Andre Ethier earlier in the game extended his hitting streak to 24 games, and later in the game -- the 10th inning, to be precise -- he extended the Dodgers winning streak...to one, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 win over the Marlins. Not bad for a game the Dodgers once trailed 4-0, and a game in which they used Ted Lilly as a pinch runner. The Dodgers ended their road trip at 3-3, and head home with a 13-13 record, having gone 10-10 during their stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
Though the better part of Tuesday was spent by Don Mattingly telling everybody that Jonathan Broxton was still his closer, on Wednesday Vicente Padilla entered the game in the save situation in the bottom of the 10th. It was the first save opportunity since September 28, 2000 for Padilla, who retired the Marlins in order. After the game, Josh Suchon on KABC reported that Broxton's elbow was "barky," and only available in an emergency.
Chad Billingsley had, in essence, a Randy Wolfian start. He had a rough second inning, giving up four runs on five hits, including a bizarre bases loaded single off the wall by Brett Hayes that managed to score just one run despite rolling back toward the infield, thanks to poor Florida baserunning. Billingsley settled down after that, and managed to complete six innings. In fact, Billingsley didn't give up a hit outside of that second inning.
Anibal Sanchez, who had a no-hitter in 2006 and took a no-hitter into the ninth inning in his last start, held the Dodgers without a hit for the first three innings today. But singles in the fourth by Ethier and James Loney were cashed in by Rod Barajas, who hit his fifth home run of the season to pull the Dodgers within 4-3. Sanchez, who threw 123 pitches and 113 pitches in his last two starts, was removed today after five innings and 74 pitches. It was not due to an injury to Sanchez, but rather a planned move to protect his arm.
The Dodgers tied the game on a pinch-hit double by Juan Uribe in the seventh inning. Uribe, who hasn't started for five straight days while nursing a tight left thigh, was replaced by Lilly on the bases.
Blake Bound For DL
Casey Blake was hospitalized Thursday morning as his swollen left elbow became infected. Blake, who hasn't played since Saturday, is expected to be placed on the disabled list before Friday's game, and could miss up to four weeks. Per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA:
"We have to be careful," Mattingly said. "Obviously, it's some type of infection. It's one of those situations you can't really play around with. I think Stan feels good that we got started on this yesterday and didn't let anything get out of hand. I'm not quite sure when we'll get him back, but there is a possibility of this thing being long term."
The Dodgers are off tomorrow, but begin a three-game series at home against San Diego, with Ted Lilly facing Clayton Richard. The last time these two faced off, the game took two days to complete.
WP - Matt Guerrier (2-1): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 strikeout
LP - Brian Sanches (3-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout
Sv - Vicente Padilla (1): 3 up, 3 down