It was only the 10th game of the season for the Dodgers but mark it down as the early leader for their strangest. And, maybe, the most disappointing.
A steal of home, a suicide squeeze by a pitcher, three errors by the Dodgers, a dramatic three-run bottom-of-the-ninth rally to tie it -- all for their closer to immediately give up the game in the 10th inning.
More than four hours after it began, the Dodgers suffered a tough 7-6 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 42,687 when Victor Martinez opened the 10th with a solo home run off closer Kenley Jansen.
Martinez had also hit a game-tying single off Jansen in the ninth inning on Tuesday, though the Dodgers rallied to win that one in the 10th.
The night began with veteran right-hander Josh Beckett making his first start in almost 11 months. For Beckett there had been surgery to remove a rib. Then came a clubhouse door slamming on his thumb in the spring and an ankle giving out fielding a bunt on a rehab assignment.
Beckett finally returned Wednesday night, and if the results were of the mixed variety, they were still encouraging if only because they happened at all.
The biggest hit Beckett surrendered was when third baseman Nick Castellanos eclipsed a 3-2 Dodgers’ lead with a three-run homer in the third inning that bounced off the top of the fence and over.
Beckett, making his first start since May 13, went four innings, throwing 85 pitches. Four of the five runs he surrendered were earned. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out five.
The Tigers opened the scoring with a run in the first inning after Ian Kinsler looped a one-out single to left, stole second and third bases, and scored on a Martinez sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers quickly gave Beckett the lead when they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first against Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez. Carl Crawford hit a one-out, ground-rule double and went to third on a wild pitch before Hanley Ramirez walked.
Then Crawford stole home, technically. When Adrian Gonzalez was called out on strikes, Ramirez broke for second and Crawford slid down the third-base line. The throw from catcher Martinez went wide, Ramirez took third on the error and Crawford scored. The official scorer ruled Crawford had already broken for the plate before the error and credited him with a steal of home.
The Tigers tied the score in the second inning after Dee Gordon muffed an Alex Gonzalez bouncer for a two-out error. Sanchez then doubled past a late-breaking Matt Kemp in center to score Gonzalez. It was the first double in 284 career at-bats for Sanchez.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the bottom of the second on nifty move by Beckett. Juan Uribe singled, took second on a Martinez passed ball and third on a groundout. With a full count on Beckett, the Dodgers called for a suicide squeeze. Beckett got it down and Uribe scored.
It was a brief lead. With two outs in the third, the Tigers got a single from Martinez and a ground-rule double from Austin Jackson, before Castellanos hit his first home run off the fence.
Adrian Gonzalez started the Dodgers' comeback in the ninth with a lead-off homer against Detroit closer Joe Nathan. After two walks and a Uribe single loaded the bases, pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig struck out on three pitches.
But pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke hustled to avoid bouncing into a game-ending double play as one run scored, and Gordon then punched a single to right to tie it.