Jonathan Broxton continued his second half slide, allowing a two-run home run to Juan Uribe in the ninth inning, giving the Giants a 5-4 win to even the weekend series at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers were up 4-0, but allowed three solo home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to set the stage for Uribe's game-winning blast.
The blown save was Broxton's fourth since the All-Star break and sixth on the season, and since closing out the American League in Anaheim he has allowed 21 hits, 15 runs (14 earned), 12 walks in 17 2/3 innings, with 16 strikeouts, for a 7.13 ERA. "He doesn't have the confidence that he needs to have, that he has had and will have again," Joe Torre said, "A lot of his counts are bad, and he's not as comfortable as he needs to be."
When asked why Hong-Chih Kuo was used in the eighth inning rather than the ninth, Torre said, "Kuo is our closer. If the game dictates that you need to pitch him in the eighth inning, that's what you do," adding that given Broxton's struggles, he would like to use him in earlier game situations going forward.
A three-run home run by Jay Gibbons capped a four-run rally in the fourth inning, which at the time gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. Gibbons has now started five games for the Dodgers this season, his first major league action since 2007, and he has homered in three of those games. As a starter, Gibbons has seven hits in 17 at-bats, and is hitting .412/.444/.941.
Ted Lilly was very good, again, giving up two runs in his seven innings of work. Both runs came off solo home runs, the second of which was hit by Edgar Renteria leading off the eighth inning. That was the last batter Lilly faced, as Joe Torre brought in Octavio Dotel, who promptly allowed a home run to Pat Burrell, the first batter he saw, to cut the lead to 4-3. One out later, Dotel walked Freddy Sanchez and his night was through.
Kuo, who threw 13 pitches while earning the save Friday night, came in to pitch on back-to-back nights for the third time this season. This time, unlike the other two back-to-back appearances, Kuo faced more than one batter, inducing a pop out by Aubrey Huff and retiring Buster Posey, who homered earlier, on a deep fly ball to center field.
- Casey Blake had a double and two singles tonight, and since the beginning of August is hitting .314/.388/.480
- Lilly is in four home starts as a Dodger is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA
- James Loney set a new career high with his 36th double on the season, although it would have been a triple had he not fallen down between second and third base. Loney was out on the play, 9-4-6 if you're scoring at home.
- The home run allowed by Broxton was the first regular season home run he has allowed at Dodger Stadium since Mike Cameron took him deep on July 24, 2006, a span of 139 games and 135 2/3 innings.
Hiroki Kuroda and Jonathan Sanchez face off in the series finale tomorrow night on ESPN
WP - Javier Lopez (4-2): 3 up, 3 down
LP - Jonathan Broxton (5-5): 1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Brian Wilson (39): 1 IP, 2 hits