Unlikely Heroes Deliver Improbable Win For Dodgers In Chicago

The script called for the Dodgers to lose 3-2, their offense falling just short of supporting another quality start from their pitching staff. For 8 2/3 innings, it looked like that would be the case, but after Russ Mitchell decided to improvise the Dodgers yes anded their way to a 6-4 win over the White Sox in 10 innings at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

Things were bleak when Juan Uribe left the game in the bottom of the seventh with a strained left hip flexor. In the eighth inning, the White Sox elected to walk Matt Kemp with first base open to load the bases for Uribe's replacement, Juan Castro. Castro struck out, and James Loney grounded out to end what looked like the Dodgers' final threat.

Until Russ Mitchell, that is. Mitchell was 1-for-14 on the season when he stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning. Mitchell launched a home run off closer Sergio Santos to tie the game, the first run allowed by Santos in 21 innings this season. But the Dodgers weren't done, as the Dodgers rallied for three more off Santos in the 10th inning. Castro and Loney each drove in runs, redeeming themselves from their eighth inning struggles, and Jay Gibbons delivered the final run with a single.

It looked early like tonight would be a relatively high-scoring game. Kemp, starting his first-ever game at DH, blasted a two-run home run off Phillip Humber in the first inning, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Kemp joined select company, becoming the sixth Dodgers designated hitter to hit a home run in their 113 games in American League parks since interleague play began in 1997.

Dodgers DH Home Runs
Player Date Opponent
Kemp tonight Chicago
Manny Ramirez 6/19/10 Boston
Luis Gonzalez 6/22/07 Tampa Bay
Olmedo Saenz 6/12/04 Boston
Mike Kinkade 6/29/03 Anaheim
Chad Kreuter 6/16/01 Anaheim
Mike Davis 10/20/88* Oakland
*World Series

Ted Lilly began his game with the rule of fives. He retired the first five batters he faced, but then allowed five consecutive hits with two outs in the second inning, including two doubles and a home run, to fall behind 3-2. Then Lilly continued to do Ted Lilly things, and he retired 16 of the final 18 batters he faced. He pitched seven innings and allowed three runs, his fourth quality start on the season.

Humber pitched a solid game himself. He only allowed the two runs from the Kemp homer in his seven innings of work, and after a single to Ethier in the third inning Humber retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced. There was no scoring after the second inning until Mitchell's home run in the ninth.

Kenley Jansen was magnificent, pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth innings, picking up his first win of the season. The Dodgers used Matt Guerrier, Scott Elbert, and Mike MacDougal to close out the win in the 10th inning.

Dodgers On The Mend

Before tonight's game, manager Don Mattingly addressed the status of several of the injured Dodgers. You can find more details from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles. Here is a quick summary:

  • Rafael Furcal will arrive in Chicago Saturday, and either be activated Sunday for the series finale, or Monday in Houston
  • Casey Blake went through full workouts Friday. If he feels fine on Saturday, he will begin a rehab assignment with Triple A Albuqerque on either Sunday or Monday. Blake will likely be activated Friday for the homestand opener against Florida
  • Aaron Miles sat out tonight, his second straight game missed, with a sore ribcage.
  • Blake Hawksworth will pitch Monday and Wednesday on a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes are home on Monday and in Lancaster on Wednesday. Hawksworth is eligible to come off the DL on Friday.
  • Vicente Padilla got an injection into his sore right forearm today, and could begin a throwing program soon. To me, that sounds like someone who will be back much later than the May 29 date on which he is eligible to return.
  • Marcus Thames, on the DL with a quad strain, could begin a rehab assignment by next weekend

Notes

  • Jamey Carroll had his first four-hit game as a Dodger, and the seventh of his career.
  • Ethier snapped an 0-for-22 skid with a single in the third inning. Ethier also walked
  • Adam Dunn, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Lilly and 0-for-1 off Scott Elbert, is 0-for-30 with three walks and 13 strikeouts against left-handed pitching this season
  • Jerry Sands pinch hit for Tony Gwynn in the top of the eighth inning, then played the next two innings in center field, the first time Sands has played the position as a pro.
  • Mike MacDougal became the fifth Dodger to get a save this season.
  • The Dodgers are 4-0 in extra innings this season
  • Ethier will be the designate hitter on Saturday
  • Former White Sox pitcher Jon Garland takes the hill tomorrow in the second game of the series, against Mark Buehrle for Chicago

WP - Kenley Jansen (1-0): 2 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts

LP - Sergio Santos (2-1): 1 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Sv - Mike MacDougal (1): 1 up, 1 down

Box Score

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