Ethier's game-saving catch
Outfielder Andre Ethier, who has won a number of games with his bat this season, guided the Dodgers to a win over Arizona by walking with the bases loaded to break a 3-3 tie key in the seventh and then making a sparkling catch to steal a Padre homer and protect the lead an important 4-3 win. Matt Kemp homered in his fourth straight game, added a single and scored twice.
With a runner at first base and two out in the eighth, Brandon Allen drove a long shot to right field off reliever Ramon Troncoso. Ethier leaped up and caught the ball at the top of the right-field wall before bouncing off the fence and falling to the ground with the ball still clutched in his glove.
“It was a combination of frustration and just saying, `I’m going to go for it,”’ Ethier said. “I thought I had a shot the whole way off the bat. I saw out of the corner of my eye that Kemp was going to wait and play it off the wall. I jumped and bounced the wall at the same time. I don’t think I’ve had one that meaningful yet in my career.”
“That was the play of the day right there,” Kemp said. “I like to see that stuff. It excites me, man. I wanted to (rough him up), but I had to hold it in. We still had another inning to go.”
Allen didn’t see the catch until seeing the replay after the game. “I thought I hit it pretty high, so it didn’t carry too much. I thought it would go out and I waited for the crowd’s reaction,” he said. “It was a great catch by Andre. When I saw Orlando Hudson running across the field with his hands up, I kind of got the idea.”
Vincente Padilla make his second start for the Dodgers and bested his first effort, allowing four hits and a single run while striking out five.
Arizona scored in the first after Padilla walked first two batters. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, came to the mound to tell him he was dropping his arm angle. Padilla made an adjustment, began getting the ball over the plate and picked up five miles per hour on his fastball.
Padilla was limping after the game, having been hit on the calf by a sharp ground ball in the first inning that went for a single and loaded the bases.
Kemp homered in the bottom of the inning to even things up. Russ Martin and James Loney singled in the second, then scored on Padilla's RBI single and Ethier and Kemp combined for a run in the third. Kemp crossed everyone up withe a bunt single, stole second and when Justin Upton made a nice catch of Ethier's drive, Kemp had to scramble back to second.
Upton's throw hit him in the back and bounced into foul territory, allowing the speedy Kemp to score the third run. In his past 12 games, Kemp is hitting .391 with six homers, 11 RBIs and four steals.
With the 3-1 lead in his pocket, Padilla struck out the first Diamondback and gave way to Scott Elbert who immediately struggled, allowing a pair of pinch-hit singles and a walk before giving way to Ronald Belisario (3-0) who surrendered an a third pinch-hit single that tied the game before ending the inning. He worked a scoreless seventh and earned the win when the Dodgers broke the tie in the bottom of the inning.
The winning run materialized when pinch-hitter Juan Pierre walked and moved to third on Rafael Furcal's double. Arizona had seen enough of Kemp and walked him intentionally, then walked Ethier unintentionally to force in the lead, and eventual winning, run.
Troncoso, with Ethier's assistance, pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Jonathan Broxton worked around a single and a stolen base in the ninth to record his 30th save of the year in 35 opportunities.
The Dodgers win ended Arizona’s five-game winning streak. “We battled and did our part to stay in the game, but the Ethier catch at the wall absolutely took the wind out of you,” Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. “It was the difference in the game. With the trajectory of the ball, off the bat I thought it was a homer. Then he kind of came out of nowhere. It was a big-time defensive play.”
Colorado won and remains six games behind the Dodgers. San Francisco lost and dropped to seven back.
In the third game of the four-game set with the Diamondbacks, RHP Chad Billingsley (12-8, 3.83 ERA) draws the start after lasting less than six innings in his most recent start for the first time since Aug. 2. He is 1-0 against Arizona this season.
The DBacks counter with RHP Max Scherzer (8-8, 4.26 ERA) who earned a win in his last start for the first time while allowing more than two runs. The 25-year-old has already worked more innings (139.1) than all of last season between Tucson and Arizona.
Score by Innings
Arizona 100 002 000-3
Los Angeles 111 000 10x-4
Dodgers ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss 4 0 1 0 .255
Kemp cf 3 2 2 1 .316
Ethier rf 3 0 0 1 .281
Ramirez lf 4 0 0 0 .306
Blake 3b 4 0 0 0 .269
Hudson 2b 4 0 2 0 .292
Martin c 4 1 1 0 .258
Loney 1b 4 0 2 0 .276
Padilla p 2 0 1 1 .200
Elbert p 0 0 0 0 .200
Belisario p 0 0 0 0 .000
Pierre ph 0 1 0 0 .322
Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 .000
Belliard ph 1 0 0 0 .245
Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 33 4 9 3
Arizona 35 3 8 3
2B- Hudson (31), Furcal (21). HR- Kemp
(23). RBI- Kemp (87), Padilla (1),
Ethier (88). LOB- Los Angeles 8, Arizona
10. SB- Kemp (29).
Dodgers in h r-er bb so era
Padilla 5.1 4 1-1 2 5 4.72
Elbert 0.1 2 2-2 1 1 5.87
Belisario (3-3) 1.1 1 0-0 1 1 2.14
Troncoso 1.0 0 0-0 1 1 2.58
Broxton (sv 30) 1.0 1 0-0 0 2 2.70
WP- Padilla. T- 3:16. Att- 45,533.
Dodger Blue Notes-- RHP Hiroki Kuroda made a rehab start for Inland Empire, allowing five hits and one unearned run in five innings, with five strikeouts and one walk. ...The teams were distracted by a remote controlled airplane flying around in the top of the sixth. It finally crashed in front of Arizona’s dugout, with infielder Augie Ojeda grabbing it and tearing it apart as the crowd booed. ...Brad Penny signed with San Francisco and met with the media. Asked if he is going to enjoy pitching in front of 42,000 Dodgers-hating fans at AT&T Park, he said "42,001," including himself in the new total. In 2008 Penny claimed he pitched through shoulder pain but Dodgers reportedly said the injury wasn't serious and blamed the burly pitcher's poor work ethic for his decline. ...Starter Vicente Padilla's RBI in the second inning on Tuesday was his first since Sept. 28, 2005, when he was with the Phillies. ...The Dodgers gave Jim Thome an extra day to settle personal matters and the left-handed hitting slugger will join the club today. Thome was acquired Monday from the Chicago White Sox for minor-league infielder Justin Fuller. It was also reported the Dodgers will pay $1 million of what remains on Thome's salary this season, leaving the White Sox on the hook for the remaining $1.4 million. ...Jon Garland will make his Dodgers debut Thursday when he starts against the team that just traded him, the Arizona Diamondbacks.