Los Angeles Dodgers Game Recaps: Dodgers Slug Four Home Runs in Rubber Game Win
By Scott Andes
Tonight was a good night for the Dodgers. They won, and nobody got hurt. The Dodgers slugged four home runs to back a shaky Zack Greinke, as the Dodgers defeated the Giants 7-3 in the rubber game of the three game series Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Giants 3 7 0
Dodgers 7 8 1
Don Mattingly shuffled the lineup a bit before the game. Apparently Mattingly must have read Adrian’s post earlier this afternoon. Joc Pederson was moved into the lead-off spot, as the ice cold Jimmy Rollins was dropped to number two. Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez were swapped in the order. Funny thing how having your best hitter in the lineup helps you win games. Huh. Well, Gonzo hit one of the four home runs, and so did lead-off man Pederson. Joc hit a home run, drew a walk, and made another great play in center field. The Dodgers hit three home runs in the bottom of the first inning to drive in four runs in the opening frame to take an early 4-1 lead.
Image from-Mark J. Terrill
Pederson, Gonzalez, and Rollins all hit solo home runs, and Andre Ethier hit a two-run shot in the four run first inning. The Dodgers added two more in the third, and one more in the fourth. It was enough to get the win. The Dodgers have now hit 32 home runs this season in their first 21 games. If there is one thing the Dodgers can do this year, its hit home runs. And oh my goodness are they hitting them.
Greinke was 21-1 versus the NL West coming into tonight’s game. He improves his record to 22-1 against NL West opponents. He wasn’t great, but received plenty of run support, settling down in the later innings. Greinke gave up three earned runs on seven hits over six frames. Four of those hits were for extra-bases. Greinke whiffed five and walked two. Speaking of hits, Greinke also helped himself out with the bat as well, knocking in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth frame.
Greinke’s mound opponent Ryan Vogelsong was awful from the start, and the Dodgers knocked him out of the game after just three innings. Vogelsong gave up six earned runs on five hits and took the loss. The Dodger bullpen once again came through with another three scoreless innings. Adam Liberatore pitched the seventh, Chris Hatcher the eighth, and Yimi Garcia closed it out in the ninth.
The Giants actually had the lead early, when the pest, Nori Aoki reached on an infield single. Then the Giants got consecutive singles from Brandon Belt, and Justin Maxwell to score Aoki. The Giants scored two runs in the fourth when Casey McGehee doubled, and Brandon Crawford’s two-run home run gave the Giants their only look at the game. They might have had more, had Andre Ethier not made a spectacular diving catch in the second inning on Joe Panik’s line drive into the center left field gap. Greinke certainly dug it. Check out his reaction.
Photo from MLB.com
The Dodgers are now 10-2 at home, and take two of three from the Giants. The club finishes April with a 13-8 record. Here’s how everything went down at Chavez Ravine Wednesday evening.
In the top of the first a wobbly Greinke strikes out the side, but allows a run to put the Dodgers down early in the game. Aoki reaches on another infield single. Then Greinke whiffs Panik and Angel Pagan, but consecutive singles from Belt, and Maxwell score Aoki. The Giants take a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers attack Vogelsong and the Giants in the bottom of the first with three home runs. Pederson leads-off the game with a solo shot. That’s number four on the season for young Joc. The game is tied at 1-1. Two ground outs later, Gonzo goes deep, and the Dodgers are up 2-1. That’s Gonzo’s eighth home run of the season. Boy what an incredible month of April he’s had. Then Van Slyke walks, and Ethier follows with a two-run home run to right. The Dodgers go up 4-1!
The Giants threaten in the top of the second. After McGehee lines out to Kendrick, Crawford doubles. Vogelsong grounds to short. Aoki walks. With first and second, Panik sneds a deep drive to right. The ball looked like it was heading right towards the gap, but Andre Ethier swoops in and makes a spectacular diving catch to rob the Giants, ending the inning. Check it out for yourself. Fantastic catch Dre!
The Dodgers score two more in the third. Rollins leads-off with a solo blast. Hopefully that breaks him out of his slump. Then Kendrick’s slicing double to right, and Gonzo’s fly ball to right puts Kendrick at third with one out. Maxwell makes a great diving catch on Scott Van Slyke’s sinking drive to right. However Kendrick tags up and scores and the Dodgers go up 6-1 on the sacrifice fly.
Greinke continues to look iffy in the top of the fourth. McGehee doubles, and comes around to score on Crawford’s two-run home run. The Giants pull within 6-3. Greinke retires the next three batters and finally settles down. Greinke made 110 pitches, but only had first pitch strikes on 11 of 22 batters. So you know his command was a bit off.
Call to the Pen
The Dodgers add one more insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. With right hander George Kontos on the mound, Grandal walks. Uribe doubles him to third. Greinke’s sacrifice fly to right plates Grandal to give the Dodgers a 7-3 lead. That was the last of the scoring between either club.
Greinke retires the Giants in order in the top of the fifth. The Dodgers go down 123 in the bottom half of the fifth. Greinke gets through the top of the sixth, recording his sixth strikeout of the game on McGehee.
Javier Lopez comes in to retire the Dodgers in the sixth inning. Left hander Adam Liberatore is called in to pitch the top of the seventh. He retires Aoki, Panik, and Pagan, (whiffing Pagan). Chris Hatcher pitches a perfect top of the eighth inning. His frame includes strikeouts of Belt and McGehee. The Dodgers had just two hits after the fourth inning. One of those was a double from Van Slyke in the bottom of the eighth. Unfortunately the Dodgers didn’t score.
Finally Yimi Garcia comes in for the top of the ninth. He strikes out Crawford for the first out. Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco grounds out, and Aoki’s grounder to the box is the final out. Dodgers win 7-3!
The Dodgers get Thursday off, and then finish the home stand with three games against the Dbacks Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. Friday night’s match-up will see Carlos Frias making his first start of the season, in place of the injured Brandon McCarthy (Who is having Tommy John surgery). Arizona will counter with former Dodger Rubby De La Rosa at 7:10 PM in the series opener.
A series win over the Giants always makes for a great night! Go Blue!