Chad Billingsley ran into some trouble early and then settled down, but it proved to be too late for the Dodgers.
For the second straight night the Dodgers fell behind by four runs early, only to get right back in the game with a big rally. The result was another one-run affair, the third in a row for the Dodgers, with Saturday night falling the way of the White Sox, who snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they had a starting pitcher allow five runs in six innings for the second straight night. Saturday, Chad Billingsley was the one who fell behind early, including a three-run second inning.
"I felt good," said Billingsley. "I had command of my off speed stuff, but my fastball wasn't there. My fastball command was off and on."
Billingsley allowed single runs in the third and fourth innings, but rebounded to pitch two scoreless innings to end his night.
"He was just battling and battling. As the game went on I thought he actually got a little bit better," said manager Don Mattingly.
Billingsley said he felt similar to how he pitched in each of his last two starts, a pair of wins that saw him allow one run in seven innings in each start. He did continue a positive trend with just one walk and four strikeouts, and has 31 strikeouts against 10 walks in 30 innings over his last five starts (following a six-start stretch with 19 walks and 27 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings).
But Mattingly brought up a key word when it comes to Billingsley.
"The biggest thing we talk about with Chad is his consistency," Mattingly said. "The inconsistency is what keeps him from taking two steps forward."
Even though the Dodgers trailed when Billingsley left, they had plenty of opportunities to try to score the tying run. But the Dodger offense went dark after scoring four runs in the third inning.
"It was one of those innings you put a bunch of hits together. Down 4-0, to get back in that game right there was a huge momentum swing, but then we give that run right back," Mattingly said. "Still at that point we had a lot of ballgame left. At that point, I'm thinking it's going to be two bullpen games, with some chances to put some runs on the board."
But those chances never materialized.
After the third inning, the Dodgers managed just one hit and three walks. The White Sox bullpen — Hector Santiago, Nate Jones, Jesse Crain, and Addison Reed — combined for four scoreless innings, with no hits allowed, two walks, and five strikeouts.
The result was the Dodgers falling short in what was yet another one-run game, their 30th of the season to lead the major leagues.