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No Kemp, No Ethier, No Mattingly? No Problem For Dodgers

A.J. Ellis was a big-time run producer for the Dodgers on Sunday.
A.J. Ellis was a big-time run producer for the Dodgers on Sunday.

In the span of two innings the Dodgers lost their two All-Star outfielders, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and lost their manager Don Mattingly, but Bobby Abreu, A.J. Ellis and Scott Van Slyke picked up the slack in the Dodgers' 11-5 win to complete a sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

Kemp left the game in between the third and fourth innings with an irritated left hamstring, but in the fifth inning his replacements proved more than able. Tony Gwynn Jr., who started in left field but shifted to center upon Kemp's departure, made a tremendous diving catch to rob Carlos Gonzalez of extra bases in the top of the inning.

Then Abreu, inserted into left field and Kemp's number three spot in the batting order, came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, and cleared them with a double, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 Dodgers lead.

That wasn't the only three-run hit of the bottom of the fifth inning, as A.J. Ellis launched a three-run home run into the left field pavilion to cap a six-run inning and give the Dodgers an 8-4 lead. Ellis batted sixth on Sunday, the highest he has ever been in a starting lineup, and drove in a career high four runs with his 2-for-4 day.

Ellis is hitting .317/.462/.512 on the season. That .462 on-base percentage is second in the major leagues. I hope he enjoys Kansas City in July.

All those runs came in support of Ted Lilly, whose day didn't figure to last very long after he allowed singles to each of the first four batters of the game. But Lilly recovered to retire 10 of the next 12 hitters he faced and after allowing three runs in the opening frame was able to pitch into the seventh for his eighth straight win dating back to last season.

In the bottom of the seventh inning Van Slyke, who replaced Ethier in right field, walked in his second major league plate appearance, maintaining his 1.000 career on-base percentage. Then the 6'5", 249-pound Van Slyke proceeded to steal second base, advance to third on a wild pitch, and score on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by Adam Kennedy.

Then Van Slyke doubled in two runs in the eighth, and after three plate appearances in the major leagues is hitting a mere 1.000/1.000/1.500.


  • Both Ethier and Mattingly were ejected by home plate umpire Mark Carlson in the bottom of the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. It was the fourth career ejection for Mattingly, and the second for Ethier.
  • Including his time with the Angels, Bobby Abreu has eight doubles and six singles this season.
  • James Loney doubled and walked twice, scoring a pair of runs.
  • The Dodgers have won four straight games and this season are 15-3 at home with four sweeps in six series at Dodger Stadium
  • Michael Cuddyer stole two bases off Lilly, the third time in his career he has stolen two or more bases in a game.
  • Dexter Fowler was hit in the face while sliding into second base by a throw from A.J. Ellis in the top of the fourth inning. Fowler left the game with blurred vision, in a precautionary move by the Rockies.

Today's Particulars

Home Runs: A.J. Ellis (3)

WP - Ted Lilly (5-0): 6 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 3 walks, 1 strikeout

LP - Alex White (0-2): 4 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout