Hiroki Kuroda somehow has 11 losses despite a 3.13 ERA this season.
Brandon Allen, making his first start of the season, hit a three-run home run in the second inning off Hiroki Kuroda, and that was enough for the Diamondbacks to beat the Dodgers 3-2 in the second game of the three-game series at Chase Field in Phoenix. The Dodgers have scored 18 runs in Kuroda's last nine starts.
Matt Kemp hit a ball nearly off the scoreboard in center field to lead off the second inning, but the Dodgers didn't threaten too often after that. Their best threat came in the fifth inning, when they parlayed a hit and three walks into another run. The Dodgers put another runner on base in the sixth and seventh innings, but Diamondbacks pitchers retired the final seven Dodgers to end the game.
Kuroda had a rough start to the game, giving up a leadoff double to Kelly Johnson. Stephen Drew followed by driving the ball to the gap in left center field, but luckily Tony Gwynn Jr. was playing left field today. Gwynn picked off the ball, then Kuroda retired Justin Upton and Chris Young to end the inning unblemished. However, Kuroda was blemished in the second inning, as the first three batters of the second inning collected hits, the final blow a towering three-run home run to right field by Allen.
Drew led off the third inning with a double near the pool in the right field gap, but thanks to a nice bounce off the wall, a quick relay by Andre Ethier (even though he missed the cutoff man), and a laser by Rafael Furcal, Drew was erased at third base. Kuroda settled down completely after that, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced, including six by strikeout.
Unfortunately, Kuroda's spot in the batting order came up in the top of the seventh, and down a run, the Dodgers needed offense so Don Mattingly sent Trent Oeltjen to the plate to pinch hit for his pitcher. Oeltjen struck out.
- Scott Elbert retired all six batters he faced, in the seventh and eighth inning, two by strikeout. It was his longest outing since August 2, 2009.
- Kuroda and Elbert combined to retire the final 15 Diamondbacks of the game.
- Rafael Furcal had a bases loaded walk in the fifth inning, but was otherwise 0-for-3. Furcal has three hits in 34 at-bats since returning from the disabled list. Couple that with the 5-for-40 slump that ended Dee Gordon's first major league stay, and shortstop has been a sinkhole of late for the Dodgers.
- Dioner Navarro went 1-for-3, and has at least one hit in each of his last seven starts behind the plate.
- Ted Lilly gets the start tomorrow afternoon in the rubber game of the series, facing Daniel Hudson.
WP - Ian Kennedy (10-3): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Hiroki Kuroda (6-11): 6 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 7 strikeouts
Sv - David Hernandez (8): 1 IP, 1 strikeout