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After disappointing 2-1 loss yesterday at Dodger Stadium against their hated rivals the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers looked to regroup and get aboard their first place winning ways.
On Wednesday Giants Tim Lincecum looked to do battle not against his nemesis Clayton Kershaw, but against Chad Billingsley. Billingsley looked sharp early, until he faced rival pitcher Tim Lincecum who hit a single to help his own cause that scored Joaquin Arias.
Buster Posey RBI single in the third inning extended the Giants’ lead to 2-0.
It wasn’t long until the Dodgers got on board thanks to Bobby Abreu who singled to advance Andre Either to third base. Later Juan Uribe reached out on an infield single that scored Either. In that same inning Tony Gywnn Jr pinched hit for Billingsley, who tripled to right, Abreu, Uribe, and AJ Ellis all score to help the Dodgers take the lead 4-2.
The Dodgers offense didn’t quit in the sixth inning, catcher AJ Ellis tripled to deep center to get on base in scoring position. Scott Van Slyke (son of Pirate great Andy Van Slyke) came in to pinch hit for pitcher Jamey Wright. Van Slyke hit a huge single that scored Ellis.
In the eight inning Uribe showed up again as he doubled to deep center, and with a man on base, James Loney hit an RBI single to left that scored Uribe. With the bases loaded Giants manager Bruce Bouchy decided a change was necessary and Steve Edlefsen relieved Clay Hensley. A very smart move because with Matt Kemp at the plate, Kemp grounded out to shortstop which caused Adam Kennedy to be called out to end the inning.
Kensley Jansen came in to close out the ninth inning, and after walking Gregor Blanco, settled down and for the final out to strike out catcher Buster Posey swinging.
Chad Billingsley lasted just four innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
Tim Lincecum gave up four runs, eight hits in five innings with eight strike outs.
Dodger reliever Jamey Wright pitched two superb innings and with two strike outs to pick up the victory.
*Dodgers OF/1B Juan Rivera was placed on the 15-day DL due to a significant strained left hamstring, Dodger manager Don Mattingly said earlier he expected Rivera to be out more than two weeks.
The Los Angeles Dodgers look to continue their winning ways as one of the hottest team in Major League Baseball, as ace Clayton Kershaw looks for his first win against the Houston Astros starter Kyle Weiland.
Kershaw started out solid as usual, allowing no runs as he continued to focus on the mission at hand, a victory. However Weiland had his work cut out for him, starting with giving up a solo home run to an offensively awaken James Loney.
Weiland continued to hold his own against Kershaw, even striking out Kershaw at an at bat. Weiland on misguided bunt play, allowed Dee Gordon to get on to first base in the top of the sixth inning. Then Gordon took off for second, but thanks to bad guided throw that resulted in an error, allowed the speedy Gordon to make it to third base. Can we say deja vu all over again, as slugger Matt Kemp bashes another two run home run as he did yesterday.
Kershaw continued to dominate, the same could not be said for Weiland as he was replaced in the eight inning by Rhiner Cruz. Cruz immediately walks AJ Ellis, Kershaw bunted into a double play that got Ellis out at second base. After walking Adam Kennedy, Cruz was relieved by David Carpenter who loaded the bases with a Matt Kemp walk. And of course Andre Either cashes in on single to right, allowing Gordon and Kennedy to score 5-0.
The Dodgers bullpen has had trouble throughout the young season, showed it struggles, as Mike MacDougal relieved Kershaw, only to give up a center field single to Justin Maxwell. After that walking both Jordan Schafer and Jose Altuve, which made Dodger manager to make a quick personnel change bring in Kensley Jensen to finish out the inning. By then the damage had been done after walking J Martinez, Maxwell scored to avoid the shutout. Jensen was able to get out of the inning with out any further runs to set up Jamey Wright to close out the ninth inning and grab the save and victory for the Dodgers 5-1. Kershaw finally gets his first victory of the season, as Kemp has homered in three consecutive games.
Kershaw spoke about his great outing “I didn’t have great fastball command tonight. I struggled with my fastball. I didn’t exactly know where it was going all the time. I was fortunate to get some outs here and there. It was a battle tonight.”
Kershaw struck out nine and allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings for his first win this season after experiencing no decisions in his first three games of this year.
Weiland pitched seven innings, struck out six with two home runs. Weiland talked about that monster home run by Matt Kemp “I did the exact opposite of what we wanted, coming out there in that situation, you can’t give him anything close to hit. I dropped my elbow a little bit there and the pitch just spun up there.”