After a rocky series, the Dodgers found a way to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in dominate fashion 4-1, and regained first place in the NL West thanks to superb pitching and timely hitting. The Dodgers took two out of three against the Big Red Machine, and in the last two games held them to scoring no more than two runs.
Dodger starter Aaron Harang started off sharp against his former team, and display solid control of his pitches.
The Dodger offense stepped up in the first inning against Reds starter Mike Leake, Luis Cruz with Dee Gordon on base, smacked a single to shallow right field that gave the Dodgers the 1-0 lead. Later on in the inning first baseman James Loney hit an RBI single that scored Cruz and advanced Bobby Abreu to second base.
Adam Kennedy grounded out towards first base, Loney was caught out at second base, and Abreu made it to third base. He then continued on to score, thanks to an error thrown play by Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, that gave the Dodgers the 3-0 lead.
Harang continued his superb pitching until the top of the 5th inning, where Devin Mesoraco hit a home run to deep left that put the Reds on the scoreboard, yet they still trailed 3-1.
The Dodgers continued to show the Reds why they were an offensive juggernaut, as Reds reliever Bill Bray made a costly mistake by walking Gordon and allowed him on base. Gordon eventually stole second base. As Cruz was also walked, Gordon took the initiative and stole third base successfully, yet ended up dislocating his right thumb. Gordon stole his 30th base on the season.
Mark Ellis came in to run for Gordon at third base, and Juan Rivera grounded out which caused Ellis to be tagged out at home plate.
Later on in the inning, with the bases loaded as the crowd rose to their feet, Adam Kennedy smacked a sacrifice fly to center, that allowed Cruz to speed home to score.
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario pitched a scoreless eighth inning, lowering his ERA to a National League best 0.99, which paved the way for a spectacular ninth inning finish.
In the ninth inning it was Jensen time, as closer Kenley Jensen struck out both All-Star Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips. With two outs and nobody on base, Jensen got Jay Bruce to pop out to left field to end the game as the Dodgers defeat the Reds 4-1.
The Dodgers snapped their streak of four straight series loses. They hadn’t won a series since they played the Chicago White Sox back on June 15-17, and hadn’t won two out of three in a series since they took on the Seattle Mariners back in early June.
Good news for the Dodgers as they returned to their winning ways, and because the San Francisco Giants lost to the Nationals in Washington 9-4, that automatically moved the Dodgers back into first place in the NL West by 1/2 game.
Losing Reds pitcher Mike Leake talked about his rocky start, “I wasn’t quite loose. I probably should have thrown a few extra pitches in the bullpen. I was helping them out leaving balls over the middle and not really locating it too well.”
Dodgers victorious starter Aaron Harang spoke about his superb performance. “I felt like I had control of the game, was never really in a situation where I was pitching out of jams except for maybe the third inning when I got runners on first and third with two outs. Other than that I felt like I was doing what I needed to do, pounding the strike zone and getting myself ahead.”
Harang (6-5) pitched seven strong innings, with three hits and five strikeouts, while Leake (3-6) pitched seven innings, with six hits, five strikeouts, and two earned runs.
Gordon spoke about his injured thumb, “It felt like I hit something really hard and as soon as I got up I knew I jammed it. That’s never happened before. I get stepped on every now and then.”
Dee Gordon is scheduled to have an MRI on his thumb on Thursday, when leaving the stadium Gordon’s thumb was wrapped in a splint.
*Andre Either has been placed on the 15-day DL due to an oblique injury.
Coming off a disappointing loss on Monday night against their neighbors from the south the Los Angeles of Anaheim, the Dodger looked to regroup for Southern California supremacy.
Dodger starter Aaron Harang took the mound to battle against Angels starter Jerome Williams.
Both Harang and Williams pitched superb, it was duel to see who would give up the first score it seemed. However Harang would lose that battle in the third inning, after walking outfielder Torii Hunter, slugger Albert Pujols hit a slicing single to left to load the bases. Harang looked confident to get out of the inning, until a throwing error commited by Adam Kennedy that allowed Kendrys Morales to be safe at first base, that caused Williams to score.
The Dodgers continued to struggle offensively until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Andre Either fresh off his new $85 million dollar, five year extention contract. launched a single deep to right field that advanced AJ Ellis to third base. With runners on the corners, a healthy Juan Rivera hit a single to left that scored Ellis, to tie the game 1-1. Williams ended the inning by with Adam Kennedy who grounded out into a double play that got Rivera out at second base.
The Angels with two on in the bottom of the sixth inning, Harang got Maicer Izturis to fly out to left, and struck out Erick Aybar. Williams hit into a ground field out to second, however thanks to an error committed by Dodger shortstop Dee Gordon, Morales came in to score. Harang maintained his poise and focus, with two out and two on base he managed to strike out Mark Trumbo to end the inning.
Williams continued his superb pitching well into the bottom of the eight inning. Fatigue seems to begin to take it toll on Williams, as the Dodger put together a masterful rally. With second baseman Elian Herrera on first base, Gordon hit into a ground play near first that managed to get Herrera out at second base. The speedy Gordon stole second base. Next up Either, who proved he wasn’t done for the night, hitting a clutch single that scored Gordon and advanced Ellis to third base. Either picked up his 500th career RBI in the process. Once again the Dodgers had runners in scoring position, and with a very energetic crowd behind them, it was time for Juan Rivera to make something happen. Just before Rivera came to the plate Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound to make sure Williams was able to continue. Rivera made Williams pay as he connected on his 102nd pitch a three run homer deep to left that gave the Dodgers the huge 5-2.
That would be Williams final pitch for the night as Angels manager Mike Scisocia decided to call up reliever Jordan Walden to the mound.
In the ninth inning, replacing Jamey Wright who pitched a perfect eight inning, would be the faithful closer Kenley Jansen. Jansen struck out both Mike Trout and Torii Hunter. Jansen settled down and focused as he got Pujols to fly out to center, and waited for Tony Gywnn Jr to make a great catch near the wall to end the game.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded his tenth save on the year, Jamey Wright picked up the victory (3-2), while Jerome Williams who received the loss fell to (6-4) on the season. Aaron Harang gave up two unearned runs, six hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and four walks.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued a call that umpire Joe West made calling Dee Gordon safe. According the replay it looked as though the throw from Angels catcher Hank Conger beat Gordon. Of course Scioscia loss the case on his bobblehead night against his former team. “Joe said he was safe. He said he saw his hand get in there,” said Scioscia. “I don’t need to see a replay. I thought he was out.”
Andre Either talked about his clutch hit in the eight inning, “I was focused on the task at hand, having the same good approach and the same good swing. When you focus on that instead of the outcome, good things happen.”
*The Freeway series concludes on Wednesday night, and a special treat to fans before the first pitch members of the Los Angeles Kings will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and showcase the newly acquired Stanley Cup.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off a rough road trip in Colorado, looking to turning things around by sending their ace 2011 Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw against the Philadelphia Phillies and Vance Worley. The Dodgers have lost 6 out of their last 7 games, and have lost 9 out of 12 games vs. the Phillies.
The Phillies are one of three teams that Kershaw has not won against in his career as a starter. Kershaw has been on a bit of a slide as he has lost two straight.
Will tonight prove differently for the boys in blue? The Dodgers need to give Kershaw much needed run support.
One bright spot will be the return of Juan Rivera to the Dodgers line up tonight. Andre Either must continue his hitting ways along with AJ Ellis, and Bobby Abreu.
It’s going to be a tough four game series for the Dodgers vs. the Phillies, as they hang on slightly to having the best record in baseball.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers went for the sweep on Mother’s Day over the divisional opponent the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers wouldn’t get out of the series without a some causalities.
Ted Lilly was all set to take the mound and put his perfect record to the test against the Colorado Rockies and Alex White.
In the first inning, Lilly started off very shaky and almost unglued as the Rockies jumped out to an early lead thanks to C Gonzalez singled to right field, that scored Michael Scutaro scored. With Tyler Colvin at second base, Michael Cuddyer singled to center that scored Colvin and advanced Gonzalez to second base. Later on in the inning, Ramon Hernandez grounded out to shortstop, yet Gonzalez scored to extend the Rockies lead 3-0.
Alex White didn’t do any better as the Dodgers began to dig themselves out of a hole as Tony Gwynn Jr doubled to left to get on base, yet Mark Ellis grounded out to third. Then Matt Kemp grounded out, however Gwynn managed to score. Kemp, who leads the Dodgers with 12 homers and a .359 batting average, left the game because of an irritated left hamstring after grounding out in the third inning. Walking back to the dugout Kemp showed his frustration as he threw his glove.
The Dodgers weren’t done in the second inning James Loney hit a huge double, AJ Ellis singled to right that allowed Loney to score. Ellis ran to second base beating a throw by White.
Lilly once again got himself into a jam in the fourth inning as A White grounded into fielder’s choice, Dexter Fowler safe at third on throwing error by catcher AJ Ellis. Then Marco Scutaro singled to left, Fowler scored, which frustrated Lilly.
White continued to pitch rather well, and Mark Ellis walked to load the bases and disrupted the party for the Rockies. Newest Dodger Bobby Abreu doubled to deep center that scored Justin Sellers, Gywnn, and Ellis that regained the lead for the Dodgers. After a wild pitch thrown by reliever M Reynolds, Abreu moved to third base. Andre Either was at the plate and was called for a controversial third strike. Either argued with the Umpire M Carlson along manager Don Mattingly who also argued the call, both were ejected.
The ejection seemed to fire up the Dodgers as James Loney walked, then AJ Ellis smacked a 2 run home run that scored Abreu, and Loney.
Lilly had a solid afternoon and was relieved in the seventh inning by S Elbert, then Colvin singled to right, and Scutaro moved to third base. Carlos Gonzalez grounded out to second, Scutaro scored which gave the Rockies some momentum. However Elbert got out of the inning as he struck out Cuddyer looking.
With the bases loaded for the Dodgers again in the eight inning, Scott Van Slyke smacked a double deep to center that scored Juan Uribe, Ellis, and moved Abreu to third base. AJ Ellis struck out, but the damage had been done as the Dodgers cleaned house in the inning.
Dodger closer Javy Guerra made his presence known the Rockies bats as he had a solid 1,2,3 inning to retain the victory for the Dodgers as they defeated the Rockies 11-5.
Ted Lilly goes a perfect 5-0 for the first time in his career allowed five runs, one strike out, and six hits over six innings. Alex White pitched four innings on five hits and one strike in the loss.
Kemp spoke about his injury, “I’m definitely not going on the DL. That’s not going to happen. The team needs me. I don’t think this is a 15-day thing. I think it’s maybe two or three days. I know how my body is. I’m a pretty fast healer.”
On a night where it seems that the Los Angeles Dodgers were facing the biggest rival health with their players that included Juan Rivera and now Matt Kemp.
Kemp was placed on the 15 day DL, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers would have to continue to fight without their premier warrior.
On the other side of the ball, Arizona D-backs pitcher and 2011 Cy Young runner up Ian Kennedy had something to prove against Kershaw, and to remind him how he never forgot how he should’ve won that prestigious award.
Kershaw got out of the first inning rather quickly making way for the Dodger bats to light up hard and fast, as the speedy Dee Gordon singled to left, and thanks to a throwing error by Kennedy, Gordon made it safe to third base. Mark Ellis grounded out to second, but it allowed Gordon to score as the Dodgers took the lead 1-0.
For the next several innings Kershaw was masterful, showing Kennedy and others why he was the Cy Young winner and still a force to be reckoned with on the mound. Frustrating Arizona batters, Kershaw was virtually untouchable, and so was the Dodger offense in the bottom of the sixth inning, Andre Either smacked a solo home run to right center, as Kennedy watched and pounded his glove in disgust. Catcher AJ Ellis singled to center, then James Loney singled that advanced Ellis to third base.
Adam Kennedy stepped up and hit a key sacrifice fly to center that scored Ellis.
Kennedy threw a pitch behind Kershaw and to the backstop before he walked. Kershaw returned the favor in the fifth inning, making Kennedy bail out of the batter’s box on a first-pitch fastball before he walked him.
After pitching seven strong innings, Josh Lindblom relieved Clayton Kershaw who left the field amongst cheers and applause from the Dodger Stadium crowd.
Lindblom was pretty solid, until he gave up a solo home run to Arizona’s Aaron Hill deep to left field that would prove to be the D-backs only run of the game. Lindblom settled down and go out of the inning with any further damage.
Kenley Jensen came in for Lindblom to close out the game, and did an exceptional job, especially getting R Roberts to pop out at first base to end the game, as the Dodgers defeated the D-backs 3-1. Jensen picked up his fourth save in five attempts on the season.
Matt Kemp talked about how he felt about not playing “I’m disappointed. This is my second time being on the DL, and the first time was a long time ago [April 2007]. I like playing every game, but I’ve got to be healthy and playing at 100 percent for me to be effective. So I’ve got to let it heal.”
Kemp is still on course for his goal of 50/50, and should win the NL MVP award this season, as he’ll continue to play at a high level once he returns from injury.
Kershaw talked about the warning by Umpire after the incident between him and Kennedy, “Old-school baseball’s one thing, and I understand what the manager’s trying to instill over there, but there’s no place for that here. It’s obvious what they were trying to do, but I don’t agree with what they did. It just felt wrong. He’s a good pitcher, he had an awesome year last year and I have a lot of respect for what he does on the hill. But if that’s how they want to do it, that’s fine. He missed anyway, so no big deal.”
Tuesday night did not prove well for the Dodgers as they placed both their potential NL MVP Matt Kemp on the 15 day DL and Juan Uribe for a wrist injury. Chad Billingsley had the tall task of continuing the home streak at Dodgers Stadium against Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Billingsley looked pretty well on the mound until the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Gerardo Parra walked that scored Jason Kubel and advanced A Hill to third base. Billingsley got Willie Bloomquist to fly out to center to end the inning.
Miley continued to pitch solid, and the Diamondback offense made sure they gave him plenty of run support, unfortunately at the expense of Billingsley where Arizona exploded in the fifth inning. Bloomquist singled to left, that moved Wade Miley to third base. Justin Upton reached on infield single to shortstop that scored pitcher Wade Miley, Bloomquist and Parra moved to third and second base respectfully. Then Miguel Montero singled to center, which scored Parra, and Dodger manager Don Mattingly had obviously seen enough. He retired Billingsley for the evening and sent in Javy Guerra, which didn’t cool off the D-back bats, as Kubel hit an RBI single to right field, that scored Bloomquist.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Dodgers finally got on the board, as Mark Ellis hit a solo home run deep to center scoring what would end up being their only run scored. The Dodgers defense did make a showing as outfielder Andre Either made a spectacular diving catch to rob Upton of a hit.
However in the top of the seventh the D-backs weren’t done scoring either Lyle Overbay hit a big sacrifice fly to left field, that scored Montero to increase the lead 5-1. Arizona came into the game 6-for-30 in bases-loaded situations.
Arizona closer JJ Putz came in for reliever David Hernandez after he allowed Adam Kennedy to double to right field, setting up Dee Gordon. With two outs, Putz got Gorden to foul out to the catcher for the final out and captured the victory over the Dodgers.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson spoke about his solid pitcher Wade Miley “He just did a great job for us, and that’s what we needed tonight. He had 72 strikes out of 102 pitches. He maybe started laboring a little bit later in the game, but it was big for him to get as far as he did for us. That’s how he’s been pitching all year.”
Chad Billingsley went four innings, eight hits and three strike out and hasn’t picked up a win since that Astros 12-0 blowout in Houston. Wade Miley pitched six and two-third strong innings allowed eight hits, five strikeouts, and one home run.
The Dodgers are currently 24-12 and still lead the rival San Francisco Giants by six game in the NL West division.
*1988 Dodgers Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP Orel Hershiser threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium, as it was also Hershiser bobble head night.
*Scott Van Slyke son of former MLB slugger Andy Van Slyke, made his debut in the starting line up for the first time on Tuesday night.
After disappointing 2-1 loss yesterday at Dodger Stadium against their hated rivals the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers looked to regroup and get aboard their first place winning ways.
On Wednesday Giants Tim Lincecum looked to do battle not against his nemesis Clayton Kershaw, but against Chad Billingsley. Billingsley looked sharp early, until he faced rival pitcher Tim Lincecum who hit a single to help his own cause that scored Joaquin Arias.
Buster Posey RBI single in the third inning extended the Giants’ lead to 2-0.
It wasn’t long until the Dodgers got on board thanks to Bobby Abreu who singled to advance Andre Either to third base. Later Juan Uribe reached out on an infield single that scored Either. In that same inning Tony Gywnn Jr pinched hit for Billingsley, who tripled to right, Abreu, Uribe, and AJ Ellis all score to help the Dodgers take the lead 4-2.
The Dodgers offense didn’t quit in the sixth inning, catcher AJ Ellis tripled to deep center to get on base in scoring position. Scott Van Slyke (son of Pirate great Andy Van Slyke) came in to pinch hit for pitcher Jamey Wright. Van Slyke hit a huge single that scored Ellis.
In the eight inning Uribe showed up again as he doubled to deep center, and with a man on base, James Loney hit an RBI single to left that scored Uribe. With the bases loaded Giants manager Bruce Bouchy decided a change was necessary and Steve Edlefsen relieved Clay Hensley. A very smart move because with Matt Kemp at the plate, Kemp grounded out to shortstop which caused Adam Kennedy to be called out to end the inning.
Kensley Jansen came in to close out the ninth inning, and after walking Gregor Blanco, settled down and for the final out to strike out catcher Buster Posey swinging.
Chad Billingsley lasted just four innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
Tim Lincecum gave up four runs, eight hits in five innings with eight strike outs.
Dodger reliever Jamey Wright pitched two superb innings and with two strike outs to pick up the victory.
*Dodgers OF/1B Juan Rivera was placed on the 15-day DL due to a significant strained left hamstring, Dodger manager Don Mattingly said earlier he expected Rivera to be out more than two weeks.