Andre Ethier ... familiar sight
In the first 58 games of the 2009 season, no one in the media has written "The Dodgers powered their way to a win" because, well, they don't have much power. But after a three-run afternoon (two by Andre Ethier) the Dodgers flashed their elusive power and came away with a 3-2 victory over the Phillies in the third game of a series between the two winningest teams in the National League.
In a gripping pitchers duel throughout the game, the Dodgers came up empty twice, in the seventh and 10th innings, but with the Dodgers pitching staff holding Philadelphia to six hits, three in the seventh inning when they scored their two runs, and retiring the final 13 in succession, they strung the game out long enough for the offense to whack three home runs.
Ethier smacked his eighth home run in the fourth inning but the Phillies took a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the seventh.
Rafael Furcal collected the first pinch-hit home run of his career in the ninth inning with two out and two strikes on him, then Ethier hit a shot over the center field wall in the 12th with two out and two strikes.
The trio of solo home runs gives the Dodgers 40 on the season, well behind the league-leading Phillies who have nearly twice as many (75).
Hiroki Kuroda, in his second start after almost two months on the disabled list, dispelled any thoughts that he might not be in fighting trim. The 34-year-old Japanese right-hander didn't allow a hit until there was one out in the fourth and finished his six innings not allowing but one more singled and no runs.
Ethier's homer in the fourth gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead that was passed to Ronald Belisario in the top of the seventh. Working in his team-leadng 29th game, he allowed a looping single to left and an infield hit before Matt Stairs slammed a pinch-hit single with two out to put Philadelphia on top 2-1.
L.A. seemingly shot themselves in the foot in the bottom of the inning with Juan Castro, at shortstop in place of Furcal, and pinch-hitter Jamie Hoffman banged one out singles. With Juan Pierre at bat, Castro was picked off second for the second out and Pierre's single to right left two on for Orlando Hudson, who flew harmlessly to left.
Ramon Troncoso took over the the eighth and pitched around a double, then recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
It looked like the Dodgers' magic bag was out of tricks but Furcal, who was 0-for-9 against the Phillies closer, Brad Lidge, ripped a home run over the right field wall, just out of the reach of a leaping Jason Werth to tie the game an handed Lidge his second blown save in succession.
The Dodgers were at it again in the 10th when Hudson and Ethier led off with singles. Russell Martin, who was locked in an 0-for-11 and 1-for-17 slump, attempted to bunt the first pitch but missed.
The sign was taken off and Martin fanned, James Loney, who was 3-for-3, followed by a line drive to deep left that was caught and Matt Kemp, who ended the fourth, sixth and eighth innings, also ended the 10th with his third strikeout.
Jonathan Broxton pitched the top of the 10th and, with his super-sonic fastball and a wicked slider/cut fastball. He struck out two, including slugger Chase Utley who swung at a breaking ball that hit him on the leg for the last out of the inning.
Cory Wade retired the final six Phillies and earned the win (his first of the season) on Ethier's clutch home run. Eight straight Dodgers went out in order before the long shot ended the game.
Both Furcal and Casey Blake had the day off, although they both appeared late in the contest. Torre gave them a rest on a day that followed a night game, then too, between them were 1-for-21 against Phillie starter Joe Blanton.
The win moved Los Angeles to 10-1 in one-run games at home, 39-19 overall and nine games in front of the Giants who lost 5-2 to Florida.
The Dodgers will display their unusual bag of tricks again tonight when they face the Phillies in the final game of the four game series. The contest will be shown on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Randy Wolf (3-1, 3.21) will start for the Dodgers against LHP Antonio Bastardo (1-0, 1.50) for the Phillies.
Score by Innings
Philadelphia 000 000 200 000-2
Los Angeles 000 100 001 001-3
Los Angeles ab r h bi ave
Pierre lf 6 0 1 0 .359
Hudson 2b 6 0 1 0 .314
Ethier rf 5 2 3 2 .271
Martin c 4 0 0 0 .251
Loney 1b 5 0 3 0 .293
Kemp cf 5 0 0 0 .305
Loretta 3b 5 0 0 0 .258
Castro ss 3 0 2 0 .347
Furcal ph ss 2 1 1 1 .241
Kuroda p 1 0 0 0 .000
Belisario p 0 0 0 0 .000
Hoffmann ph 1 0 1 0 .190
Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 .000
Blake ph 1 0 0 0 .287
Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000
Wade p 1 0 0 0 .000
Totals 45 3 12 3
Philadelphia 39 2 6 2
Error- Martin (2). HR- Ethier 2 (9).
RBI- Ethier 2 (35), Furcal (12).
S- Kuroda. LOB- Los Angeles 10,
Philadelphia 7. SB- Loney (4).
DP- Hudson, Loretta and Loney.
Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era
Kuroda 6.0 2 0-0 3 5 1.62
Belisario 1.0 3 2-2 0 0 2.65
Troncoso 2.0 1 0-0 1 0 1.69
Broxton 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 1.24
Wade (1-3) 2.0 0 0-0 0 1 4.64
WP- Kuroda 2 T- 4:03. Att- 41,412.
Dodger Stadium Now 90090
Whether it becomes a TV hit like 90210, the new "Dodgertown, CA" now has its own official zip code: 90090. The unveiling took place before the Dodgers game against the Phillies.
"This is truly, truly a memorable and special occasion for the city of Los Angeles, for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and for me, a dream come true," Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt said. "The magic of a Major League Baseball team for the first time in history having its own ZIP code and becoming a worldwide destination."
The effort to help bring a new ZIP code to Dodger Stadium also was spearheaded by Los Angeles council member Ed Reyes and Gregory G. Graves, the Postal Service's district manager of Los Angeles. The ceremony took place behind home plate and included a commemorative plaque to celebrate the historic occasion.
Dodgers Blue Notes-- The game-winning home run was Ethier's eighth since the start of the 2008 season, the most of any player in MLB over that time. ...Tonight's game concludes the 17th game in a row played by the Dodgers. After taking Monday off, they will have a short, two-game series with the Padres before going on the road. ...June 6, 1959 was the day that shortstop Maury Wills made his Major League debut. He would steal his first base on July 15 and ended his 14-year career 586 stolen bases, a team-record 490 of them for the Dodgers. Wills was honored with on-field ceremonies for his 50 years in baseball at the start of the third inning. ...Joe Torre is just two wins behind former Dodgers minor leaguer Sparky Anderson who is fifth on the all-time list. ...Matt Kemp's 10-game hitting streak ended when he went 0-for-5. ...The Los Angeles bullpen has a 2.50 earned run average in it's last 18 games and Ramon Troncoso has allowed two runs in his las 14 appearances over 18.1 innings dating back to May 8. Jonathan Broxton's two strikeouts gives him 47 strikeouts in 29 innings (14.59 per nine innings) and he lowered his ERA to 1.24.