Mitchell, Castro spur Dodgers' most unlikely comeback victory, 6-4, over White Sox
They opened interleague play looking exactly like the sad team that continued to invent painful ways to lose. Had gone up in the first on a two-run homer by Matt Kemp and then crawled into a shell and seemed all set to meekly absorb a one-run defeat.
They were one out away from their latest loss when they sent unsung Russ Mitchell up against reliever Sergio Santos -- who had not allowed a run all season -- and he stunned the White Sox, if not the Dodgers, with a solo home run.
Mitchell was one for 14 until his home run.
And the bizarreness only continued in the 10th, when much-maligned Juan Castro fisted a soft little hit over first baseman Paul Konerko that landed just fair to drive in the go-ahead run and the Dodgers went on for a 6-4 victory.
The Dodgers, who didn’t arrive in their hotel rooms until almost 8 a.m. Friday, had been 0-22 on the season when trailing after eight innings.
James Loney, who like Castro had failed in an eighth-inning bases-loaded situation, doubled in another run. Like comebacks were nothing. Then struggling Jay Gibbons singled in one more.
Only in baseball.
The Dodgers were left with their best feel-good victory of the season.
The Dodgers had threatened in the eighth after Jerry Sands led off with a walk. Jamey Carroll, who had four hits on the night, then collected the Dodgers’ first hit since the third inning with a drive into the left-field corner.
Trouble was, it bounced over the wall and into the White Sox bullpen for a ground-rule double. If it bounces off the wall, Sands would have scored the tying run.
Instead, the Dodgers had runners at second and third with no outs.
Which meant big trouble. The clutch hit and the Dodgers had been such strangers. Andre Ethier, who had snapped an 0-for-22 skid with a single in the third, struck out against left-hander Matt Thorton, who then intentionally walked Kemp to load the bases.
Reliever Jesse Crain came in to pitch to … Castro?
Yep, Juan Uribe had been batting fifth but left the game in the fifth inning with a left hip flexor strain. Uribe had made a nice diving catch of an Alex Rios soft hit in the third.
Castro, hitless in seven at-bats since being called up last week, was no match for Crain. Castro struck out on three pitches. Next came Loney, who grounded out to short. They would, however, get their revenge.
End of would-be rally. The Dodgers are now three for 36 this season with the bases loaded.
Right-hander Phillip Humber, after giving up that first-inning homer to Kemp, shut the Dodgers out the rest of his six innings.
Ted Lilly, after getting the first five consecutive White Sox, gave up five consecutive hits in the second to account for all of Chicago’s scoring. Gordon Beckham’s two-run homer was the big blow.
Kenley Jansen pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win, and when Matt Guerrier gave up a pair of hits in the bottom of the 10th, Scott Elbert got Adam Dunn to bounce into a run-scoring out and Mike MacDougal got Konerko for the final out to earn his first save as a Dodger.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Matt Kemp (27) is congratulated by infielder Jamey Carroll (14) after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire