Your favorite franchise dragging, ownership in chaos, Major League Baseball about to take control?
Need a little pick-me-up?
Voila! How about a little two-game winning streak?
From the morass that has enveloped the Dodgers, at least Monday night they were able to find momentary respite in the form of a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers before an announced crowd of 29,355.
Clayton Kershaw was once again absolutely suberb, shutting the Tigers out on two hits. It was his second shutout of the season and third of his career. And an improving hitter, he also drove in a pair of runs.
Hiroki Kuroda, Matt Guerrier and Javy Guerra combined to shut out the Astros on Sunday. The Dodgers have not allowed a run in their last 19 innings.
The initial offense was provided by struggling Juan Uribe, who hit a solo home run off ex-Dodger Brad Penny in the first, while James Loney and Dioner Navarro added doubles to score one more in the sixth.
Then with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth, Kershaw singled off reliever Joaquin Benoit to score two final runs.
It was on the mound, however, where Kershaw was dominant.
Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
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Your favorite franchise dragging, ownership in chaos, Major League Baseball about to take control?
And then out of the blue, Dioner Navarro home run ends Dodgers' five-game skid in 1-0 victory over Astros
So maybe that’s what the Dodgers need to turn things around -- an unlikely hero.
Could there be one more unlikely than Dioner Navarro?
Navarro entered Sunday batting a sad .156, his shaping up as a nightmare season. Worse, he became their main catcher by default when the Dodgers placed Rod Barajas on the disabled list before the game with a sprained ankle.
Yet with the Dodgers' offense being shackled once again by the lowly Houston Astros, it was Navarro who stepped up with the big hit.
Navarro ended a scoreless game in the eighth inning by drilling a solo home run into the right-field bleachers, leading the Dodgers to a 1-0 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak.
After Hiroki Kuroda went seven innings without allowing a run, Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless eighth to pick up the victory and rookie Javy Guerra worked the ninth to earn his second save.
Kuroda’s story is getting old for the Dodgers: pitching well and not winning.
Dodgers' injury carousel continues: Rod Barajas to DL, Hong-Chih Kuo activated, A.J. Ellis up and Ramon Troncoso down
One’s up, one’s down.
Is it progress when you’re no longer going backward?
The Dodgers placed catcher Rod Barajas on the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday’s game and called up A.J. Ellis from triple-A Albuquerque.
They also activated reliever Hong-Chih Kuo from the DL and optioned Ramon Troncoso back to Albuquerque.
The Dodgers have now placed 14 different players on the disabled list this season, a total of 19 different times. Entering Sunday, they had missed a total of 449 games. And it’s only June 19.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Barajas’ ankle injury did not appear to be as serious as originally feared, and it was hoped he could be activated at the end of his 15-day period on the DL.
The Dodgers lost again.
And in other news, the Pacific is wet.
The losing continued Saturday, which looked remarkably like the past five days, which further pulled them into their sinkhole of a season.
The lifeless Dodgers were pushed around for the second consecutive night by the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros mauling them for a 7-0 victory before a crowd that was announced at 37,124 but might have been half that.
It marked their fifth consecutive loss, matching their season high (low?) and dropped them to 31-41 on the season. It’s the first time they’ve been 10 games under .500 this year.
Making matters worse, catcher Rod Barajas left the game in the fifth inning with a sprained right ankle he injured chasing a wild pitch. Barajas is hitting just .220 but is second on the team with eight home runs. And backup catcher Dioner Navarro is hitting .158.
The Astros had lost 11 of their last 13 before venturing into that haven for visiting teams, Dodger Stadium, the previous night. The Dodgers are 15-21 at home this season.
There’s a catch to this, but with the Dodgers these days, isn’t there always?
You have your list of what’s wrong with the Dodgers, I have mine, Ned Colletti has his, and who knows, Frank McCourt may even have one.
Nowhere near the top of any list is what’s going on, or not going on, at catcher, though it is certainly on the list.
And this is not to say Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro aren’t an improvement defensively over what Russell Martin was giving the Dodgers last season.
But they do have to hit a little, don’t they?
Both are in the deep end, and it’s not looking good. Both are slumping, and that’s following a fairly mediocre start.
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.
Ted Lilly pitched well again. Trouble was, the other guy pitched really well.
The other being Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee, who shut the Dodgers out through seven innings and pretty much dominated in the Phillies' 3-1 victory Monday.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly tried an all-right-handed lineup against Lee to no avail. He started Casey Blake at first for James Loney, sat Andre Ethier and batted Marcus Thames in the third spot.
Mattingly called Thames "hit or miss" against Lee, noting he had hit three home runs and struck out 15 times in 36 career at-bats.
The Dodgers made little noise against the Philly ace, but the two times they did, Thames unfortunately went the "miss" route.
The Dodgers opened the game with leadoff singles by Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles -- both now slated for the bench with the Monday roster additions of Juan Uribe and Dee Gordon.
Thames, straight off the disabled list with a strained quadriceps, promptly bounced into a double play. Matt Kemp was called out on strikes, and the Dodgers had come up empty.
The Dodgers got two-out singles from Carroll and Miles again in the fifth, and Thames struck out. Those were all the chances they got against Lee (5-5), who struck out 10 and walked one.
The Phillies didn’t fare much better against Lilly, but cashed in on their opportunity in the third.
Wilson Valdez open the bottom of the inning with a double and Lee’s bunt sacrificed him to third. Lilly, who had walked only 12 batters in 72 2/3 innings, then walked Shane Victorino on four pitches.
Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard followed with run-scoring singles.
Lilly gave up only five hits in his six innings, but three of them came in the decisive third. He walked one and struck out four, giving up two runs. It was the seventh consecutive game he went at least six innings.
The Phillies added a third run in the eighth against reliever Mike MacDougal on a pair of walks and a Carlos Ruiz double. Walks killed the Dodgers all night.
The Dodgers did manager to avoid being shut out by scratching a run together against interim Phillies closer Ryan Madson in the ninth.
Uribe led off with a single, and then Gordon -- making his major-league debut -- pinch ran. Loney, who entered the game when Blake was thrown out arguing strikes, singled and the speedy Gordon took third. Ethier pinch hit and bounced out, Gordon scoring on the play.
But Madson struck out Rod Barajas and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro to earn his 13th save.
After two uplifting victories the past two games in Cincinnati, the Dodgers had hit a familiar wall in Philadelphia.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers first baseman Casey Blake tosses the ball to pitcher Ted Lilly, but Philadelphia's Dominic Brown was safe on the play. Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Will leave connecting any dots up to you.
-- Jonathan Broxton: Bone spur, bruise on left elbow, first time on DL. Listed at 300 pounds.
-- Rafael Furcal: Left oblique injury sends him back to the DL for sixth time as a Dodger and second time this season. He is 33.
-- Jon Garland: Also his second stint, this time with an inflamed shoulder. During the off-season, said teams shied away from long-term contract offer because of MRI exam on shoulder. He is 31.
-- Hector Gimenez: Forget about him? Had knee surgery after appearing in just four games. He is listed as 28.
-- Blake Hawksworth: Hip impingement has him on DL for first time in career. Expected back next week, though was originally expected back last week. He is also 28.
-- Kenley Jansen: Inflamed right shoulder. He’s just 23, but converted catcher only in his second full season as a pitcher. Have to wonder about arm strength.
-- Hong-Chih Kuo: Sadly, after four elbow operations, the DL is his second home. This time he’s out indefinitely with anxiety disorder. Turns 30 next month. Is throwing at Phoenix camp.
-- Vicente Padilla: On for the second time this season, this time with a sore forearm following surgery last spring. Padilla, 33, was scheduled to come off Friday, but remained on with the same neck pain that plagued him last season. Has been on the DL 10 times in his career.
-- Marcus Thames: Has a quad strain, but expected back next week. He is 34.
-- Juan Uribe: Strained left hip flexor. Uribe, 32, is expected to be activated Monday.
Previously on the DL were Casey Blake (37), Jay Gibbons (34) and Dioner Navarro (27). The Dodgers have used the DL 18 times in 58 games.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Former All-Star reliever Hong-Chih Kuo delivers a pitch against the Giants in the eighth inning of a game at Dodger Stadium in early April. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Associated Press
After learning before Friday’s game that right-hander Jon Garland was headed to the disabled list with an inflamed shoulder, they played two innings in Cincinnati when shortstop Rafael Furcal left the game with a left side injury.
Furcal has already missed 37 games this season with a broken thumb. He was so despondent immediately after that injury, he talked about retiring. The Dodgers are now listing him as day-to-day with his unspecified side injury.
Furcal apparently injured his side in the bottom of the second inning after Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen led off with singles. When Fred Lewis missed on a bunt attempt, Bruce wandered too far off second base. Dioner Navarro fired to Furcal, who was covering second. Furcal turned and threw out Bruce, who was trying to advance to third base on the play.
In the Dodgers’ next at-bat in the top of the third, Jamey Carroll hit for Furcal.
This was Furcal’s ninth game since coming back from his broken thumb. After starting one for 22, he had turned things around, with seven hits in his last 13 at-bats.
The Dodgers are expected to get infielder Juan Uribe off the disabled list on Monday. Outfielder Marcus Thames and right-hander Blake Hawksworth are also expected back next week.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal before a batting practice in Colorado. Credit: Rick Giase / EPA
Pulling out a ninth-inning victory. Being the team that rushes the field in celebration, not the one walking off dejected and bewildered.
The Dodger have suffered their share of late-inning collapses lately, but Friday night it was the Dodgers who scored in the ninth inning to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.
With the scored tied at 2-2, the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth and brought in Dioner Navarro to pinch hit. The Marlins played their infield in, and brought in center fielder Chris Coghlan as an extra infielder.
Narvarro, however, lined a drive past a diving Coghlan to the right of second base for the game-winning hit.
The rally gave rookie Rubby De La Rosa his first victory.
The Dodgers had only three hits through eight innings, but two were solo home runs by James Loney and Andre Ethier.
The Dodgers' initial three hits came against Javier Vazquez, who entered the game with a 3-4 record and a 6.41 earned-run average. They made the two of them count, though.
Otherwise, it was a lot of three up and three down. Vazquez went six innings, walking one and striking out three. Oh, while lowering his ERA to 6.02.
Jon Garland was coming off his worst start of the season -- seven runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the White Sox -- but he was firmly in control Friday.