One first major league start went about as well as possible, and the other one had a rocky beginning but finished with a flourish, as Dee & Rubby led the Dodgers to a 6-2 win over the Phillies Tuesday night.
After two innings, tonight did not look like it would end well for Rubby De La Rosa and the Dodgers. De La Rosa's first major league start began on the wild side, as he walked five in the first two innings. De La Rosa threw 47 pitches, an astonishing 28 of them outside the strike zone. However, he somehow escaped allowing just one run, and the game was 1-1 after two innings.
The top of the third inning began, almost fittingly, with a leadoff walk by De La Rosa. He became the second Dodger pitcher this season to walk in his first major league plate appearance, joining Javy Guerra, who turned the trick on Saturday. Dee Gordon followed with with his second hit of the game, a single to right field, and De La Rosa hustled and made it all the way to third base. A Casey Blake single scored one run, then Roy Oswalt for some reason decided to try to try to pick off the noted speedster Blake, only Ryan Howard wasn't at first base. The errant throw scored Gordon, and Blake was brought home on an RBI single by Andre Ethier that made the score 4-1.
De La Rosa struck out two batters in the bottom of the third inning, but also allowed three singles. Luckily for him, the third single was hit right to Ethier, who threw a strike to Dioner Navarro at home plate to nail Raul Ibanez. It was Ethier's sixth outfield assist, and the 18th for the Dodgers this season, tying them with the Royals for the major league lead. De La Rosa settled down after that, and retired his final six batters in the fourth and fifth innings to qualify for the win. Over his final three innings, De La Rosa threw 28 of his 49 pitches for strikes, a vast improvement from the start of the game.
Gordon had himself quite a starting debut, collecting hits in each of his first three at-bats. As mentioned during the KCAL broadcast, the last Dodger to do that was Mike Piazza in 1992. Gordon ended his night 3-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored. Since 1919, the only two Dodgers to have three hits and a steal in their first major league start are Gordon and Jose Offerman, who did so on August 19, 1990.
Matt Kemp put the game away with a towering two-run home run to right field in the eighth inning, his fourth home run on the road trip, which has now reached five games. Kemp is now tied with Jay Bruce for the National League lead in home runs with 17, and has sole possession of the NL lead in RBI, with 50. Kemp also doubled, and is now hitting a robust .320/.401/.596.
- Both Hong-Chih Kuo (with Rancho Cucamonga) and Kenley Jansen (with Chattanooga) will begin rehab assignments on Thursday. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times has the details.
- Tony Gwynn, Jr., who collected a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning, has four hits in five at-bats in June after a 2-for-30 May
- Scott Elbert pitched his longest outing of the season, getting four outs in the seventh and eighth. Elbert is unscored upon in 7 2/3 innings this season, with eight strikeouts and seven baserunners allowed.
Hiroki Kuroda goes for the series win on Wednesday night, facing Cole Hamels.
WP - Rubby De La Rosa (2-0): 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Roy Oswalt (3-4): 6 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout