The Lakers weren't the only Los Angeles team to administer a beat-down tonight. A long rain delay wasn't enough to derail the Dodgers, as Rafael Furcal and James Loney lead an offensive explosion for a 12-0 win to open their nine-game road trip in Cincinnati.
The Dodgers lead 3-0 after four innings, and were batting in the top of the fifth when the game was halted for a pending storm. Two hours and 24 minutes later, Hiroki Kuroda, who had thrown 59 pitches in four shutout innings with seven strikeouts, came out to pitch the fifth inning to try for the win. It's not often somebody pulls a John Stuper (well, Kuroda didn't finish the game, so never mind) and resumes pitching after such a long delay. Whether this has any effect on Kuroda remains to be seen.
Some speculated in the game thread that Kuroda wanted to pitch five innings to get the win, but I disagreed, as Kuroda has not struck me, in my limited dealings with him, as someone who cares about individual statistics. However, as Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported, I was mistaken:
Kuroda said he pushed Torre to use him after the rain delay
But before Kuroda could pitch his fifth inning, the Dodgers had to complete their turn at bat in the top of the inning. The Dodgers added three more runs in the inning before Kuroda pitched, but it almost seemed like a bad thing. At the time, another storm seemed eminent, so it was important to just make the game official, to complete that fifth inning. It took 25 more pitches, but Kuroda did complete the inning without allowing a run, and finished the night with eight strikeouts, the fifth time he has struck out that many in a game in his career.
Rafael Furcal had the third five-hit game of his career, and his second as a Dodger. The last time he had five hits was April 30, 2008 in Florida. Furcal came to bat in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the Dodger record with six hits, but he grounded out to second base to end his offensive night. Defensively, he made two great plays in the sixth inning, ranging to his right to retire both Joey Votto and Scott Rolen.
James Loney added four hits himself, including three doubles. He has six hits in his last seven at-bats, including five doubles.
- Chad Billingsley will be placed on the disabled list tomorrow with a right groin strain, and Travis Schlichting will be recalled to take his place
Manny Ramirez had three hits for the second straight game, adding his sixth home run and four runs batted in.
- Matt Kemp broke out of his 0-for-16 slump with two hits and two RBI, including a sacrifice fly
Casey Blake had two hits and two walks
- The Dodgers have scored 40 runs in four games in Cincinnati this year, and are now 2-2 in those games
- Blake DeWitt was the only Dodger starter without a hit
- Jordan Smith made his major league debut for the Reds, and pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing only a double to Russell Martin
Charlie Haeger made a rehab start for Albuquerque tonight, but did not fare well, allowing four hits, six runs (five earned), two home runs, and eight walks, while striking out four in 4 2/3 innings.
The pitching matchup of the series is tomorrow night, with Clayton Kershaw facing Mike Leake, as the Dodgers try to hand Leake his first big league loss. It only seems fair since Leake beat the Dodgers for his first major league win.
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (6-4): 5 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Aaron Harang (5-6): 4 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts