The Dodgers lost their second game in an eerily similar fashion, giving up the lead in the same inning that they acquired it. This time, the Dodgers offense rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, as they tied the game with a two-run jack by Rod Barajas in the fourth inning. In the top of the sixth inning, Aaron Miles doubled in Marcus Thames, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
Sadly Ted Lilly was unable to hold the lead, giving up two solo home runs, one to Pablo Sandoval and the other to Mike Fontenot, giving the Giants the 4-3 lead that they would not reliquish. It was encouraging to see the Dodger offense rally after falling behind. Perhaps the mental toughness that manager Don Mattingly has been trying to instill is starting to take root.
While three runs is not exactly an offensive explosion, the pitchers need to protect the lead, especially when the offense just bailed you out. Situational pitching is going to be important to the success of this team. Lilly’s final line does not look bad. Six innings, seven hits, no walks, and four earned runs is not a horrible day. Unfortunately, when Lilly gave up those runs was untimely and all the momentum swung back to the Giants.
The bullpen gave up no runs in two innings but it was hardly smooth sailing. Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless seventh inning but did give up two hits. Hong-Chih Kuo came into to start the eighth inning, walking two and striking out two, before being replaced by Matt Guerrier, who got the final out, holding the deficit to one run. Once again the bullpen got the job done, but made everyone nervous in the process.
Mattingly continues to juggle the starting lineup to compensate for the loss of Rafael Furcal. Jamey Carroll got the start at short, as he most likely will on most days, and led off. Carroll went 1-5. Casey Blake got the starting nod at first base, giving James Loney a day off against the lefty Sanchez. Loney did make it into the game in a double-switch, with Blake moving out to left field.
Marcus Thames was the co-offensive star of the game, going 1-2 with a walk and two runs scored. It looks like Thames may be coming alive at the plate. Rod Barajas provided some pop with his only hit a big one, hitting his third home run of the season and driving in two RBI. Matt Kemp finally had a bad night, going 0-4. Andre Ethier also cooled down going 1-4, but extending his hit streak to ten games, not bad.
Let us not forget the cagey veteran Aaron Miles, who went 3-4 with the go-ahead RBI, while playing second base. Juan Uribe continues to struggle, going 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts, lowering his average to a horrific .135 for the season. Ouch! This signing is looking worse by the day. Good thing there is still plenty of time for him to turn things around. It might help if Mattingly played him at one position so that he could focus a little more on his hitting. Tonight Uribe will be back at second, hopefully for the foreseeable future.
Tonight the Dodgers return home to face Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals. Hiroki Kuroda gets the nod tonight for the boys in blue while Jaime Garcia gets the start for the Redbirds. Garcia is off to an incredible start, going 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA after two starts. The Dodgers will need Kuroda to pitch like he did the last time out if the Dodgers are going to hang in this one. Jamie Hoffman gets the start in left while A.J. Ellis gives Rod Barajas a day off. Lets hope this gives a spark to the offense although I am not holding my breath.