Chad Billingsley pitched into, then out of trouble all night, scattering 11 hits over seven innings, and the Dodgers offense came alive for the second straight day as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 7-1 in the series opener at Dodger Stadium Monday night. Billingsley allowed just one run in those seven innings, walking two while striking out four. The Rockies had several chances to score, but their only tally was a solo home run by Ty Wigginton in the fourth inning. The Rockies were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position tonight.
Billingsley gave up singles to four consecutive batters at one point, but the Rockies didn't score, thanks to a terrific throw by Matt Kemp. With two outs in the first inning, a single and stolen base by Carlos Gonzalez was followed by a line drive single up the middle by Troy Tulowitzki, but Kemp unloaded a throw on the fly to Rod Barajas, who applied the tag at the plate to end the inning.
The Dodgers, who put up a pair of four-run innings on Sunday against Florida, put up another four-run frame tonight in the third inning against Colorado. Billingsley led off with a single, and was followed by three more singles, the last a two-run knock by Andre Ethier up the middle that was inches from a potential 1-6-3 double play.
Kemp followed with a sacrifice fly to center that was dropped by Dexter Fowler, though Fowler recovered in time to throw out Ethier at second base for a fielder's choice. Since the run would have scored from third anyway, this was a great trade for the Dodgers, putting Kemp on first instead of Ethier. Kemp took advantage with his 14th stolen base of the season, then scored on a James Loney single to make it 4-0.
The Dodgers added another three runs in the fifth inning, capped by a two-run home run to right center field by Loney. The home run was one of three hits by Loney, who drove in three runs in a game for the first time since last August 30.
- Billingsley scored a run tonight, the third straight game a Dodger pitcher has scored
- Billingsley allowed at least one baserunner in each of his seven innings, including allowing the leadoff man to reach in his final six innings.
- The last Dodger pitcher to give up 11 hits and get a win was Brad Penny, who beat the Brewers on June 6, 2005
- Jamey Carroll snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a 50-foot dribbler up the third base line for an infield single in the four-run third inning, then tripled to leadoff the fifth inning.
- Ethier went 2-for-4 tonight with three runs batted in, and has nine hits and five walks in his last 20 plate appearances.
- Rafael Furcal had two singles and a walk tonight, his third straight game with at least two hits.
- Matt Guerrier got three outs in the eighth inning, and Javy Guerra pitched a scoreless ninth. It was the first appearance for both pitchers since Wednesday
- Tony Gwynn Jr. pinch hit for Kemp in the eighth inning, extending Gwynn's consecutive games played streak to 24 (including nine straight and 21 of 24 off the bench)
- In his second rehab game with Triple A Albuquerque, Marcus Thames played left field for six innings, and went 0-for-4 at the plate with a strikeout.
- Ted Lilly faces off against Clayton Mortensen in the second game of the series on Tuesday night.
WP - Chad Billingsley (4-4): 7 IP, 11 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Jason Hammel (3-5): 4 2/3 IP, 10 hits, 7 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts