Dodgers Try to Lose, But Fail


Posted Apr 11, 2013


Closer Brandon League decided to make things interesting in the 9th, allowing a pair of runs, before reluctantly closing out the game.

Carl Crawford led off with an opposite-field homer and A.J. Ellis added a two-run shot to back Chad Billingsley's strong season debut and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-3 victory against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

Billingsley (1-0) opened the season on the disabled list after bruising his right index finger during a bunting drill on March 15. He held San Diego to one run and five hits in six innings, with three strikeouts and three walks. Crawford homered to left field on the second pitch from Eric Stults (1-1). He tripled off the left-field wall with one out in the fifth and scored on Mark Ellis' single through a drawn-in infield to make it 4-1.

A.J. Ellis homered to left with one out in the second. Luis Cruz was aboard on a single. Brandon League earned his third save in as many chances, but only after allowing two runs on three hits in the ninth. The second run that inning scored when Chris Denorfia struck out but reached on a passed ball by A.J. Ellis. The Padres have given up 13 homers in eight games.

San Diego's Nick Hundley had four hits to tie his career high. Stults allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings, struck out four and walked none. Every Dodgers regular except Adrian Gonzalez had at least one hit off Stults. Billingsley's only rough inning was the fourth. Will Venable drew a leadoff walk and scored on an RBI double by Denorfia. Yonder Alonso walked but was erased on a double play and Alexi Amarista flied out to end the inning. Denorfia started in place of left fielder Carlos Quentin, who was hit by a pitch on the right forearm in San Diego's 9-3 win Tuesday.

NOTES: Padres manager Bud Black said Quentin was still a little sore Wednesday. ... After sitting out the last two games, Cruz singled in the second to snap an 0-for-17 slump to start the season. ... Andre Ethier has a hit in his first seven games this season to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. ... It was Crawford's fourth consecutive game with multiple hits and his sixth in seven starts this season. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley took batting practice for the first time since breaking his left thumb in a spring game on March 17. He said he felt no pain. Headley will likely go on a rehab assignment in the minors before being activated. ... The series concludes Thursday night when Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) faces RHP Jason Marquis (0-1, 3.00). ... Black had Mark Kotsay pinch-hit for 2B Alexi Amarista in the eighth. Kotsay remained in the game at 1B, forcing Black to move Alonso to 2B in the top of the ninth. After Gonzalez singled to right past the diving Alonso, he and 3B Jedd Gyorko swapped positions. They switched back after Ethier was hit by a pitch to load the bases.


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