And the kids shall lead them: Dee Gordon, Rubby De La Rosa spark Dodgers' 6-2 victory as Matt Kemp homers again
Kids, what are you going to do with them? Play ’em, apparently. Lead them to the field and then let them go.
They worked just fine Tuesday night, those precocious little things. Shortstop Dee Gordon celebrated his first major-league start by collecting hits in his first three at-bats and right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, overcoming the shakiest of beginnings, settled down to win his first career start.
They led the Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over the Phillies, who were kind enough to contribute to the kids’ cause by throwing the all around for a pair of costly errors.
They did get a little assist from that old vet, Matt Kemp, who crushed a two-run homer.
Kemp, of course, is now chiseled. Gordon is a wisp of a shortstop, so thin that as he flew around the basepaths commentator Steve Lyons was worried the Dodgers might need to put rocks in his pockets to prevent him from taking flight.
Gordon became the first Dodger to collect hits in his first three major-league at-bats since Mike Piazza in 1992, which may be the first and last time those two physiques are ever compared again.
Yet after the Dodgers staked him to a 4-1 lead, he finally settled down. Say one thing for him, even when the bases were full of Phillies, he looked calm.
De La Rosa retired the Phillies in order in his final two innings. He ended up going five innings, walking the five, allowing four hits and striking out four.
He walked two in the first, but got out of it unscathed thanks partially to a pair of nice defensive plays by second baseman Juan Uribe.
The Dodgers put him up 1-0 against Roy Oswalt when Kemp doubled and scored on a Dioner Navarro single, but De La Rosa immediately gave it back when he walked two, give up a base hit and then walked Placido Polanco to force in a run.
The Dodgers took control of the game with three runs in the third after De La Rosa drew a walk. Gordon’s second hit, this one to right, advanced De La Rosa to third.
Casey Blake singled in one run, Oswalt’s pickoff attempt that sailed into right for an error scored another and Andre Ethier singled in a third.
Gordon, who singled to right to open the game, beat out an infield hit for his third single in the fifth. Then he stole second. One thing Gordon adds to the Dodgers is excitement. He ended up 3-for-5 on the night.
Gordon, De La Rosa and Jerry Sands gave the Dodgers three rookie starters against the Phillies -- and they won.
After Blake Hawksworth pitched a scoreless inning, the Phillies scored once off Matt Guerrier and Scott Elbert in the seventh.
But Kemp added his 17th home run, tying him with Jay Bruce for the National League lead, and the Dodgers had a comfortable four-run cushion.
One more rookie, however, got into the final act for the Dodgers. Javy Guerra pitched a perfect ninth, and for Tuesday, the kids were all right.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: The Dodgers' Dee Gordon, right, is congratulated by Andre Ethier after scoring on a throwing errorduring the third inning of Tuesday's 6-2 victory over Philadelphia. Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press