Death, taxes, and the Dodgers winning a series against the Rockies. Just like Friday night, the Dodgers rode a solid start, a sixth inning rally to take the lead, and their best four relievers to finish off the Rockies. Today's incarnation was a 4-3 victory that gave the Dodgers their ninth straight series win against Colorado.
Clayton Kershaw battled all day. He battled his control (four walks and a hit batter), his defense (a crazy play with errors by both Furcal and Loney that somehow didn't lead to a run), and even the sun (a pop fly in short right field that dropped for a single as Blake DeWitt lost the ball in the brightness). But, Kershaw didn't allow a run after giving up a pair in the first, and ended up with nine strikeouts in five innings. Three times Kershaw has started a game the day after a Dodger loss of eight runs or more, and three times he has recorded nine strikeouts.
Matt Kemp had a great diving catch to rob Chris Iannetta to end the fifth inning, leaving the bases loaded.
James Loney drove in the first two Dodger runs today with a first inning double and a third inning sacrifice fly. In the sixth inning, the Dodgers used a double by Casey Blake, a pair of singles, and a groundout to break the tie and take a 4-2 lead. Manny Ramirez was summoned on his 38th birthday to pinch hit for Kershaw, but he struck out.
The fearsome foursome of Ramon Troncoso, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ronald Belisario, and Jonathan Broxton pitched the final four innings to nail down the win. The first three pitchers faced the minimum nine batters, but Broxton allowed an unearned run in the ninth before completing his 13th save.
In 16 plate appearances against Kuo this season, left-handed hitters have managed just one walk, no hits, and eight strikeouts.
Xavier Paul had a run-scoring single and a walk in what was likely his final game before making room for Andre Ethier tomorrow. Paul hit .286/.333/.321 in 33 plate appearances in his second time with the Dodgers this season.
Charlie Haeger's aggravated his right big toe last night, and as a result he won't start Tuesday as planned. Per the Associated Press:
The Dodgers had hoped to activate Haeger to make Tuesday’s start against Arizona, but the team learned that he injured a right toe a week ago when he kicked the ground with his foot as he rushed off the mound to field a grounder while pitching for Class-A San Bernardino.
Team officials noticed Haeger was limping Saturday night after he pitched three innings for San Bernardino in what was supposed to be a final rehab appearance.
Haeger, whose heel injury has healed, will back off his rehab program for now to give his sore toe a chance to get better, Torre said before Sunday’s game at Colorado.
Instead, John Ely will get the start Tuesday instead of with an extra day of rest on Wednesday, and Carlos Monasterios will start Wednesday.
After the game, Josh Suchon and Ken Levine on KABC Dodger Talk reported that the Dodgers optioned Scott Elbert back to Triple A Albuquerque, and have recalled reliever Travis Schlichting.
The Dodgers travel home tonight, and begin a 13-game homestand tomorrow night. Tomorrow's game is against Arizona, with Chad Billingsley facing Rodrigo Lopez.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (5-3): 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
LP - Jhoulys Chacin (3-3): 5 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Sv - Jonathan Broxton (13): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 1 strikeout