The Dodgers have been without Matt Kemp for now nine games, but they have had just about everyone on the roster fill in for the hamstrung superstar. Ivan De Jesus, who earlier drove in the tying run, hit a booming two-run double with two out in the ninth inning to give the Dodgers an 8-7 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks to extend their winning streak to six, matching their longest of the season.
Arizona closer J.J. Putz had one walk in 14 innings entering Tuesday night, but he walked Elian Herrera and Bobby Abreu with one out in the ninth inning. After Putz struck out Andre Ethier to put the Dodgers on the brink, De Jesus slammed a double over the head of Chris Young in center field to give the Dodgers the lead. It was the first extra-base hit of De Jesus's career.
Given the pending return of Jerry Hairston Jr. on Friday, De Jesus might not be long for the roster. But no matter how long his stay lasts, the story of De Jesus is one of redemption. De Jesus was passed over for September call ups in each of the last two seasons, and was even surpassed by the 27-year old Herrera this year. As literally the last healthy infielder on the 40-man roster, De Jesus got the call over the weekend and a few days later he joined the long list of contributors on the team with the best record in baseball.
Lyle Overbay hit a home run, a no doubter over the pool area in right center field off Josh Lindblom with one out in the eighth inning, that capped a 4-for-4 night for the first baseman and gave Arizona a 7-6 lead. It was the first four-hit game since August 20, 2010 for Overbay, who also scored three runs. But that just set the stage for the De Jesus heroics in the ninth.
The Diamondbacks put together a rally of their own in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a wild pitch third strike and a base hit. Arizona had the tying run 90 feet away with one out, but Jason Kubel grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game, punctuated by an extraordinary one-hop throw by Dee Gordon while sideways in the air, nearly parallel with the ground
As Vin Scully put it after the game, "This wonder team has now won six in a row, and we're using unusual names, like Justin Sellers and Matt Treanor. And tonight, Ivan De Jesus joining Scott Van Slyke. And somehow they win."
The team is now 7-2 without Matt Kemp and an eye-popping 30-13 on the season. Just sit back and enjoy this ride.
Trailing by five runs entering the top of the seventh inning, the Dodgers staged quite a rally that was aided by some poor fielding by Arizona. The first seven batters in the inning reached base, five by hit and two by error, to cut the deficit to 6-5. Then pinch hitter De Jesus tied the score with a sacrifice fly to right field.
That rally, which ended with a James Loney double play ground ball, erased six strong innings by Trevor Cahill, who struck out six and allowed only one run. The Dodgers got the leadoff man on base in four of six innings off Cahill, but only one of them scored.
The Dodgers, thanks in large part to that seventh inning rally, scored six runs or more for the sixth consecutive game on Tuesday. It is the longest streak by the team since a six-game streak from August 27 to September 2, 2006. Since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the only longer streak of scoring six or more runs by the Dodgers was a seven-game streak from June 26 to July 2, 2001.
Scott Elbert cleaned up for Aaron Harang, who exited with one out in the fifth inning. Elbert pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing a run in the sixth inning, in what was his longest outing of the season. Elbert had five relief outings of two innings or longer in 2009, but since then he has gotten more than four outs in a game just three times: tonight, and two games of two innings each last year, all against Arizona.
- Gordon returned to the starting lineup after three games on the bench, and went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- Herrera went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored, and has at least one hit in each of his five starts.
- The Dodgers are 16-6 against the National League West. Then again, that's not too far out of line with their 14-7 record against everyone else.
- Henry Blanco not only threw out two Dodgers trying to steal, but also had three hits for Arizona.
- The Diamondbacks have lost nine of their last 10 home games, and 14 of their last 17 at Chase Field.
Ted Lilly starts the series finale for the Dodgers on Wednesday night looking for the sweep, facing lefty Joe Saunders for Arizona.
Home Runs: Josh Bell (1), Lyle Overbay (2)
WP - Josh Lindblom (2-0): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run
LP - J.J. Putz (0-3): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Sv - Kenley Jansen (6): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts