The Dodgers took advantage of several fielding miscues by the Astros in the ninth inning, plating three runs to grab their second straight win, 6-3 over Houston. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless eighth inning for his first major league win.
The Dodgers started the ninth with a walk by Trent Oeltjen, the first time the Isotope Trio has reached base in 21 plate appearances. After that:
- First baseman Brett Wallace misplayed a bunt by Reed Johnson, grabbing it before it went foul, allowing Johnson to reach base
- Pitcher Brandon Lyon fielded A.J. Ellis' sacrifice attempt, but threw wildly down the right field line, and two runs scored, thanks in part to the hilariously wild throw from right fielder Hunter Pence.
James Loney lined a ball to right field that Pence had clang off his glove, which was scored a double, scoring Ellis. It was Loney's career-high 39th double.
John Ely had a nice return to the rotation after not pitching for the Dodgers for two months. He allowed three runs in his six innings of work, his ninth quality start in 15 tries this season. Ely got hurt when he left a few pitches up, including the changeup that Brett Wallace deposited over the wall in right field for a solo home run in the fifth inning. Ely walked Michael Bourn to start the game but didn't issue another free pass the rest of the night, while striking out four.
Jay Gibbons had a sense of déjà vu tonight. First, Bourn hit yet another ball into that troublesome nook in left center field in the fourth inning, which eluded Gibbons for another triple, just as he had last night under the same circumstances. In addition, Gibbons had three at-bats against Wandy Rodriguez, and he hit the ball back up the middle three times, each time off of Rodriguez, resulting in two base hits.
Rodriguez was solid as well, striking out 10 in his seven innings of work. The Dodgers only really got to him in the fourth inning. In the first inning, Rodriguez struck out Blake with a borderline 3-2 pitch that Blake didn't agree with. Home plate umpire Paul Emmel was jawing with the Dodger dugout, and ejected someone. At the time, it was thought to be Blake, but it turned out to be Joe Torre, arguing on The Beard's behalf. It's a good thing Blake wasn't ejected, because he led off the fourth inning with a home run, over the Crawford Boxes in left. The Dodgers scraped together two more runs on RBI singles by Reed Johnson and A.J. Ellis.
John Lindsey went 0-for-3 in his first major league start, with two strikeouts against Rodriguez, before leaving the game in a double switch after the top of the seventh inning.
Pain In The Neck
Vicente Padilla was scratched from his start tomorrow with a bulging disc in his neck, the same injury that caused him to miss nearly three weeks at the end of August. Given that the Dodgers are out of contention, the team is being extra cautious with Padilla, who might not pitch again this season, writes Tony Jackson of ESPN LA:
"If tomorrow were the seventh game of the World Series, then we would probably look at it differently," [trainer Stan] Conte said.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he won't be surprised if Padilla doesn't pitch again in 2010.
"For the foreseeable future, I don't see Padilla pitching," Torre said.
Carlos Monasterios, who hasn't pitched since August 31 and who combined for 10 2/3 innings in his last three starts, will start in place of Padilla tomorrow.
- The three stolen bases by the Dodgers tonight were their most in a game since swiping three on August 8 against the Nationals (True Blue LA Night, no less!). Their season high is five stolen bases, on July 6 against the Marlins.
- Tonight was the first game in which Jansen faced more than two batters and didn't record a strikeout
- Jansen is the 17th Dodger to earn a victory this season. The Dodgers set a franchise record with 22 different pitchers recording wins last season.
- Today was the fourth time Hong-Chih Kuo has pitched back-to-back this season, and the four batters Kuo faced were the most in the second game of those outings. He faced four batters total in the previous three occurrences.
Monasterios and Nelson Figueroa do battle in the series finale tomorrow.
WP - Kenley Jansen (1-0): 3 up, 3 down
LP - Brandon Lyon (6-6): 0 IP, 1 hit, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 walk
Sv - Hong-Chih Kuo (9): 1 IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts