After a terrible series with the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have corrected their errors and began their winning ways against the Ryan Dempster-less Chicago Cubs. Clayton Kershaw was phenomenal on the mound against the Cubs that resulted in a 3-1 victory as they continued to keep pace with the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Cubs starter Chris Volstad traded pitches like two heavyweight fighters trading blows in the main events for the first three innings. Both pitchers were sharp and refuse to allow the other team to strike first. However in the top of the fourth inning the Cubs would strike, with Darwin Barney on second, slugger Alfonso Soriano took Kershaw deep to left center that scored Barney and gave the Cubs the 1-0 lead. Kershaw maintained his poise as he ended the inning with a fly out from Welington Castillo.
The bottom of the fourth the Dodgers would come alive and response with an incredible single to right field by Mark Ellis. With a gleam in his eye and power in his bat, Matt Kemp stepped up to the plate and took Volstad deep to right field just over the wall for a 2-run home run, that gave the Dodgers the 2-1 lead. That was Kemp’s 16th home run of the season and 41st RBI.
“I thought it was going to be a home run, but you never know in this ballpark,” said Kemp. “It’s tough to hit home runs at night here, and after looking at it on the Jumbotron, I think I got a little bit of help. But we won, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Things began to cool off offensively for both ball clubs, however the intensity continued between both Kershaw and Volstad well into the eight inning. This game would prove to come down to one thing, which team would finish with the hottest bat.
In the bottom of the eight inning, newly acquired Dodger Shane Victorino hit a big double to center field. After the intentional walk to Kemp, Andre Either responded with a single to second that caught Kemp out at second base. With runners on the corners Hanley Ramirez delivered a timely RBI single to shortstop, and made safely to first base thanks to a throwing error by Starlin Castro. Victorino scored the insurance run as the Dodgers led 3-1.
It was Jansen time in the ninth inning as reliever Kenley Jansen, as he easily struck out Soriano and struck out Brian LaHair looking to end the game, as the Dodgers held on to the 3-1 victory. Jansen picked up his 21st save on the season.
Clayton Kershaw (9-6) picked up the victory and spoke about his performance, “the curveball wasn’t very good tonight and I didn’t throw a lot of strikes with it, but fortunately I had a decent slider. They [Cubs] came out aggressively and were putting the ball in play early.”
Kershaw pitched seven solid innings, gave up one run, three hits and seven strike outs with a 2.88 ERA.
Cubs starter Chris Volstad (0-8) who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday after starters Ryan Dempster and Paul Mahom were dealt in trades picks up the loss. He pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and still winless int he major leagues.
The Dodgers still remain just 1/2 game back of the first place San Francisco Giants after their victory against the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers go for the sweep of the Cubs on Sunday as the Dodgers send new acquired pitcher Joe Blanton against Justin Germano on Sunday.
After dropping two out of the three games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and had a much needed day off, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to return to their winning ways against the Chicago White Sox.
This was scheduled to be a pitcher’s duel between Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and the White Sox starter Chris Sale. However this game was far from it, with one on base, Adam Dunn arrived at the plate with a .667 lifetime batting average verses Kershaw, and Dunn made Kershaw pay hitting a two run homer deep to right field.
The Dodgers began to turn on their offense against Chris Sale, after a walk to Dee Gordon, Elian Herrera hit a double deep to center field that scored Gordon.
Kershaw continued to struggle as the innings progressed, and once again continued to keep the White Sox offense sharp by walking Dunn. Thanks to a wild pitch, Dunn advanced to second base. Paul Konerko made him pay by hitting an RBI single that scored Dunn to place distance away from the Dodgers. Fortunately AJ Pierzynski struck out and Kershaw got out of the third inning without any further damage.
The Dodgers offense remained sluggish as the White Sox offense continued to soar, in the fourth inning former Dodger Orlando Hudson reached on an infield single that scored A Ramirez. The disorganization from the Dodgers didn’t stop as Hudson made it second base because of a throwing error by Dee Gordon.
The mistakes, bad pitching, and inconsistant play mounted up for the Dodgers in the fifth inning as Alex Rios slugged a huge home run to left, that gave the White Sox the 5-1 lead.
For some reason many could sense a rally coming from this Dodger team who have made that a reality many times this season. In the sixth inning, the Dodger bats woke up with two on, Juan Uribe doubled to left that allowed Jerry Hairston Jr. to score, and advanced AJ Ellis to third base. Ivan De Jesus who came in to pinch hit for Kershaw, singled to right that scored Ellis and moved Uribe to third base. With runners on the corners, Herrera hit a clutch double to right that scored Uribe and De Jesus. The Dodgers seem to have found their rhythm as Juan Rivera stepped up and hit a big single that scored Herrera and gave the Dodgers the 6-5 lead.
In the eight inning the White Sox were not ready to be counted out as once Alex Rios smacked another home run this time off of reliever Ronald Belisario. Belisario made it out of the inning by getting Hudson to ground out to first base.
The Dodgers remained poised and refused to quit as first baseman James Loney singled to left that put the winning run on board. After Gordon walked, Herrera grounded into a fielder’s choice to shortstop that got Gordon out at second base. With two out, Loney capitalized and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by reliever Matt Thornton, that allowed Herrera to move to third. Thornton struck out Bobby Abreu who pinched hit for Belisario to end the inning.
Closer Kensley Jensen put on his best performance as he easily retired batters, and struck out Gordon Beckham for the final out as the Dodgers held on to defeat the White Sox 7-6 in a rocky come from behind win.
Not happy with his performance Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw talked about his performance, “baseball goes in cycles and it has its ups and downs. I mean, this game’s not easy. Just because you had a couple of good starts, this game will continue to humble you. So you’ve just got to keep battling and competing.”
Kershaw finished with five runs, four earned and eight hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. Belisario picked up his second win of the season and Jensen collected his eleventh save on the year.
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn spoke about the Dodger comeback “Usually when we’ve had Sale on the mound, we’re in pretty good shape. But they battled and just beat us.”
Sale finished with five runs, seven hits and a season high four walks in five innings of work. Sale has not allowed more than three runs in any of his previous eleven starts.
A disappointed AJ Pierzynski also commented on Sale’s performance, “you feel good with him on the mound and a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning with the way he’s been throwing, but tonight he just didn’t get it done!”
The Dodgers maintain the league’s best record at 41-25 so far on the season and remain five games ahead of the rival San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
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.
All throughout the Los Angeles Dodger clubhouse, relieve can be heard as the Dodgers snap their biggest losing streak of the season.
The Dodgers would not make the mistake of having a slow offensive start this game, as slugger Andre Either hit an RBI single off Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio that scored Tony Gywnn Jr.
In the bottom of the same inning Aaron Harang gave up a triple to Dexter Fowler. With two outs, Michael Cuddyer connected on a double deep to right field that scored Dexter Fowler for the 1-1 tied score.
Gywnn grounded into fielder choice at first base in the second inning, and AJ Ellis made a run for home but was tagged out. After Gywnn stole second base, Elian Herrera singled to center, Dee Gordon and Gywnn both scored. After that, Rockies manager Jim Tracy decided to seek another route and send in reliever Josh Roenicke for Nicasio.
Harang pitched masterfully the next few inning along with the Dodgers defense stepped up majorly that gave Harang the confidence and support he needed in this anti-pitcher ballpark. In the fourth with the bases loaded, Roenicke walked Either, which scored Gwynn. Fortunately for Roenicke who got Adam Kennedy to fly out to center to end the inning.
The Dodgers were far from done offensively when Rockies reliever Matt Reynolds with two out, gave up a deep home run to Bobby Abreu. That was Abreu’s first home run as Dodger this season. Later on Either doubled to deep right, then Adam Kennedy hit a single to right that scored Either, as the Dodgers continued to dominate 6-1.
Harang had a great outing, and was relieved by Javey Guerra in the bottom of the seventh inning. DJ LeMahieu connected on a single to shallow center, which paved the way for Wilin Rosario who hit a double to deep right center that scored LeMahieu.
The Rockies silenced the Rockies offense, as Dodgers closer Kenley Jensen wrapped up the victory by getting Rosario flying out to left to end the Dodgers losing streak.
Aaron Harang who faced quite a few tense moments, however he was determined and pulled out the victory. Harang pitched 6 strong innings, four hits, on six strikeouts.
Juan Nicasio allowed three runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Harang talked about this outing as opposed to the last against Milwaukee, ” “I feel like I started the losing streak so I wanted to shut the door and finish it so we could start over fresh.”
“We’ve been getting our hits during the losing streak, we were just able to get some key hits to get some runs there today,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
*Dodgers OF Juan Rivera who had been on the DL, will rejoin the team when they take on the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
LOS ANGELES – Thanks to a Atlanta Braves third baseman celebrating his 40th birthday with a home run and a win on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to rebound and grab a good win in the final game of the three games series.
It was a very solid pitchers duel between the Dodgers Ted Lilly and the Braves Brandon Beachy as neither one gave any runs in the first three innings. Lilly ended up giving up the first score, after Freddie Freeman doubled to right, Brian McCann grounded out which advanced Freeman to third base. Dan Uggla blasted a single to left, that caused Freeman to score, Braves were up 1-0.
Just an inning later with Tony Gywnn Jr. and A.J. Ellis on third and second base, Dee Gordon grounds out to second, allowing Gwynn to score and tied up the game.
In the bottom of the sixth in the rain, Matt Kemp bashes a solo home run, his 10th on the season, that gave the Dodgers the lead.
Kensley Jensen came in for Lilly who pitched an outstanding game, seven strong innings.
Jensen set it up for closer Javy Guerra to do what he does best, get three outs and the victory for the Dodgers. Not so fast, as the ninth inning proved to be the game clinching inning for the Braves. Freeman singled to right to get on base. McCann reached on an infield single that ricocheted off of Guerra’s face, to advance Freeman to second base. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and the Dodger Training staff came to the mound to check on Guerra who continued the inning.
Next batter Dan Uggla hit a single to right center, Freeman scored and advanced Wilson to third base. Chipper Jones had a big clutch RBI single to right that scored Wilson, and moved Uggla to third base. Jason Heyward also hit a key single to left that caused Uggla to score and at that point, it was Jason Lindblom time as Guerra was replaced in the inning by Mattingly.
Lindblom ended the inning while getting Juan Fransisco to ground out into a double play. The Dodgers had one last inning to at least tie or win the game and take the series lead.
However that wouldn’t happen on this night, as reliever Craig Kimbrel struck out A.J. Ellis, and got Gordon to ground out to third base to end the game, as the Braves stole two out of three in this series from the Dodgers 4-2.
Chipper Jones left Dodger Stadium for the last time with more great memories to add to his collection.
Lilly threw 79 pitches, allowing a run and three hits, while Beachy allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, ironically a year ago he picked his first victory at Dodger Stadium.
Chipper Jones talked about his final trip at Dodger Stadium “I mean, that’s what you play the game for moments like that. You don’t know how many times I’ve rehearsed that very moment in my backyard growing up, only I was a Dodger.” He also added “It’s been a storybook season so far, it’s been one highlight after another. I’m savoring each and every one of them because you never know when the last one is going to come. To have revered this ballpark and this organization the way I did as a kid, and to leave it here tonight like this, it’s awfully special.”
Dodger first baseman James Loney spoke about the toughness of closer Javy Guerra “That just shows you how tough he is and how much he wants to be out there and compete. And you want a guy like that on your team! He has the mentality of a closer. You just shake off the last bad day and come out ready for the next one.”
*Jonny Venters picked up the win for the Braves as Guerra (1-3) was handed the loss for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will have to indeed shake this loss off and prepare for the Washington Nationals who come to town on Friday for a weekend series, as they prepare to win the next three games.
After a 3-3 road trip coming off a terrible outing on Sunday in Houston, the Dodgers look to return to familiar territory, Dodger Stadium where they have done their best work.
Chris Capuano had the responsibility of keeping the winning streak alive against the young Atlanta Braves’ Jair Jurrjens.
Jurrjens allowing Dee Gordon to hit a single to center, which later allowed him the opportunity to steal second base, was a not a great way to start off the game. Mark Ellis flew out to right field, Matt Kemp was walked. Things didn’t get any better for Jurrjens as the reliable Andre Either hit a big single to center, that caused Gordon to score.
Capuano at the top of the second inning gave up an unnecessary home run to David Ross to tie the game at 1-1. Capuano would settle down and concentrate to get out of the inning unscaved, however the Dodgers would need run support and fast. James Loney who seems to be getting in stride hit a timely double into center, and Juan Uribe hit a single that caused Loney to score. The Dodgers weren’t done as A.J. Ellis singled to center, Uribe scores as they continue to pile on runs.
The reign of runs didn’t stop in the bottom of the fourth inning Loney has another timely hit, Uribe singles to advance Loney to third base. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had seen enough and called in reliever Livan Hernandez for Jurrjens. Which didn’t prove to be any better, as Gordon hit a sacrifice fly to left, Uribe scored to give the Dodgers the huge 5-1 lead.
In the top of the eight inning, Josh Lindblom relieves Capuano who pitched seven strong innings on six hits, and five strikeouts. The first batter Lindblom faced was slugger Dan Uggla who hit a home run deep to right field that cut the lead 5-2. But the Dodgers would soon answer back as Uribe would hit a huge bases loaded single, sending Kemp and Either in to score. Uribe tied a career high with four hits and drove in three runs on the night for the Dodgers, a magnificent night by the third baseman.
Dodger reliever Scott Elbert came in to close out the game and pick up the victory as the Dodgers took the first game of this three game series 7-2.
Juan Uribe talked about his stellar play against the Braves Monday night “I was hurt last year, but I wanted to play and show the guys I could play and help the team. For me, it was just important for us to win the game.”
Chris Capuano picks up the victory to go 2-0 on the season and spoke about his performance “It was a battle, but luckily I had a pretty decent cutter working, and that helped me out in that last situation. I was struggling with my command early, and I wasn’t able to get those calls on the inside of the plate to right-handers.”
Jurrjens pitched terribly, gave up five runs and nine hits in three-plus innings of work. Surprisingly this was the first time Jurrjens failed to record a strikeout in 42 starts.
The Braves all star third baseman Chipper Jones sat out of the game nursing a sore left knee, on the eve of his 40th birthday, but is expected to be in the line up on Tuesday. He announced earlier last month that this will be his final season with the Atlanta Braves. He’s had an outstanding career that spans 19 season, that included him being the 1999 NL MVP.
The Los Angeles Dodgers look to continue their winning ways as one of the hottest team in Major League Baseball, as ace Clayton Kershaw looks for his first win against the Houston Astros starter Kyle Weiland.
Kershaw started out solid as usual, allowing no runs as he continued to focus on the mission at hand, a victory. However Weiland had his work cut out for him, starting with giving up a solo home run to an offensively awaken James Loney.
Weiland continued to hold his own against Kershaw, even striking out Kershaw at an at bat. Weiland on misguided bunt play, allowed Dee Gordon to get on to first base in the top of the sixth inning. Then Gordon took off for second, but thanks to bad guided throw that resulted in an error, allowed the speedy Gordon to make it to third base. Can we say deja vu all over again, as slugger Matt Kemp bashes another two run home run as he did yesterday.
Kershaw continued to dominate, the same could not be said for Weiland as he was replaced in the eight inning by Rhiner Cruz. Cruz immediately walks AJ Ellis, Kershaw bunted into a double play that got Ellis out at second base. After walking Adam Kennedy, Cruz was relieved by David Carpenter who loaded the bases with a Matt Kemp walk. And of course Andre Either cashes in on single to right, allowing Gordon and Kennedy to score 5-0.
The Dodgers bullpen has had trouble throughout the young season, showed it struggles, as Mike MacDougal relieved Kershaw, only to give up a center field single to Justin Maxwell. After that walking both Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve, which made Dodger manager to make a quick personnel change bring in Kensley Jensen to finish out the inning. By then the damage had been done after walking J Martinez, Maxwell scored to avoid the shutout. Jensen was able to get out of the inning with out any further runs to set up Jamey Wright to close out the ninth inning and grab the save and victory for the Dodgers 5-1. Kershaw finally gets his first victory of the season, as Kemp has homered in three consecutive games.
Kershaw spoke about his great outing “I didn’t have great fastball command tonight. I struggled with my fastball. I didn’t exactly know where it was going all the time. I was fortunate to get some outs here and there. It was a battle tonight.”
Kershaw struck out nine and allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings for his first win this season after experiencing no decisions in his first three games of this year.
Weiland pitched seven innings, struck out six with two home runs. Weiland talked about that monster home run by Matt Kemp “I did the exact opposite of what we wanted, coming out there in that situation, you can’t give him anything close to hit. I dropped my elbow a little bit there and the pitch just spun up there.”