Dodgers 6 12 0
Astros 3 7 0
WP- Jansen (4-0)
LP- Wright (0-1)
HR- A.J. Ellis (5)
The Dodgers try to fend off the young guns of the Astros in game two as they attempt to avoid losing three in a row. Lucas Harrell, the inexperienced yet competitive right-hander, surprisingly outdueled Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium last night. Even though Harrell didn’t overpower any of the Dodgers by striking them out, he induced 17 groundouts which resulted in the Dodgers’ lack of offense. Clayton Kershaw gave up the long ball, and it wasn’t the first game this season where we saw him uncharacteristically allow some deep fly balls to the opposing team. The Astros took advantage of Kershaw’s atypical start and the Dodgers’ offensive shortcomings in game one. The Dodgers hand the ball to Chad Billingsley tonight in hopes of not dropping three games in a row and losing the series to the Astros at home.
It was Bark at the Park at Dodger Stadium tonight. It’s a popular promotional night where dog owners can sit with their pooches in the right field pavilion. More than 700 dogs were present at tonight’s game, and all were howling for a win.
Chad Billingsley, who hasn’t won a game since April 11th, begins the game by striking out Jordan Schafer. Jose Altuve, the scrappy little second baseman, doubles. J.D. Martinez strikes out swinging for the second out. Carlos Lee singles to left field, and Altuve scores giving the Astros another early first inning lead. Jed Lowrie strikes out. Billingsley ends up striking out the side but allows a run.
In the bottom of the first, Tony Gwynn Jr. flies out to center and Elian Herrera is struck out by Norris. Bobby Abreu singles to left with two outs. Ethier singles off the glove of Altuve. Of course Adam Kennedy flies out to center to end any chance of scoring.
In the second Billingsley has another awful inning. The Astros come up with back-to-back singles against Bills as Brian Bogusevic singles to left field, and Chris Johnson singles to center. Abreu tries to backhand the ball hit by Bogusevic, but we can all see he doesn’t come up with it. Jason Castro walks to load the bases up with nobody out. Bills finally gets the first out by striking out the pitcher Norris, but then Chad walks Schafer to walk in a run. The Astros now lead 2-0. Rick Honeycutt makes a visit to the mound, and Bills then strikes out Altuve for the second out. J.D. Martinez hits a line drive to right field, and luckily Andre Ethier makes a nice catch to save more runs from coming in.
James Loney opens up the bottom half of the second by singling to right field. A.J. Ellis strikes out on a fastball on the outside part of the plate for the first out. Dee Gordon quickly is retired on a fly out. Billingsley grounds into a force play to end the inning.
In the third, Bogusevic gets a two-out single. Bills, who just doesn’t want to make it easy for himself, walks Chris Johnson. Jason Castro whiffs to end the inning.
Elian Herrera draws a one-out walk in the bottom of the third. Abreu hits the ball right in front of home plate, and he is tagged out by Castro. Abreu stood there in the batter’s box, because he thought it was a foul ball. Herrera takes second on the play. Andre Ethier hits a double into the gap, and Herrera scores putting the Dodgers on the board, 2-1. In typical Adam Kennedy style, he makes the last out of the inning by striking out.
In the top of the fourth, Billingsley sends down the Astros in order for the first time in the game. He has already made 88 pitches at this point.
Loney leads off with a single in the bottom of the fourth inning for his second hit of the night. A.J. Ellis hits a deep fly ball to left field. J.D
Tony “Clutch” Gwynn comes up with a two-run single to give the lead to the Dodgers. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Martinez makes a running fully extended catch as he runs into the wall to rob Ellis of an extra base hit. Martinez slams his shoulder into the wall, but he is ok to stay in the game. Dee Gordon smacks a double into the left field corner, and the Dodgers now have runners at second and third with one out. Chad Billingsley can’t make contact, and he strikes out on a high fastball. Tony Gwynn Jr. comes up with a super clutch hit as he grounds a single into right field, and two runs score! The Dodgers take a 3-2 lead! Gwynn is 10 for 21 with 5 walks and 12 RBI with runners in scoring position this year. Elian Herrera draws a walk. Bobby Abreu also walks after an eight pitch at bat, and the Dodgers have the bases loaded with two outs for Dre. Brad Mills decides to leave Norris in to face Dre even though he has made over 100 pitches. It works out for Houston, and Dre lines out to end the inning.
Billingsley has finally settled down. The Astros go down 1-2-3 in the fifth, and Bills has retired 7 in a row.
Bud Norris is still in the game in the bottom of the fifth even though he has thrown 107 pitches already. He gets the first two outs quickly, but A.J. Ellis draws a walk. Dee Gordon singles, and Ivan De Jesus comes up to pinch hit for Chad Billingsley. Enerio Del Rosario comes in from the Astro bullpen, and he gets the last out as De Jesus grounds into a force out.
We are cursing Chad Billingsley’s shaky start, but he settles down nicely later in the game. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Chad Billingsley pitched 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, and 8 strikeouts on 99 pitches.
Bud Norris pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts on 116 pitches.
Scott Elbert comes in to relieve Billingsley in the top of the sixth, and he pitches a nice scoreless inning.
Del Rosario retires Gwynn, Herrera, and Abreu in order in the Dodger half of the sixth.
In the seventh inning, Javy Guerra comes in as the Dodgers third pitcher of the night. With one out, Schafer doubles on a big hopper over Loney’s glove into right field. Guerra gets Altuve to pop out to Loney in foul territory, and Martinez pops out to Herrera.
Rhiner Cruz comes in for the Astros in the bottom of the seventh, and he quickly gets Ethier to hit a comebacker for the first out. Adam Kennedy flies out going 0 for 4 on the night. Loney singles for his third hit of the night, and he ends up going 3 for 4. A.J. Ellis ends the inning with a fly out.
We have now hit the three-hour mark in the game, and it is only the eighth inning. Ronald Belisario takes over pitching duties for the Dodgers. Travis Buck hits a deep fly ball, and our hearts skip a beat, but Tony Gwynn makes the catch at the warning track. Bogusevic and Johnson draw back-to-back walks, and Don Mattingly decides he’s seen enough. He makes the call to the pen to bring in Kenley Jansen to try to get these last four outs. On a 3-2 count, Jason Castro who was hitting .215, double down the left field line. The tying run scores. Marwin Gonzalez walks to load the bases up for Houston. The last out finally comes on a Schafer fly out, but the game is tied up 3-3.
Brandon Lyon comes into the game for Houston for the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Jerry Hairston Jr. gets an infield single after the ball is deflected off Lyon. Gwynn strikes out. Elian Herrera bloops a single into center. Jerry Sands comes up with runners at the corners and two outs. Jerry strikes out swinging ending the rally and squashing our hopes and dreams.
Here we are finally in the ninth, and Kenley Jansen is back on the mound after making 15 pitches in the eighth. The Astros go down in order in the inning on two fly balls and a comebacker.
We love you, A.J. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Wesley Wright, the little lefty who failed against Ethier the night before, now comes in to face guess who? Wright hits Ethier with the pitch on his shoulder, and Dre takes first as he shows how angered he is. Wilton Lopez comes into replace Wright and pitch to Scott Van Slyke. Van Slyke sacrifices Dre over to second. They intentionally walk Loney to *snicker* get to A.J. Ellis. Then A.J. crushes a three-run walk-off homerun to left field! The Dodgers are now the only team not to have a three-game losing streak, and they improve to a 8-0 record on Saturdays. A.J. is AMAZING!
The Dodgers are now 31-15, and they gain ground on the Giants who are now 7 1/2 back.
Tomorrow afternoon Chris Capuano and J.A. Happ will go up against each other in game three. The first pitch will be at 1:10 pm, and the game will be televised on Prime Ticket. Good night, Dodger fans!