Dodgers can't touch Cole Hamels in 2-0 loss to Phillies
Opportunities were going to be precious. Someone would have to blink first, which figured to be the game the way Hiroki Kuroda and Cole Hamels were going.
It was a tight pitchers’ dual on a hot, humid Wednesday night in Philadelphia. After the Phillies finally scored in the sixth, the Dodgers wasted a prime scoring opportunity the next inning.
And that was the Dodgers’ offense for the night.
The Phillies tipped their caps in thanks, and went on to a 2-0 victory behind Hamels’ eight shut-out innings.
Kuroda was cruising along through four innings, having allowed just one single. He picked up the first two outs of the fifth and seemed on his way to another easy inning.
Until Michael Martinez tripled and Kuroda suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone. He walked Hamels. He threw a wild pitch that sailed behind Shane Victorino. In a break for the Dodgers, the speedy Martinez did not attempt to score. Catcher Rod Barajas fielded the miscue, threw to Kuroda covering home and hit Victorino in the butt. When Hamels took second, Kuroda intentionally walked Victorino to load the bases.
Kuroda seemed to be melting in the humidity. He worked Domonic Brown to a full count, before getting him to line out to Andre Ethier in right and exhale.
Despite how he labored, manager Don Mattingly curiously let Kuroda bat in the bottom of the fifth. Second batter Kuroda faced the next inning, Ryan Howard, homered to right.
It was the first home run for the Phillies this month.
And has happened too often this season, after Ethier and Kemp, all the air went out of the Dodgers’ offense.
Juan Uribe mysteriously swung at Hamels’ first pitch and popped it up. A single swing, and it was one of the Dodgers’ worst at-bats of the year.
And it didn’t get any better. Marcus Thames struck out to keep him a perfect 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Barajas popped up to short, to end the inning and leave him 2-for-27 with runners in scoring position.
Runners at the corner with no outs, and again, nothing to show for it.
The Phillies added one more in the bottom of the inning off Matt Guerrier after Victorino tripled and beat Jamey Carroll's thrown home on Placido Polanco's ground out.
Hamels (8-2) struck out nine, did not walk a batter in his eight innings. He allowed six hits.
Ryan Madson blanked the Dodgers in the ninth to earn his 14th save.
McCourts have settlement talks, fail to reach agreement
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Hiroki Kuroda delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Dodgers' 2-0 loss Wednesday. Credit: Tom Mihalek / Associated Press