The Dodgers wrapped up a ten game road-trip, and series win, with an 8-2 win at Seattle on Sunday afternoon. Chad Billingsley came up with another strong performance to win his fifth of the season and even his books. Bills recovered after allowing a solo home run to Kyle Seager in the first. From then onward, only allowed one hit the rest of the game, en route to a seven inning one run on two hits, eighth whiff performance to pick up the win. Andre Ethier drove in four runs with a towering grand slam home run (the fourth Grand Slam of his career) off of rookie Blake Beavan. Bobby Abreu collected two doubles, drove in a run, and picked up his 564 career double, to move ahead of Pie Traynor on the all-time list. The Dodgers scored six runs in the top of the second, and added two more in the eighth. The Dodgers conclude this ten game road trip, by winning seven of ten games, and now return home to play the Angels in the first freeway series of the year.
Top of the first. Dee Gordon leads off with a fly ball to left. Elian Herrera slaps a single just inside the left field line for a long single. Ethier flies out to Mike Carp, and Jerry Hairston ends the inning with a fly ball to center. Blake Beavin with a scoreless first inning to begin the game.
Bottom of the first. Lead-off hitter Ichiro Suzuki grounds out to Kennedy to begin the bottom half of the first. Bills whiffs Dustin Ackley for out number two. Of course Kyle Seager homers deep into the right field seats near the corner. 1-0 Seattle. I think we are all used to Chad Billingsley’s utter first inning incompetence, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Jesus Montero goes down swinging to end the inning.
Top of the second. Bobby Abreu leads off the second inning with a double down the left field line. James Loney’s fly ball to center allows Abreu to tag from third. A.J. Ellis pops out. Adam Kennedy draws a two-out walk on a very borderline pitch to put runners at the corners for Tony Gwynn Jr. Gwyn continues to hit with runners in scoring position. He drives a base hit into center field to score Abreu, and tie the game at 1-1. Dee Gordon slaps a bloop single to right, Kennedy scores to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Gwynn slides into third just ahead of the swipe tag from Seager. The tag was in time, but the ball popped out of his glove, and runners are at second and third for the Dodgers. Herrera draws a walk to load the bases. With the count full to Ethier, Bleaven tried to sneak a fastball by him and Ethier made him pay. He crushes a ball into the right field seats for his fourth career grand slam. The blast gives the Dodgers a 6-1 lead! Hairston flies out to end the rally. The Dodgers score six runs and take the commanding lead 6-1.
Bottom of the second. Justin Smoak starts of the home half of the second inning with a bloop single over Loney’s head. Michael Saunders flies out to left. Miguel Olivo fouls out to Ellis. Mike Carp walks. Brendan Ryan pops out to Gwynn, and Billingsley is out of the inning.
Blake Beavan is removed to start the top of the third. His day ends quickly. He pitches two innings, allowing six rus, five hits, a grand slam to Ethier, two walks, and more importantly no whiffs. You won’t last long pitching like that, and of course Beavan did not. Hisashi Iwakuma, the Japanese right hander relieves Beavan, and begins by whiffing Abreu. James Loney hits another signature grounder. Kennedy flies out to right. Ichiro whiffs in the home half of the third. Ackley flies out to center. Seager walks. Montero whiffs.
Gwynn’s bunt single up along third leads off the top of the fourth. However he is erased on a busted hit and run play with Gordon at the plate. Montero makes a good throw to get him. Gordon walks, but Herrera grounds into an inning ending double play. Bottom of the fourth. Bills starts out this frame by whiffing Smoak with some high cheese. Saunders whiffs as well, and Olivo pops out. Bills now has six whiffs.
Top of the fifth. Ethier whiffs. Hairston walks. Iwakuma is removed after two and a third effective innings. Charlie Furbush enters the game. Abreu flies out. Loney grounds out to end things in the Fifth. Bottom of the fifth. Carp flies out. Brendan Ryan walks. Ichiro flies out, and Bills whiffs Ackley for his seventh whiff of the game. Bills is really rolling.
Furbush sets the Dodgers down in order in the top of the sixth, as does Bills with the Mariners in the bottom half of the frame. He whiffs Montero to record his eighth whiff. The Dodgers go down in order in the top half of the seventh. Gordon and Ethier ground out, and Herrera whiffs. Billingsley is rolling along, and retires the Mariners in order in the bottom of the seventh. He has now made 109 pitches.
Brandon League comes in to pitch the top of the eighth. Hairston pops out. Bobby Abreu doubles. And passes Pie Traynor on the all time doubles list. That is double number 564. Alex Castellanos comes in to pinch-run, and immediately takes third on a wild pitch. Loney’s RBI single to right scores Castellanos easily to extend the Dodger lead to 7-1. A.J. a pop fly single, and Kennedy follows with the Dodger’s fourth consecutive hit, to score Loney, and the lead is now 8-1. Gwynn hits into a force play.
Bottom of the eighth. Scott Elbert enters and starts to suck. IN a seven run game Scott? Come now. Anyways, Ryan walks. Ichiro pops out. Ackley singles to right. Seager walks. Donnie has seen enough, and brings in Jamey Wright to mop up Elbert’s mess. Which he does by retiring Seager on a fly ball. Top of the ninth. Lucas Luetge enters to pitch. Herrera singles. Ethier whiffs. Dejesus pinch-hitting for Wright, grounds into an inning ending double play, and that is that.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers bring in rookie Shawn Tolleson, who has to fight back some nerves during his second appearance. Smoak singles, and Saunders a double off the wall in center to score Smoak. He would recover to get Olivo to ground out, and Carp and Ryan both to whiff on nice breaking balls to end the game.
The Dodgers finish a big test with flying colors, with a 7-3 road trip. More good news today, the Giants lost to Texas, and the Dodgers lead in the NL West is now back to five games. Great game today! The Boys in Blue are sure heating up. Join us tomorrow night, as the Dodgers finally come home, to begin the first of the two freeway series against the cross town rival Angels. This time they will be at home and using National League rules, so there will be no DH. Juan Uribe is scheduled to rejoin the Dodgers tomorrow. Chris Capuano will take the mound for the Dodgers in search of his ninth win. Happy Sunday night Dodger fans! Until tomorrow. Go Blue.