Chad Billingsley had a terrific day...at the plate, leading the Dodgers to a 9-6 win over the Reds in the finale of their three-game series in Cincinnati. The win gave the Dodgers a third straight series win, after winning just three of their last 12 series before that. Billingsley was so good at the plate, he overshadowed even Matt Kemp, who homered again.
Billingsley took Travis Wood deep in the second inning, the culmination of an 11-pitch at-bat to widen the Dodgers' lead to 4-1. Then, in the third inning Wood intentionally walked James Loney to load the bases, only Billingsley made the decision backfire by drawing a six-pitch walk. Then, with Loney on first base with two outs in the fifth, Billingsley worked a 3-1 count off Wood, then hammered an opposite field double over the head of Jay Bruce in right field.
Billingsley is the first Dodger pitcher to have two extra-base hits in a game, and the first to have three RBI in a game, since Randy Wolf on August 16, 2009. Billingsley had RBI in three consecutive plate appearances, something no Dodgers pitcher has done in a game since Rick Rhoden, who turned the trick on June 2, 1976. The last Dodgers pitcher to have RBI in three different PA in one game was Fernando Valenzuela on June 8, 1983.
On the mound, Billingsley wasn't sharp, but did what he had to do to last five innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks, but picked up his third straight win. At the plate, Billingsley is hitting .304/.385/.522 on the season.
Ely Saves The Pen
After Billingsley threw 106 pitches in five innings, and one day after the Dodgers used five relievers, they needed someone to eat up some innings, and luckily they had a four-run cushion to work with. Enter John Ely, who was recalled from Triple A Albuquerque yesterday. Ely pitched into the ninth, and was pulled after allowing a leadoff walk in the final inning. Unfortunately, Ely wasn't able to join Ramon Troncoso, who had the tremendous four-inning save with a one-run lead in Colorado on April 25, 2009, and was the last Dodger to collect a save of three innings or more.
Ely's outing was very much needed, especially since both Matt Guerrier and Scott Elbert had pitched in four of the last six days, Mike MacDougal had pitched two days in a row, and Javy Guerra threw 37 pitches Saturday. It bought a day of rest in the midst of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, with Tuesday's starter Rubby De La Rosa having not been stretched out since May 15. Unfortunately for Ely, because his good work took 58 pitches, it likely means he will get rewarded with a ticket back to Triple A tomorrow when Blake Hawksworth is expected back from the DL.
- Josh Lindblom got the final three outs, recording the final out with a strikeout of Drew Stubbs, the first major league strikeout for Lindblom
- Kemp reached base five times in six plate appearances, including a career-high tying three walks
- Loney reached base four times, including three walks
- Jamey Carroll, who reached base five times on Saturday, got on base three more times today
- Andre Ethier had two hits, including a double, and a walk
Rod Barajas drove in two with a bases-loaded double
- Aaron Miles had a single and a double in his six plate appearances
- The Dodgers head to Philadelphia for three beginning Monday, with Ted Lilly facing Cliff Lee in a battle of former Expos southpaws
WP - Chad Billingsley (5-4): 5 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Travis Wood (4-4): 4 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 8 runs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts