Dodgers Pull Within Two Games of St. Louis; Pair of Bison Blasts from Matt Kemp Give Them Fourth Consecutive Win
Dodgers 3 10 0
Rockies 0 7 0
WP- Blanton (10-13)
LP- Chatwood (5-6)
S- League (15)
HR- Kemp (21 & 22)
We were all scoreboard watching tonight as the Cardinals and Nationals game played out at Busch Stadium. Michael Morse hit a grand slam homerun in the first inning, and there was a very odd do-over by Washington after the umpires called the players back onto the base paths after the homerun was concluded to be in fact a homerun. Morse went up to the plate sans bat and pretended to swing for the fences (he’s very good at those practice swings anyways), and the base runners proceeded to round the diamond for official scoring purposes I guess. The Cardinals managed to tie the game up 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth to force the game into extra innings. Washington answered our prayers by scoring two runs in the tenth and holding on for the win. Meanwhile, the Dodgers behind Joe Blanton, were up 2-0 on the Rockies after a monster solo blast from Matt Kemp and a RBI single from A.J. Ellis in the fourth inning. Blanton pitched a gem tonight, and his six shutout innings was truly clutch. Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen both pitched scoreless frames in relief. Matt Kemp followed up with an encore homerun in the eighth, and Brandon League continued to dominate as he picked up the save in the ninth.
Joe Blanton opens the game with a strikeout. Josh Rutledge goes down swinging. Charlie Blackmon pulls one into the right field corner for a double. Jordan Pacheco hits a long fly ball out to right center. Wilin Rosario strikes out to end the inning.
Nick Punto draws a lead-off walk against Tyler Chatwood in the home half of the first inning. Andre Ethier grounds into a double play. Matt Kemp singles immediately following making that double play hurt a little more. Adrian Gonzalez strokes a single into left field, and the Dodgers have runners at first and third with two outs for Hanley Ramirez. Hanley hits a little flare towards shallow left field, but Josh Rutledge makes a diving catch to end the inning and save a run.
Blanton retires the Rockies 1-2-3 in the second.
Tyler Chatwood returns the favor by sending the Dodgers down in order in the bottom of the second.
In the third, Chatwood manages to hit a one-out single up the middle. The opposing pitcher is actually hitting .286. Rutledge grounds into a double play on a comebacker, and although Hanley double clutches the ball he just barely gets the out at second. On the replay it looks as though Rutledge was in fact safe.
The Dodgers go down meekly in the bottom of the third.
Joe Blanton is pitching very well, and he strikes out Pacheco and Rosario in the top of fourth as the Rockies go down 1-2-3 again.
Matt Kemp proceeds to crush a humongous homerun which went all the way up the left field pavilion- estimated 461 feet. That’s Kemp’s 21st Bison Blast of the season! Gonzo whiffs. Hanley singles, and he steals second with Victorino at the plate. Shane draws a walk. Luis Cruz strikes out swinging. A.J. Ellis singles to right field, and Hanley brings in the second run of the inning for the Dodgers. Blanton strikes out to end the inning. Chatwood ends up striking out the side, but he also serves up two runs in the process.
Andrew Brown hits a flare single into left field with one out in the top of the fifth. Matt McBride grounds out. DJ LeMahieu singles with two out, Tyler Chatwood grounds into a force out to end the frame.
Even though Chatwood just hit, Jim Tracy goes to the pen and brings in Josh Outman to pitch the bottom of the fifth. Chatwood had made 74 pitches, just under the Jim Tracy threshold of 75 pitches. Punto, Ethier, and Kemp all make out consecutively against Outman.
Tyler Chatwood pitched 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts on 74 pitches.
Blanton allows another two singles in the top of the sixth to Rutledge and Pacheco. Pacheco’s hit was on a comebacker to Blanton which hit him and he was unable to find thereafter as it bounced behind him on the mound. Rosario strikes out to end the inning and strand the runners.
Outman induces a groundout from Gonzo to begin the bottom half of the sixth. Tracy decides to bring in the righty Edgmer Escalona to pitch to Hanley Ramirez. Hanley foils Tracy’s strategy, and he comes up with his second hit of the game. With Victorino at the plate, Hanley steals his second base of the night and his 20th of the year. Victorino flies out. Cruz ground out.
Joe Blanton is still in for the seventh, but after Chris Nelson leads off with a single Don Mattingly quickly brings in the hook in favor of Ronald Belisario. Beli comes in and takes care of business while striking out two Rox.
Joe Blanton pitched 6 innings, allowing no runs on 7 hits, no walks, and 6 strikeouts on 84 pitches.
A.J. Ellis singles to third base on a soft grounder, and Elian Herrera advances A.J. to second base on a sacrifice. Nick Punto strikes out swinging, and Tracy will go to the bullpen once again. Rex Brothers, the lefty, comes in and quickly retires Ethier on one pitch for a fly out.
Kenley Jansen comes into pitch the eighth for the Dodgers. Nick Punto moves over to third, and Mark Ellis comes into play second. Luis Cruz left the game with a headache. Feel better, Cochito! Jansen whiffs Jonathan Herrera for the first out. Rutledge and Blackmon both fly out.
Josh Roenicke becomes the fifth Colorado pitcher of the night in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Kemp comes up and hits a smooth easy solo homerun to right field! That’s his 22nd homerun of the year and his second of this game. Beast Mode has returned in full force, but is it too late? The Dodgers now lead 3-0. Matt Reynolds comes in from the Colorado bullpen, and Adrian Gonzalez proceeds to double to right field. Ramirez comes up with his third hit of the night, a soft single to center. Colorado will make yet another pitching change, and they bring in Carlos Torres to face Victorino. Shane grounds out. Colorado will intentionally walk Bobby Abreu to load the bases up. A.J. Ellis grounds into the inning ending double play.
Brandon League comes in looking to shut down the Rockies in the ninth. Pacheco quickly grounds out to third. Rosario pops out. Nelson strikes out swinging, and the Dodgers win their fourth game in a row!
The Dodgers capture their 83rd win of the year, and they gain a game in the Wild Card race. They now sit at two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot with four games to play. The Dodgers will look to sweep the Rockies in the finale game tomorrow, and then they will take on their arch rivals, the NL West Champion San Francisco Giants in the last three games of the season.
Tomorrow afternoon Josh Beckett will go up against Jorge De La Rosa at 1:10 pm in game three.