The Dodgers overcame an awful start to the season, and used their experience in precarious situations to overcome Tuesday's five run deficit, defeating the Blue Jays 10-9. Adrian Gonzalez crushed a three run home run in the top of the eighth inning, giving Los Angeles their first lead at 9-8.
Chris Capuano put the team in a major divot, even though he didn't allow any hits until the third inning, which is quite deceiving. From the opening pitch, Capuano lacked command and battled a high pitch count. Despite lasting a mere 4 1/3 innings, Capuano tossed 90 pitches and allowed five runs.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Todd Redmond flew under the radar amidst the chaos. Redmond tallied 5 2/3 innings and allowed only two runs with six strikeouts.
Both ball clubs exchanged blows throughout the evening, and the heart of the Blue Jays offense helped deliver the games first runs. Jose Reyes crushed a RBI double to deep left center field, giving Toronto the 1-0 lead. Jose Bautista followed it up with a RBI single up the middle, extending the advantage to 2-0.
The boys in blue struck right back in the top of the fourth. Andre Either blasted a RBI ground rule double, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Mark Ellis immediately proceeded with a RBI single, knotting it up at two.
The tie didn't last more than one commercial break. Mark DeRosa drilled an opposite field solo home run to begin the fourth, helping the Blue Jays regain the 3-2 lead. Brett Lawrie, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI, hit a routine sacrifice fly to place the cushion at 4-2.
By the sixth frame, the Blue Jays were up 5-2 after Jose Bautista massacred a solo home run in the fifth. Surprisingly, utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. nailed a solo HR, making it 5-3.
Meanwhile, Carlos Marmol's awful debut almost signaled the end of the Dodgers eight game road winning streak. Marmol pitched 1 2/3 innings and surrendered three runs, with the majority of damage via Jose Reyes two-run long ball. By the end of the Marmol experiment, the Dodgers were down 8-3 heading into the seventh inning.
Once Marmol departed, two offensive explosions propelled the Dodgers ahead. The comeback started with Andre Ethier earning a RBI on a walk. Ethier ended up going 2-for with three RBI, and continues to knock the cover off the ball. Mark Ellis hard nosed approach paid off again with a RBI double, trimming the margin back to only two runs.
Brandon League returned to meaningful duties, and deserves major kudos for pitching a clean eighth inning and keeping the Dodgers alive. By doing so, League earned the win.
The star power of the Dodgers took care of the rest. Carl Crawford singled to begin the eighth, Yasiel Puig walked, and then Gonzalez hit the three run shot heard around every Canadian province.
Puig began to display improved plate discipline, tallying a 2-for-3 performance and one walk. Puig had two infield hits to third base, and beat out the throws with his un-canny speed. Ethier added insurance with a solo bomb, expanding the advantage to 10-8. The rally happened at the expense of 20-year veteran reliever Darren Oliver.
Kenley Jansen came on for the save, and nearly blew it all. J.P. Arencibia knocked in Adam Lind on a single, giving the Blue Jays a glimmer of hope. Following the Arencibia RBI, Jansen settled down and finally shut the door.
The Dodgers embody the saying of: "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."
The Dodgers go for the sweep the series over the Blue Jays Wednesday. Ricky Nolasco will try to extend the teams road winning streak to 10, which would be the franchise best since moving to Los Angeles. Dominican pitcher Esmil Rogers has the responsibility of ending the Blue Jays five game losing streak.
Home runs: Mark DeRosa (6) Jose Bautista (23) Jerry Hairston Jr. (2) Jose Reyes (5) Adrian Gonzalez (15) Andre Ethier (7)
WP - Brandon League (4-3): .2 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
LP - Darren Oliver (3-2): 1 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk
Sv - Kenley Jansen (12): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk