Once down 3-0 against Cole Hamels, it looked for a while like the Dodgers wouldn't get their sweep. But a sixth-inning rally, more solid bullpen work, and a ninth-inning dam-buster gave the Dodgers an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday and their first four-game sweep in Philadelphia since May 24-26, 1946.
Down two runs in the top of the sixth inning, the Dodgers opened the inning with a walk and a single, then later in the inning Hamels allowed RBI singles to James Loney, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Matt Treanor to give the Dodgers the lead. Loney had two hits for the second straight day.
With closer Kenley Jansen unavailable after pitching three straight days, and with setup man Josh Lindblom in the only use in case of emergency role after pitching the last two days, the Dodgers didn't exactly have a full bullpen arsenal available. But Jamey Wright came through with two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to preserve a one-run lead.
But after a four-run ninth inning, Shawn Tolleson was brought in to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning with an 8-3 lead. In his major league debut, Tolleson faced two batters and threw eight balls in 10 pitches. After the two walks, manager Don Mattingly had seen enough and removed Tolleson in favor of Ronald Belisario, who induced a pair of groundouts to end the game.
The Dodger bullpen allowed one run on six hits in 11 innings during the series in Philadelphia, with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Before Tolleson, the last Dodger to walk two without recording an out in his major league debut was Chink Zachary on April 30, 1944.
The Phillies scored three runs in a sloppy bottom of the third inning for the Dodgers. The first run was scored by Hamels, who the Dodgers had a chance to throw out at both third base and home at different points in the inning, but throwing errors by right fielder Castellanos and third baseman Elian Herrera thwarted those plans.
Those were the only runs allowed by Aaron Harang, who pitched six innings for his fifth win of the season and 100th win of his career. Outside of the third inning, Harang allowed five hits and no walks, with three strikeouts.
The Dodgers responded with an unearned run in the top of the fourth when they cashed in a pair of errors by Ty Wigginton, pulling to within 3-1. That's where the score stayed until the Dodgers got to Hamels in the sixth.
Andre Ethier, who didn't start today, snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a two-run double as a pinch hitter in the ninth. The line drive was originally called an error on first baseman John Mayberry, but quickly changed by the official scorer.
Catcher A.J. Ellis sat for the second time in three games on Thursday, and apparently is still feeling the effects of getting hit in the knee by a pitch on Monday night. On the KABC broadcast, Rick Monday noted that Ellis "was really hobbled" before Thursday's game, still limping (per Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness). It should be noted that Ellis did play Wednesday night and the Dodgers are in the midst of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. An extra day off for Ellis, who has started 45 of 58 games this season, especially in a day game after a night game, is especially welcome.
The Dodgers take their road show to Safeco Field, where they will open a three-game weekend series Friday night against the Seattle Mariners. Nathan Eovaldi gets the call in the opener, facing Kevin Millwood for the Mariners.
Home Runs: none
WP - Aaron Harang (5-3): 6 IP, 8 hits, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Cole Hamels (8-3): 6 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk, 6 strikeouts