It's Ted Lilly to the rescue, Hong-Chih Kuo for the save in Dodgers 2-1 victory over Braves
Lilly looks like the guy in high school who sat in the back of the class and barely said a word. Who could sing in a quartet and everyone would leave certain they’d heard a trio.
The mild-mannered Lilly, however, has been an explosive find for the Dodgers since coming over from the Chicago Cubs just before the July 31 trade deadline.
A staggering Dodgers team received the big start they needed Saturday night, as Lilly shut out the Braves for six innings and the Dodgers went on to eke out a 2-1 victory and snap their three-game losing streak.
The Dodgers collected 12 hits, but continued to have trouble driving in runs, their scores coming during a double play and a sacrifice fly.
But Lilly and four relievers made it hold up, with Hong-Chih Kuo delivering in his first opportunity as the team’s new closer by pitching a scoreless ninth.
Lilly earned the victory, and in his three starts for the Dodgers he is now 3-0 with a 1.89 earned-run average.
Former Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe matched Lilly early in the humid night before the Dodgers -- shut out the previous night in Atlanta -- scratched together a run in the fourth.
James Loney opened the inning with a single. With Loney running on the pitch, Casey Blake singled him to third. Matt Kemp bounced into a double play, but Loney scored for the Dodgers' first run in 14 innings.
The Dodgers doubled their lead against reliever Jonny Venters in the seventh after Scott Podsednik picked up a one-out hit and Ryan Theriot singled him to third. Andre Ethier’s fly to right was deep enough to score Podsednik.
In his six innings, Lilly (6-8 overall) allowed only three hits -- all singles -- and issued his first two walks with the Dodgers. He struck out four.
The Braves got one run back in the bottom of the seventh as rookie Kenley Jansen was charged for his first major-league run in nine appearances. Jansen gave up a leadoff walk to Matt Diaz. A one-out double by Melky Cabrera sent him to third.
George Sherrill relieved Jansen and got David Ross to bounce out to third, but Diaz scored on the play. Octavio Dotel struck out Omar Infante to end the inning and then pitched a perfect eighth.
That set it up for Kuo, who had been given the closer’s role over struggling Jonathan Broxton the previous day.
Kuo, throwing up to 97 mph, struck out the first two Braves he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Ted Lilly, who pitched six shutout innings against the Braves on Saturday, is now 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his first three starts with the Dodgers. Credit: Tami Chappell / Reuters