Dodgers lose yet another tough one, 2-1, to Astros
Just in case anyone thought the Dodgers could not come up with a new and inventive ways to lose, they offered Wednesday afternoon in Houston.
Astros catcher J.R. Towles entered the game with a staggering 0-for-32 streak. He'd have made a polar bear look hot.
But Wednesday he had three hits, none bigger than his single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the winning run in Houston's 2-1 victory.
The line-drive single came off reliever Matt Guerrier, the Dodgers' fourth pitcher of the game.
Brett Wallace doubled off the glove of Matt Kemp -- who appeared to slightly mistime his jump -- in deep center. Towles' single then fell in front of Kemp, whose throw to the plate was off-line, though it probably would not have been in time anyway.
It was another tough loss for the Dodgers, who don't seem to know any other kind.
They've fallen back to seven games under .500 (22-29), and have lost six of their last eight.
Ted Lilly started for the Dodgers, made a mistake on his first pitch and then threw blanks. Trouble was, that first pitch was hit for a solo home run by Michael Bourn, who until then had yet to hit a home run all season.
Lilly ended up going six innings, allowing the one run on six hits and a walk.
For a long time, however, it appeared that first pitch might cost the Dodgers the game. They could do little with Houston right-hander Aneury Rodriguez, a Rule 5 draft pick who had yet to win a game in four previous starts.
Rodriguez had the Dodgers shut out with two outs in the sixth when Kemp connected on his 12th home run of the season and second in three games.
Kemp's solo shot made it a 1-1 game, as both teams started going to their bullpens.
Catcher Dioner Navarro saved a run with two outs in the seventh. With runners on the corners, reliever Mike MacDougal threw a wild pitch past Navarro. From third, Towles broke from home.
But Navarro retrieved the ball, sprinted back to the plate and dived to tag out Towles just ahead of the plate.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Jamey Carroll makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Houston Astros' Brett Wallace during the second inning of a game Wednesday in Houston. Credit: David J. Phillip / AP