LOS ANGELES — — Max Scherzer struck out 10 in his Dodgers debut and got plenty of offensive support as Los Angeles hit four home runs to defeat the Houston Astros 7-5 on Wednesday night, capping a contentious two-game series.
The crowd of 52,724 — the largest in the majors this season for the second straight night — was boisterous again. The series marked the first chance for Dodgers fans to unload on the Astros in person since their sign-stealing scandal was revealed late in 2019. Houston beat LA in the 2017 World Series, winning Game 7 at Dodger Stadium.
The throng roared with delight as Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner who was acquired in a blockbuster trade with Washington last Friday, struck out José Altuve three times. The right-hander also got Correa to chase a slider for the first out of the sixth inning.
Scherzer (9-4) went seven innings and tied a season high with 109 pitches, including 73 strikes. He gave up two runs and five hits with a walk.
Altuve struck out four times, matching a career high.
After Altuve struck out in the first, Brantley sent a 1-1 fastball deep to right for his seventh homer. It was the 19th allowed by Scherzer this season and the fourth that came in the first inning.
Correa followed with a single before Scherzer retired the next nine Houston hitters.
The Dodgers were held to five hits in Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss but broke through early against Odorizzi with four runs in the first. Betts connected on a slider and put it over the wall in center to tie it at 1.
Max Muncy drew a walk and advanced to second with one out when Altuve’s throw on Corey Seager‘s grounder pulled Correa off the bag at second for an error. With runners on first and second, Smith made the Astros pay for the mistake with a three-run homer to right-center.
Betts’ solo shot to left in the second gave him his first multi-homer game of the season. In the third inning, Pollock extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a two-run drive into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left field to make it 7-1.
Odorizzi — who allowed four homers in a game for the second time in his 10-year career — went only three innings and allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and two walks.
Houston’s other runs came on Tucker’s RBI single in the fourth and a solo homer by Correa in the eighth.
Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel was out of the lineup for the second straight day due to neck stiffness. … 3B Alex Bregman (left quad strain) is expected to need at least a couple more rehab games at Triple-A Sugar Land before being activated.
Dodgers: RHP Jimmy Nelson was placed on the 10-day injured list for the third time this season with right elbow inflammation. LHP Darien Núñez was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to fill the spot.
Astros: Begin a six-game homestand Thursday against Minnesota with LHP Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) on the mound. Valdez has won his last two starts and will be opposed by RHP Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41).
Dodgers: Have an off day Thursday before facing the Angels on Friday in the second half of this season’s Freeway Series. LHP David Price (4-1, 3.55 ERA) gets the call against LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-5, 3.38).