Tony Gwynn Jr. answered Don Mattingly's call for more offense with a pinch-hit three-run triple in the fourth inning to help the Dodgers to a 6-2 win over the Giants Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. With the win, the Dodgers improved to 20-11, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in the National League, and matched their season high with a five-game division lead over San Francisco.
Neither starting pitcher was particularly sharp Wednesday night, although Matt Kemp may disagree as he was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Tim Lincecum. The Dodgers were unable to push across a run in any of the first three innings, but broke through in a big way in the fourth.
With a run already in, cutting the Giants' lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out. Chad Billingsley was due up next, but he had already thrown 85 pitches and allowed 11 baserunners in his four innings. Billingsley was pulled in favor of Gwynn, who delivered by lining a ball into the right field corner to clear the bases.
Jamey Wright was needed as the long man tonight, and he came through with two spotless innings, retiring all six batters he faced, including three by strikeout. Wednesday was just the third home game in 12 appearances for Wright this season, who has yet to give up a hit at Dodger Stadium this season. In four home innings this year, Wright has allowed one walk and has six strikeouts.
The Dodgers added another run in the sixth inning when A.J. Ellis continued to build his All-Star campaign with a one-out triple off the wall in left center field. The second career triple for Ellis was followed by the first career plate appearance for Scott Van Slyke, who was recalled from Triple A before the game.
Van Slyke delivered with a broken bat single up the middle to plate Ellis for a 5-2 lead. Van Slyke became the first Dodger to get a pinch-hit RBI hit in his first major league plate appearance since Carl Warwick on April 11, 1961.
With a sacrifice situation in the bottom of the eighth inning, pitcher Chris Capuano was called on to pinch hit, or pinch bunt I suppose. Capuano is the first Dodgers pinch hitter to make a pinch hitting appearance since Kenley Jansen on August 31, 2010. Jansen singled off Kyle Kendrick.
The four Dodgers relievers Wednesday night - Wright, Ronald Belisario, Josh Lindblom, and Jansen - combined to pitch five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts.
Surgery For Silverio
Dodgers outfielder Alfredo Silverio, who suffered numerous injuries in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in January, had successful Tommy John surgery on Wednesday morning to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. But the good news for Silverio is that his concussion symptoms are gone.
Silverio will return to the Dodgers training facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona to begin rehab on Thursday, and his expected recovery time is 12 months.
Home Runs: none
WP - Jamey Wright (2-2): 2 IP, 3 strikeouts
LP - Tim Lincecum (2-3): 5 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts