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Jay Gibbons makes his case: Two-run homer in 11th snaps Dodgers' six-game losing streak, 4-2

Dodgers1_300 Jay Gibbons seemed banished and forgotten. Accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. Dropped by the Orioles. Bounced around various minor leagues.

He was given one more chance, probably a last chance, by the Dodgers this spring, who signed him to a triple-A contract. He tore it up at Albuquerque and waited.

Finally, on Aug. 8, he got the call. He was back in the major leagues. And now Gibbons is trying to make his case to stay, to be a part of whatever team the Dodgers put together for next season

He made his case a tad louder Friday night, drilling a two-run homer in the 11th inning to lead the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the Astros.

The victory snapped the Dodgers’ six-game losing streak.

In just 35 at-bats, Gibbons (.343, four homers, 12 RBI, six runs) has been more productive as the man he replaced as the team’s left-handed pinch-hitter, Garret Anderson (.181, two, 12 and eight) in 155 at-bats.

Matt Kemp led off the 11th with a single off Houston reliever Fernando Abad, and Gibbons followed with his two-run homer. He had three RBIs on the night.

Much earlier in the game, Hiroki Kuroda and Houston’s J.A. Happ were locked in a scoreless affair through four innings.

Then in the fifth, that rarest of events, the Dodgers scored a run.

Rod Barajas opened with a single to left and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Kuroda. Jamey Carroll, signed to be a utility player but who has now played in 125 games, continued his unexpectedly productive season by lining a single into left-center field to score Barajas.

It proved a short-lived lead. In the bottom of the fifth, singles by Angel Sanchez and Brett Wallace put runners on the corners, and Michael Bourn’s bloop hit to center tied the score.

The Dodgers, however, came right back with a run in the sixth. With Wilton Lopez taking over for Happ, Kemp drove a hit into the right-center gap that Hunter Pence misplayed into a triple.

Gibbons, entering the game earlier as a pinch-hitter, singled up the middle to score Kemp.

Houston tied it again in the seventh. Wallace hit a ground-rule double off struggling reliever Ronald Belisario and Bourn singled off left-hander George Sherrill to drive him in the tying run.

Kuroda went six innings for the Dodgers, giving up one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.

Octavio Dotel (3-3) pitched the final two innings of relief to earn the victory.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers left fielder Jay Gibbons, left, is congratulated by center fielder Matt Kemp after hitting a two-run home run in the 11th inning Friday night. Credit: George Bridges / McClatchy-Tribune

Comments () | Archives (13)

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The headline should be that Octavio Dotel didn't lose the game for us yet again. Keep guys like Gibbons & Barajas. Trade Russell Martin to any team stupid enough to offer anything for him.

gibbons should be the primary left fielder for the rest of the season. this team lacks pop and gibbons is the only one supplying it lately. podsednick is not doing anything at this point. not getting on base, not stealing bases when he does get on. sit him down and let gibbons play.

Ah, memories of the decade of the 2000's are rampant again.

We've got a cheater, and we've got a winning team. Gagne, Manny, now Gibbons.

Thanks, Bud Selig, for all you have done to keep baseball's lofty integrity. You know, somewhere, they ought to put up a statue of such a man.

Last night's game-winning dinger aside, you can give this cheater his pink slip as well. I'd rather win clean.

Its just another part of the whole organizational flaw. Pride and integrity have been shoved out the door, and they need to be put back inside and held out front of everything we do. And we all know what change that means.

2011 Dodgers:

Posednik LF
Theriot 2B
Furcal SS
Eithier RF
Kemp CF
Mitchell 3B
Lindsey 1B
Barajas C
Kershaw P

Ladies and gentlemen - your 21011 Los Angeles Dodgers.

RE: "you can give this cheater his pink slip as well."
Just how much punishment should Jay Gibbons experience because you think that he cheated? Where is your sense of forgiveness? Why should he bear the burden of being punished for what appears to be something that much of a whole generation of athletes took part in. These players took advantage of every opportunity to improve their chances at succeeding. Remember, not all the supplements that the players coming up ten years ago were exposed to were illegal. In fact, few were. How many of the football players adored every weekend in this country were "clean" during the past decade? I am not a fan of illegal performance enhancing drugs. However, let's keep perspective. Jay's performance as a Dodger and what the price he paid to get there is for all to see. I hope that he earns a job for next season.

Why isn't Gibbons starting in LF? Sometimes I think our beloved manager is dumber than a bag of hammers.

Sadly, I think Hollywood Dodger Mark is right ............. and alanw19, for once, is very wrong. Not just 2011 Mark, but '12, too. Relax, Alan.

Let's not put journeymen like Jay Gibbons in the Hall of Fame yet just becuase he has a few home runs in meaningless games. The worst thing the Dodgers can do is make decisions based upon September performances. Remember-the guy was out of baseball for a reason.

Respectfully, Bill and my friend Since '58, I see your point. I'm for second chances as well. But ...

I guess baseball, which I love, has soured me in a certain way and made me extremely cautious for "second chances." You might remember a guy named Steve Howe? How many chances? And that was recreational, not performance. And then there's the baseball players establishment collectively - admittedly, I have no idea where Gibbons falls in that category - that has not agreed to proper testing to keep their sport honest.

That's not a free pass for Selig, but it is another issue which shapes my view on whether I would like to agree that "users" past or present are going to play for my favorite team.

Second chances? OK, fine, even Gibbons, but make sure you've got a system in place so that I know my favorite team is clean. Pee tests, blood tests - as long as you're sure he's still clean. But we don't have that, not in MLB. It absolutely sucked when Manny got leveled. It absolutely sucked to learn Gagne wasn't clean while he played for LA.

It will absolutely suck to learn anybody else isn't clean that plays for the Dodgers. Its embarrassing when your team is in the news for the wrong reasons.

I don't mean to create a second issue, the bigger picture of the game itself with its lack of testing policy, but I guess for me that is somewhat what it will boil down to in the end.

I'll accept being called wrong if anyone else believes that, if other teams cheat or use cheaters, the Dodgers should, too. We're all entitled to our opinions and I respect your choice on it.

Beat the 'stros!

Gibbons has payed his debt to baseball by being out of it for two years. I would like to see him on the team next year but he is not the answer unless he becomes a switch hitter between now and April. Here's my mantra for the offseason. Broxton-Kemp-Loney for Pujols, can't pay Kuroda, lock up Pujols. Broxton-Kemp-Loney for Pujols, can't pay Kuroda. You get the idea. That's well over 20mil to work with and I don't know who can give St.Louis 3 better big leaguers. They have to move him because there's no way he's staying for less than what Holliday is getting paid and while they spend they are not the Yanks or the Sawx. Kuroda and Loney have been my favorite Dodgers for awhile but getting Pujols is basically our Obi Wan Kanobee. "You are our only hope..."

N.P.Krohn, Broxton/Kemp/Loney for Pujols? That's not even close to an even swap. Pujols is more valuable than the entire Dodgers roster put together. That's a fact.

You're a good man, alanw19. Gibbons paid his debt. He's not Clemens, Bonds or Manny. He came clean.
Krohn, what planet do you live on?

I'm glad to see Gibbons back in the game. This guy's work hard to redeem himself and I say more power to him. I love it that it was the Dodger's who are taking a chance on him and the way it's going, it may pay off. It all reminds me of the 'Parable of the Prodigal Son.' Who can't love that!?


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