Dodgers 3, Tigers 2: Carl Crawford walk-off double wins it in 10th

Victor Decolongon

Crawford picked up his 10th career walk-off hit, and his first since May 19, 2011.

LOS ANGELES --  Carl Crawford hit a line-drive double that skipped past left fielder Rajai Davis for a walk-off 3-2 win for the Dodgers over the Tigers in 10 innings before a sellout crowd in the opener of a two-game interleague series at Dodger Stadium.

It was the third hit of the night for Crawford, who as a left fielder empathized with Davis.

"They seem to catch the ball when I hit it every time. I was hoping it would get by, then it seemed to skip on the grass," Crawford said. "It's a tough situation when the ball is coming at you and you're thinking about what to do."

The double easily scored Chone Figgins from first. Figgins led off the inning with a walk against Joba Chamberlain, who struck out the side in the ninth inning. All five of Figgins' plate appearances this season have come as a pinch hitter, and he has walked three times. Even after missing all of 2013, his batting eye never went away.

"For me it's more working on my swing. I'm getting better with my swing path," Figgins explained. "But as far as pitch recognition in the zone, that's never usually a problem."

Kenley Jansen allowed a leadoff double by Ian Kinsler in the ninth, but looked like he might have protected the one-run lead with a groundout followed by a tremendous challenge at-bat ending in a swinging strikeout by Miguel Cabrera. Jansen's six pitches were measured at 98, 98, 98, 99, 99 and 98 mph to Cabrera.

But Victor Martinez followed with a two-out single to center field to tie the score at 2-2 to help send the game into extra innings.

Manager Don Mattingly had no thoughts of intentionally walking Cabrera, especially with Martinez on deck.

"I didn't want to put the winning run on. I know how good Victor is. I've seen Victor long enough to know this cat can really hit. He's an RBI machine," Mattingly said. "You never really want to pitch to Cabrera, but you don't want to really get to Victor either."

Dee Gordon led off the game with a ball into the pavilion in right center field for his third career home run, second career leadoff home run, and first of the season.

"It was definitely luck," Gordon said. "I was thinking three, but the crowd let me know it was a home run. I never saw it land."

The Tigers answered in the second with a towering home run by Austin Jackson just beyond the left field wall for a 1-1 tie. But after Alex Avila followed the home run with a single, Dodgers starter Dan Haren retired nine straight Tigers and finished with his second quality start in as many outings.

"It was mostly fastball and cutter," Haren recalled. "I stayed with those two pitches and located well as the game went along. I tried to keep the ball down as much as possible."

Haren induced 10 groundouts and just one fly out in his six innings, throwing 96 pitches. He allowed just three hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. The Dodgers are 4-1 when their starter pitches a quality start, allowing three or fewer earned runs in six or more innings.

Max Scherzer got into a groove of his own until the seventh, when Matt Kemp led off with a walk, advanced to third on a double by Juan Uribe, and scored on a fly ball to short center field by pinch hitter Justin Turner.

The sacrifice fly was Turner's first RBI as a Dodger.

Chris Withrow pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and has retired 14 straight batters, including eight via strikeout.

Up next

Josh Beckett is expected to be activated from the disabled list to start the series finale on Wednesday night, against 2013 American League ERA champion Anibal Sanchez. Yasiel Puig likely won't start, giving his strained left thumb ligament more time to heal with Thursday's pending off day, but might be available to pinch hit.

Puig, who hasn't played in each of the last two games, had his thumb iced before the game and took swings in the cage. He said swinging with a splint on his thumb was uncomfortable but that he'd try to adapt. As far as his availability for Tuesday night's game, well...

"He was in emergency mode for us, if we really got into one of those crazy games where we had to use somebody. In our minds we don't think he was really available to pinch hit. We could have used him, but we really didn't want to unless we absolutely had to," Mattingly said. "I don't know if I answered your question. Kind of yes, but really no."

Tuesday particulars

Home runs: Dee Gordon (1), Austin Jackson (1)

WP - J.P. Howell (1-0): 1 IP, 1 strikeout

LP - Joba Chamberlain (0-1): 1+ IP, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

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