Today was a great win all around for the Dodgers. Despite starting Brad Ausmus, Juan Castro, Mark Lorretta, and Juan Pierre in place of Russell Martin, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, and Manny Ramirez respectively they were still able to sweep the four game series against the Padres. The final score was 7-3 and the winning pitcher was Chad BIllingsley, who is now 5-0 and leads the National League in wins. Chad went 7 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 walks and 4 hits with 8 strikeouts.
After taking a 3-0 lead in the first, the Padres got a run from back-to-back doubles by Chase Headley and Edgar Gonzalez in the second inning. The game was quiet until the sixth, when the Dodgers got four runs after the first two batters were retired, including one on a Chad Billingsley single that helped his cause. The Padres cut the lead to 7-3 with home runs in the 7th (Brian Giles) and 8th innings (Jody Gerut, off of Will Ohman). But then Ramon Troncoso came in and got the final six outs without allowing a baserunner. His impressive work has led to his 1.08 ERA so far this season, and one wonders how much longer it will be before he is moved into a more important role, much like Hong-Chih Kuo was last year after starting out as a long reliever.
Orlando Hudson had 2 doubles, a walk, and 3 RBI's to lead the offensive attack for the Dodgers. He was supported by Pierre, 2-4 with an RBI, Ethier, an RBI double and a walk, and Juan Castro, who also went 2-4. The only starters who didn't get a hit were Matt Kemp and Mark Loretta, who went a combined 0-7 with 4 K's.
The Dodgers will look to extend their franchise record-setting home winning streak tommorow when they take on the Diamondbacks at 7:05 PM, in what should be a very important series against their main contenders for the division title. The starting pitchers for the first game of the series will be Doug Davis and Eric Stults. The Dodgers are now 18-8 and have a 4.5 game lead in the division.