Aug.5, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22), relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74), center fielder Matt Kemp (27), shortstop Luis Cruz (47) and right fielder Andre Ethier (16) celebrates with third baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) after he hit a walk off single in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Hanley Ramirez delivered his first walk-off hit as a Dodger with his ninth-inning single, capping a 1-for-3 day with two walks for the shortstop.
"When you play in front of your crowd and hear that noise, that moment just pumps you up," Ramirez said. "That's something I was looking for in coming here."
Kenley's Blown Save
Anthony Rizzo homered off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning to tie the game, handing Jansen his sixth blown save of the season in 27 attempts, a success rate of 77.8%. Though it should be noted that in five of his six blown saves Jansen has entered the game with just a one-run lead.
Jansen has also converted nine saves in games he entered with a one-run advantage. In his 14 save situations that he entered with a one-run lead, Jansen has allowed opposing batters to hit .173/.218/.308, with two walks and 18 strikeouts in 55 batters faced.
Joe Blanton had a productive first start as a Dodger, allowing two runs in his six innings, an outing that manager Don Mattingly said might have lasted longer had the Dodgers not been at-bat for so long in the bottom of the sixth. Blanton also issued three walks, an uncharacteristically high total for the right-hander. Mattingly chalked it up to home plate umpire Dale Scott's strike zone.
"He was calling those balls down. It was pretty much the same way for both teams," Mattingly said. "When you throw the ball right over the plate right at the knees, you expect to get those calls. But it was tight both ways."
Blanton was asked if he had any nerves that caused his control to wane in the early going.
"No, no I didn't," Blanton said. "Sometimes you get calls, sometimes you don't."
Ethier vs. Lefties
Andre Ethier had been struggling through a miserable homestand, hitting just .136 (3-for-22) in six games before his seventh-inning double off southpaw James Russell to give the Dodgers the lead. Ethier also singled in the ninth inning, but the hit in the seventh was more rare, as Ethier is hitting just .225/.294/.333 against left-handed pitchers this season, including the double.
"Every bullpen we face has three or four lefties it seems," Ethier joked. "You get used to it, and have to figure out a way to get it done. Just battle and have good quality at-bats. Don (Mattingly) always reiterates 'Don't give anything away,' and always go up there and battle hard, lay off the bad pitches, and hopefully you'll square a good one."
Kemp's Hitting Streak
Matt Kemp scored the winning run in the ninth inning, as he started the rally with a one-out walk. Two innings earlier, Kemp's base hit extended his hitting streak to eight games, during which time he is hitting .468 (15-for-32) with four doubles and two home runs.
The Dodgers conclude their homestand with a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, who have lost eight of their last nine games. The series opener on Monday night features a battle of lefties, with Chris Capuano pitching for the Dodgers against Drew Pomeranz for Colorado.