The good news for the Dodgers today was that Jerry Sands hit his first major league home run, a solo shot to left field off Mark Buehrle in the sixth inning. The bad news was that Jon Garland gave them the worst start by a Dodger starter this season, and the White Sox cruised to a 9-2 win to even the weekend series. The fourth inning proved to be the undoing for the Dodgers.
Garland and Buehrle each allowed one run on five hits through their first three innings, but that's where the similarities end. Garland gave up a no-doubter home run to Alex Rios in the fourth inning, a two-run shot to give Chicago a 3-1 lead. Then, after two bloop hits and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, Alexei Ramirez lined a sharp single into left for two more runs. A two-out walk to Adam Dunn loaded the bases and ended Garland's day, but a ground ball single by Paul Konerko (in Rafael Furcal's range but out of Jamey Carroll's) off Ramon Troncoso hung two more runs on Garland's ledger.
The bottom of the fourth inning was a disaster for the Dodgers. Eleven White Sox batters came to the plate, and they scored six runs on seven hits, a walk, and a hit batter. The 11 hits and 13 baserunners allowed by Garland in his 3 2/3 innings were the most allowed by him since August 18, 2009, against Philadelphia when Garland was with Arizona. It was the most baserunners and runs allowed by a Dodger starter this season.
Sands had nine doubles in his first 95 plate appearances, so he wasn't exactly hurting for power, but what was amazing about his home run was that he pulled the ball. Per Baseball-Reference.com, here are the locations of all the balls Sands has hit to the outfield this season, before the home run:
|Jerry Sands Balls Hit To The Outfield|
Sands became the 680th Dodger to ever hit a home run, and 337th to do so since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.
- Buehrle has been stellar in interleague play throughout his career. He has won his last 10 decisions against the National League, dating back to 2008, and in his career has the most wins by anyone in interleague play, at 24-6 with a 3.34 ERA.
- Buehrle had just one strikeout, the first starter with so few punchouts to beat the Dodgers this season. The last starting pitcher to get a win against L.A. with one strikeout or less was Zach Kroenke, last October 1.
- Troncoso, though he allowed two inherited runners to score in the fourth inning, allowed no runs of his own in 2 1/3 innings of work. Lance Cormier pitched the final two innings of the game, allowing two runs.
- Dunn walked once, but also struck out four times. The last batter to strikeout four times was Adam LaRoche, last September 24.
- Hiroki Kuroda faces old friend Edwin Jackson in the series finale tomorrow at 11:10 a.m. PDT.
WP - Mark Buehrle (4-3): 7 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 strikeout
LP - Jon Garland (1-4): 3 2/3 IP, 11 hits, 7 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts