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One Catcher Drives In Another: Dodgers Walk-Off Again

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A.J. Ellis played the hero today
A.J. Ellis played the hero today

A.J. Ellis ended a long game with an 11th-inning single to drive in the other Dodger catcher, Russell Martin, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 win over the Braves, a series split, and their fourth walk-off hit of the week.  Here are the highlights, in notes form:

  • After starting his career with seven consecutive starts pitching six innings or more, John Ely was human today, allowing four runs in five innings.  The only two Los Angeles Dodgers to begin their careers with more consecutive starts of six innings or more were Fernando Valenzuela (10 starts, in 1981) and Don Sutton (eight, in 1966).
  • Ely went the first 50 innings of his career without allowing a home run, before allowing two bombs in the fifth inning.  Martin Prado hit a ball into Mannywood, but the showstopper was hit by Brian McCann into the Loge section in right field.
  • Ely came into the game having had a three-ball count on just 19.1% of his batters faced, but had three-ball counts on nine of 25 batters today.
  • Ely hit a dribbler about 20 feet in front of home plate in the third inning, and beat McCann's throw to first base for the first hit of his young career.  It was the first hit for Ely since college, as he was hitless in three at-bats in his minor league career.
  • As noted by Jimmy Bramlett of LAist, Dodger starting pitchers got a hit in each of the last three games.  This was the first time Dodger starting pitchers got a hit in three straight games since Chad Billingsley, Derek Lowe, and Greg Maddux turned the trick from August 30 through September 1, 2008.
  • Blake DeWitt began his career with hits in each of the first six at-bats of his career with the bases loaded in 2008.  Since then, he was hitless in five at-bats with ducks on the pond but also had three walks and a sacrifice fly.  Today, he got his first bases loaded hit since May 19, 2008, a fourth inning single to tie the game at one.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless seventh inning today, retiring left-handers Jason Heyward and Brian McCann in the process.  Left-handed batters are hitless in 20 at-bats against Kuo this season, with nine strikeouts, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.  The last lefty to get a hit off Kuo was Tony Gwynn, Jr. last September 29.
  • George Sherrill threw 13 pitches, nine for strikes, in his inning of work today in Albuquerque, allowing a double but striking out two.  That was the fourth and final game of Sherrill's rehabilitation assignment, and he is expected to be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to return.
  • Casey Blake showed progress today in fielding drills, delaying a potential trip to the disabled list, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.  However, as Gurnick noted, "Though there was a more hopeful tone surrounding Blake's status, Torre still has not ruled out a possible trip to the DL."
  • There are no plans to start Charlie Haeger before Vicente Padilla returns, reported Tony Jackson of ESPN LA
  • Garret Anderson laid down a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning, his first sacrifice bunt since May 17, 2000, a span of 5,900 plate appearances
  • Yunel Escobar was held to a hit and a walk today, by far his quietest game of the series.  In four games in Los Angeles, Escobar had eight hits in 15 at-bats, with two doubles and two walks.
  • Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing a leadoff double but stranding the runner with three strikeouts.  On the season, Broxton has two unintentional walks and 40 strikeouts.
  • Ronald Belisario pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season, making him the 13th Dodger pitcher with a victory this season
  • Xavier Paul hit two home runs for Albuquerque today.

St. Louis comes to town starting tomorrow night, with Carlos Monasterios and either P.J. Walters or Blake Hawksworth facing off in the first game.

WP - Ronald Belisario (1-0):  2 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

LP - Jesse Chavez (0-1):  1/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk

Box Score