.
Without the union’s consent to prolong the leave, Bauer is eligible to return Friday when the Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium unless the organization issues disciplinary action of its own. The union could then file a grievance if the Dodgers suspend or bench Bauer.
Bauer had been scheduled to start Sunday against the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers opted for a bullpen game once he was placed on leave. Roberts said the club will go with another bullpen game Wednesday against the Marlins, pushing back Julio Urías’ start to Thursday and Clayton Kershaw’s next outing to Friday.
As a result, the Dodgers won’t insert a fifth starter in the rotation before the All-Star break Sunday.
“We are planning to move forward right now as we have been in recent days,” Roberts said.
It was Walker Buehler’s turn Monday, a day after he was left off the National League All-Star team. And, for the first time this season, he could not complete six innings as the Dodgers failed to capitalize on the San Francisco Giants’ loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and stayed a half-game behind the Giants in the NL West.
In the end, the Dodgers (53-32) squandered a chance to take the lead with the bases loaded in the eighth inning before Jorge Alfaro blasted the go-ahead home run for the Marlins (36-47) off Victor González in the bottom of the inning.
Buehler stumbled during a vexing third inning. His troubles started when he plunked Starling Marte with a curveball with two outs. Marte then stole second base and scored when Garrett Cooper sneaked a single through the right side against the shift.
The Dodgers’ problems with holding runners continued when Cooper, 0 for 1 on steal attempts in his career entering the night, swiped second base. Adam Duvall reached on an infield single to third baseman Justin Turner. Miguel Rojas then replicated Cooper’s approach, poking a single to right field against another shift to score Cooper from second to tie the score.
Buehler thought he was out of the inning without another run when Jesús Sánchez hit a ground ball to second baseman Zach McKinstry, but Albert Pujols couldn’t pick his short-hopped throw. The ball bounced away and Duvall crossed home plate to push Miami ahead. Buehler, further irked by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski’s strike zone, had an animated discussion with pitching coach Mark Prior after the inning.
“Just frustrated,” Buehler said.
Buehler’s discontent continued when Joe Panik led off the fourth with a bunt single down the third base line, away from the infield shift, before stealing second base and advancing to third on catcher Will Smith’s errant throw into center field. Panik scored on Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s single to center field for an insurance run.
The Dodgers mustered two runs off left-hander Trevor Rogers — the only Marlin named to the All-Star team Sunday — on an RBI double from Chris Taylor and Turner’s run-scoring single.
They appeared primed to bust the game open in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with no outs. Gavin Lux then worked a walk to push a run across. Cody Bellinger followed with a fly ball to the warning track in center field, just shy of the wall for a grand slam. It ended up a sacrifice fly to tie the score.
Mookie Betts, pinch-hitting in the pitcher’s spot, then worked another walk to load the bases again, but David Hess retired Taylor and AJ Pollock to escape the jam. The wasted chance proved to be the difference.
“We definitely had a lot of opportunities to win that game,” Taylor said. “Not our best baseball tonight.”
Next, Tony Gonsolin will take the mound for the Dodgers on Tuesday. They’ll seek more length than Gonsolin gave them in his five starts since coming off the injured list. The right-hander has yet to pitch into the fifth inning. Another short outing would leave the Dodgers, perhaps short-handed in the rotation for the foreseeable future, in another tight spot.
Alexander up, Cleavinger down
The Dodgers swapped left-handers Monday, activating Scott Alexander from the 60-day injured list and optioning Garrett Cleavinger to triple-A Oklahoma City. Alexander logged a scoreless sixth inning Monday.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.