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    Dodgers fall to Rangers after Corey Seager’s 3-run homer
    • June 13, 2024

    LOS ANGELES — Corey Seager set foot into Dodger Stadium on Tuesday and said the memories came back in a flood.

    For everybody else, the vision of what once was returned in a torrent on Wednesday night.

    Playing in his first regular-season game inside his former ballpark as a visiting player, Seager hit a three-run home run off of former teammate Walker Buehler and the Texas Rangers held on for a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers.

    It was all so familiar. Small step with the right foot. Back leg bent, Hips turned. Bat through the zone. The swing that provided so much offense for the Dodgers now worked against them as Seager hit his 60th career regular-season home run at Dodger Stadium.

    “Corey is one of the best hitters in the league; it is what it is,” Buehler said. “It sucks that he’s my buddy and he clipped me, but at the end of the day, people don’t give out $300 million for no reason. He’s as good as there is in this game. I tried to go in and I left it out over the plate.”

    Asked Tuesday about his emotions when he left the Dodgers via free agency after the 2021 season, Seager said he really couldn’t remember. Then he admitted that reliving it was a path he would rather not travel.

    Instead of words, it was all about actions Wednesday. Seager’s home run even came after he had missed his previous four games with a left hamstring strain. Neither days nor years could deter Seager in his first game back, other than an at-bat in the 2022 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.

    After receiving a smattering of applause before each of his first two at-bats Wednesday, boos resonated when he came to the plate in the seventh inning and he struck out against Blake Treinen. By then, though, his statement had been made.

    “I guess it kind of comes with the territory so I get it,” Seager said about cheers turning to boos. “I don’t blame them, you know. I get it.”

    Seager’s home run even outshined one from Shohei Ohtani, who went deep in the first inning. The Dodgers tried to overcome Seager’s home run in the bottom of the ninth while down two runs with Will Smith and Andy Pages on base against Rangers right-hander Kirby Yates.

    Jason Heyward hit a line drive into the right-center field gap and while Smith scored, Pages was out at home plate on a relay throw from Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien for the final out after center fielder Leody Taveras had bobbled Heyward’s hit.

    “I knew I was going to get to third base easily and when I saw him bobble the ball, I knew that I was going to try to score no matter what because I knew I was the tying run,” Pages said through a translator.

    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said base coaches Dino Ebel and Clayton McCullough each talked to Pages shortly after the game ended. Ebel held up a stop sign on the play but Pages ran through it.

    “It’s one thing to be defiant and to run through a stop sign when you see it and there is another thing of trying to make a play, try to be aggressive while seeing the ball in the outfield,” Roberts said. “That’s what he did. He just didn’t have his head up to pick up Dino, who is holding him up, but it still took a perfect throw and they made it. Great play.”

    Buehler did not allow a run over his first four innings, even getting a visit from a trainer after Roberts noticed some leg discomfort. Buehler declined to discuss it afterward, saying, “it’s not my elbow.”

    In the fifth, Buehler gave up a one-out single to Leody Tavers before Marcus Semien reached base on a fielding error by new arrival Cavan Biggio.

    After he was acquired in a trade from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier Wednesday, Biggio made his Dodgers debut at third base.

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    The fielding miscue proved costly when Seager hit a full-count fastball from Buehler more than halfway up the bleachers in right field.

    Buehler (1-4) gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits over five innings with a walk and two strikeouts. In seven starts since missing nearly two years following his second Tommy John surgery, Buehler has a 4.64 ERA.

    “I’ve never thrown probably 80 percent cutter/two-seamer, that’s just not what I do,” Buehler said. “But I think we have a team that is kind of assumed with the talent we have that we are going to be pretty successful and I’m not just going to walk out there and keep getting killed trying to do what I used to do.”

    At the plate, Biggo went 1 for 3 as he began his run as the left-handed hitting third baseman scheduled to face right-handed pitching until Max Muncy returns from an oblique injury.

    In a sign of just how things changed for the Dodgers’ offense in a 24-hour period, Mookie Betts, Ohtani and Freddie Freeman all struck out in the eighth inning against 39-year-old Rangers right-hander David Robertson.

    Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim, left, tags out the Dodgers’ Andy Pages as he tries to score the tying run for the final out of the Rangers’ 3-2 win on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

    ​ Orange County Register