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Jansen meltdown leaves Dodgers with latest crushing loss, 4-3

May 23, 2011 |  8:33 pm

Photo: Houston's Hunter Pence drives in the winning run on a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth in the Astros' 4-3 victory over the Dodgers on Monday. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press Even when things seem to go right for the Dodgers, somehow they still manage to go very wrong.

The Dodgers were all set up Monday for a 3-1 win on an Andre Ethier game-winning pinch hit. Ready to praise Clayton Kershaw on earning his sixth win.

Only the game proved one inning too long, Kenley Jansen unable to close it down as the Astros rallied for three, two-out runs in the ninth to escape with a 4-3 victory in Houston.

Add it to the growing list of heartbreaking losses for the Dodgers. One moment so close to victory, the next walking off in disbelieve. If familiar disbelief.

The loss dropped the Dodgers to 21-28, leaving them a season-high seven games under .500.

After injuries to Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo and Vicente Padilla, the closing job has fallen to the inexperienced Jansen, who looked plenty green in the ninth inning.

Jansen allowed a one-out single to Bill Hall, his fourth hit of the night, but then struck out pinch-hitter Matt Downs for the second out.

Then in an 11-pitch at-bat, he walked Angel Sanchez. His inexperience further showed when he neglected the runners, and they managed an easy double-steal.

With two strikes on Michael Bourn, Jansen gave up a two-run double to tie it. Jansen was melting now, but the bullpen was shot. He was ahead 0-2 on Clint Barmes and hit him with a pitch.

Which set the state for Hunter Pence, who lined a single to left to score the speedy Bourn.

The worst team in the National League had a rare comeback victory to covet, the Dodgers another anguish filled defeat.

Matt Kemp hit a solo home run for his team-high 11th on the season and Kershaw held the Astros to one run in six innings, but highlights were once again obscured by a difficult loss.

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Photo: Houston's Hunter Pence drives in the winning run on a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth in the Astros' 4-3 victory over the Dodgers on Monday. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press

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