Rookie John Ely outpitched Dan Haren for his first career win, despite Haren recording nine strikeouts - all but one swinging - in the first three innings, to help lead the Dodgers to a lopsided 13 - 3 victory in Arizona, moving the club into sole possession of third place in the National League West. The Dodgers broke open a tight 4-3 ballgame with a seven-run eighth inning against an embattled Diamondbacks bullpen after Haren ultimately lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing 4 runs and 10 hits.
Ely, in his third career start, pitched into the seventh inning, yielding to the bullpen after allowing the first two batters that inning to reach base. Ely is the fifth Los Angeles Dodger to begin his major-league career with three starts of at least six innings, joining Don Sutton, Doyle Alexander, Jim Neidlinger, and Pedro Astacio. The rookie right-handed recorded six strikeouts and for the second consecutive outing issued no walks. Ely's 17 to 3 strikeout to walk ratio must be putting a smile of the face of Dodger pitching coaches.
James Loney had a four-hit night with two doubles, one of which was the first of three consecutive against Haren in the fourth inning that staked Ely and the Dodgers to a 2-0 lead, with Casey Blake and Ronnie Belliard collecting the RBI doubles.
Russell Martin clubbed a three-run homer to open the scoring in the eighth inning, his fourth of the year. Despite the rally killer, the Dodgers tacked on four more runs in the inning. Every Dodger starting position played reached base safely at least twice as the team piled up 17 hits for the evening, while Manny Ramirez was the only starter not to strike out against Haren.
Scheduled Friday night starter Ramon Ortiz recorded the last out of the seventh inning after Jeff Weaver (one hit, two outs) and George Sherrill (two-run double) allowed all the inherited runners to score. Joe Torre reiterated after the game that Ortiz will still be starting on Friday. While the Dodger bullpen bent, it was the woebegone Arizona relief pitchers that melted down yet again, with Aaron Heilman being the only one to emerged unscathed.
Tomorrow night Hiroki Kuroda faces off against old friend Edwin Jackson in the final game of the three game series before the Dodgers enjoy an off day on Thursday.
Rafael Furcal played for Inland Empire on a rehab assignment tonight, manning the shortstop position for six innings. At the plate he was 0-2 with a walk. He is still expected to rejoin the Dodgers in San Diego on Friday.
WP - John Ely (1-1): 6+ IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Dan Haren (1-2): 6 1/3 IP, 10 hits, 4 runs, 1 walks, 10 strikeouts