Tonight had all the early ingredients of a Dodger win. A couple of early runs, plus a "welcome back" home run by Matt Kemp gave Clayton Kershaw a 3-0 lead heading into the sixth. Then, things went south for the Dodgers. The sixth inning began with Brandon Wood, hitting .184/.207/.277 in his young career coming into tonight, with a grand total of nine walks in 383 plate appearances. Naturally, Kershaw walked Wood (a Grabowski Principle moment if I've ever seen one), who eventually scored on Abreu's three-run home run to dead center field.
In the seventh, Juan Rivera led off with a double, and was balked to third base with one out. Kershaw was definitely in a jam, but appeared to be bailed out when Russell Martin picked Rivera off third base. Now Kershaw pitched with the bases empty, needing just one out to complete his seventh inning. That out never came, as he gave up singles to Jeff Mathis and Wood, and Ronald Belisario was brought in to preserve the tie.
Belisario gave up a single to Howie Kendrick, his third hit of the night, to break the tie, and a double to the journeyman Frandsen, who was released by the Giants earlier this season. Given the discussion of inherited runners over the weekend at the Baseball Reference Blog and Dodger Thoughts, I feel compelled to point out that two inherited runs gave the Angels the lead, although Belisario has allowed just six of 16 inherited runners to score this season.
The Dodgers rallied in the eighth inning, putting two runners on with nobody out, but the rally ended quickly. Kemp grounded the ball up the middle and even though Wood made a terrific play, I'm still shocked that Kemp couldn't beat the throw to first. Just like that, two men were out, and a Blake DeWitt liner to center ended the inning with nary a run.
The Dodgers are now 13-25 all-time in Anaheim.
Notes - Searching For Positives Edition
- Kemp's home run was to right center field, always a good sign. It was his sixth (of 12) homer to right or right center this season
- Andre Ethier snapped an 0-for-18 slump with a pair of hits tonight, including a double
- Sure the Dodgers were down three runs in the eighth, but Ramon Troncoso pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two in the process
- Jamey Carroll had two hits and a stolen base, raising his on-base percentage to .388
- Tonight was the 38th career leadoff start for Russell Martin, an LA Dodger record for catchers
- Rafael Furcal flew back from the Dominican Republic to Los Angeles today, Joe Torre told reporters before the game, and he will be at the park tomorrow. Torre said a decision will be made tomorrow whether or not Furcal, who has had an exhausting week, will be activated for tomorrow's game.
John Ely hopes to turn things around tomorrow, getting the start against Joel Pineiro, who pitched a complete game win against the Dodgers two Fridays ago.
WP - Ervin Santana (7-5): 7 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (7-4): 6 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Sv - Brian Fuentes (11): 1 IP, 1 hit