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After dropping two out of the three games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and had a much needed day off, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to return to their winning ways against the Chicago White Sox.
This was scheduled to be a pitcher’s duel between Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and the White Sox starter Chris Sale. However this game was far from it, with one on base, Adam Dunn arrived at the plate with a .667 lifetime batting average verses Kershaw, and Dunn made Kershaw pay hitting a two run homer deep to right field.
The Dodgers began to turn on their offense against Chris Sale, after a walk to Dee Gordon, Elian Herrera hit a double deep to center field that scored Gordon.
Kershaw continued to struggle as the innings progressed, and once again continued to keep the White Sox offense sharp by walking Dunn. Thanks to a wild pitch, Dunn advanced to second base. Paul Konerko made him pay by hitting an RBI single that scored Dunn to place distance away from the Dodgers. Fortunately AJ Pierzynski struck out and Kershaw got out of the third inning without any further damage.
The Dodgers offense remained sluggish as the White Sox offense continued to soar, in the fourth inning former Dodger Orlando Hudson reached on an infield single that scored A Ramirez. The disorganization from the Dodgers didn’t stop as Hudson made it second base because of a throwing error by Dee Gordon.
The mistakes, bad pitching, and inconsistant play mounted up for the Dodgers in the fifth inning as Alex Rios slugged a huge home run to left, that gave the White Sox the 5-1 lead.
For some reason many could sense a rally coming from this Dodger team who have made that a reality many times this season. In the sixth inning, the Dodger bats woke up with two on, Juan Uribe doubled to left that allowed Jerry Hairston Jr. to score, and advanced AJ Ellis to third base. Ivan De Jesus who came in to pinch hit for Kershaw, singled to right that scored Ellis and moved Uribe to third base. With runners on the corners, Herrera hit a clutch double to right that scored Uribe and De Jesus. The Dodgers seem to have found their rhythm as Juan Rivera stepped up and hit a big single that scored Herrera and gave the Dodgers the 6-5 lead.
In the eight inning the White Sox were not ready to be counted out as once Alex Rios smacked another home run this time off of reliever Ronald Belisario. Belisario made it out of the inning by getting Hudson to ground out to first base.
The Dodgers remained poised and refused to quit as first baseman James Loney singled to left that put the winning run on board. After Gordon walked, Herrera grounded into a fielder’s choice to shortstop that got Gordon out at second base. With two out, Loney capitalized and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by reliever Matt Thornton, that allowed Herrera to move to third. Thornton struck out Bobby Abreu who pinched hit for Belisario to end the inning.
Closer Kensley Jensen put on his best performance as he easily retired batters, and struck out Gordon Beckham for the final out as the Dodgers held on to defeat the White Sox 7-6 in a rocky come from behind win.
Not happy with his performance Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw talked about his performance, “baseball goes in cycles and it has its ups and downs. I mean, this game’s not easy. Just because you had a couple of good starts, this game will continue to humble you. So you’ve just got to keep battling and competing.”
Kershaw finished with five runs, four earned and eight hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. Belisario picked up his second win of the season and Jensen collected his eleventh save on the year.
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn spoke about the Dodger comeback “Usually when we’ve had Sale on the mound, we’re in pretty good shape. But they battled and just beat us.”
Sale finished with five runs, seven hits and a season high four walks in five innings of work. Sale has not allowed more than three runs in any of his previous eleven starts.
A disappointed AJ Pierzynski also commented on Sale’s performance, “you feel good with him on the mound and a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning with the way he’s been throwing, but tonight he just didn’t get it done!”
The Dodgers maintain the league’s best record at 41-25 so far on the season and remain five games ahead of the rival San Francisco Giants in the NL West.