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Category: Ryan Theriot

Casey Blake grand slam sparks Dodgers to fourth consecutive victory, 6-2 over Rockies

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The game had the scent of a September stretch run, two desperate teams clinging to the playoff hunt, in a taut, nervous affair.

And for much of the night, it appeared the Rockies would ride the arm of Ubaldo Jimenez to squeak past Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.

A Todd Helton solo home run in the second was still holding up as the game’s only run as the teams headed into the eighth inning.

Only then Jimenez and the Rockies finally blinked, Andre Ethier doubling in the tying run and Casey Blake stunning Colorado with a grand slam off reliever Matt Belisle that sent the Dodgers on to a 6-2 victory Friday.

It marked the Dodgers’ fourth consecutive victory in their belated playoff run, and unintentionally, drive to keep Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez was claimed on waivers by the White Sox earlier in the day, and the Dodgers must decide whether to let him go, work a trade with Chicago or -- if they remain in contention -- keep him.

Manager Joe Torre held out Ramirez on Friday. The slugger has only one hit in 13 career at-bats against the Jimenez, with six strikeouts.

Assuming Ramirez is not hot to get out of town, he had to like what he saw from the bench as the Dodgers snapped Colorado’s four-game winning streak and pulled into a tie with the Rockies for fourth in the National League wild-card spot.

Most of the game was a terrific pitching duel between Kershaw and Jimenez, in something of a repeat performance.

The two had hooked up back on May 9, Kershaw handing Jimenez his first loss of the season in a 2-0 Dodgers victory.

This time Kershaw went six impressive innings, holding the Rockies to the one run on five hits. He struck out six, walked two and lowered his ERA to 3.01.

Jimenez, however, was doing Kershaw one better. Through seven innings, he had shut out the Dodgers.

But then came the eighth. Scott Podsednik led off with a single and stole second. Ryan Theriot walked and Either lined his double to end the night for Jimenez on his 126th pitch.

Belisle got Matt Kemp to bounce out, and then intentionally walked James Loney to bring up Blake.

Blake drilled his fifth career grand slam out to left.

Three runs and the loss were charged to Jimenez (17-5), who is bidding to become Colorado’s first 20-game winner.

Jonathan Broxton went 1 2/3 innings to pick up the victory, raising his record to 5-4. Hong-Chih Kuo recorded the final four outs.

Kemp singled in the Dodgers’ last run in the ninth.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake arrives home to high-fives from his teammates after hitting a grand slam in the eighth inning Friday night. Credit: Rick Giase / EPA

Dodgers' offense continues to roar in sweep of Brewers, 7-1

So like everyone was saying, the Dodgers are a regular offensive juggernaut.

Opposing pitchers best run for cover. They are eaten like snacks. Taken advantage of like the elderly.

Before the Dodgers step into the batter’s box these days, they drop their bats, pound their chests, look to the heavens and let out their best Tarzan cry.

OK, maybe not, but it must have felt that way to the Brewers after the Dodgers swept the three-game series in Milwaukee with a 7-1 victory Thursday afternoon.

The Dodgers, whose offense has sputtered since the All-Star break, collected double-digits hits in all three games. It was their first sweep of a road series since they took three from the Giants June 28-30.

Casey Blake hit a two-run homer, Scott Podsednik went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, Brad Ausmus had three hits and Ryan Theriot a pair to lead the resurgent offense.

And they managed it Thursday without Manny Ramirez, who was rested. And still a Dodger.

With Carlos Monasterios going 4 1/3 innings and four relievers shutting the Brewers down the rest of the way, it was more than enough offense to beat Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo (11-6).

They suddenly have some very late-season momentum, moving into a key three-game series this weekend in Colorado. The Rockies are one of four teams ahead of the Dodgers in the National League wild-card race.

The Dodgers collected 32 hits in the three games in Milwaukee, including nine doubles and four home runs.

The Dodgers scored single runs in the first and fifth innings, before putting the game away with Blake’s two-run homer in the sixth and adding three more in the seventh.

Six of the runs were charged against Gallardo. That matched his season high, though it was the second time in three starts.

Monasterios allowed only two hits, one a Prince Fielder solo home run -- does he hit any other kind? -- but left the game in fifth after loading the bases with one out on two hit batters and a walk.

Despite it being only the fifth, manager Joe Torre went to the same matchups he had successfully used the previous night, getting right-hander Ronald Belisario to strike out Ryan Braun and left-hander George Sherrill to induce Fielder to bounce out.

Rookie Kenley Jansen threw two scoreless innings, Octavio Dotel one, and Jeff Weaver the ninth to complete the Dodgers' first sweep of the Brewers in four years.

The six Dodgers pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Manny Ramirez plays like a keeper in Dodgers' 5-4 victory over Brewers

Here’s a question: What if Manny Ramirez, while treating the next couple of days as an audition for a new team, plays so well that he helps push the Dodgers back into the playoff picture?

Could he actually play so well that the Dodgers could not afford to move him?

Ramirez started resembling the player of old Wednesday -- or at least the one from the first half of the season -- collecting a pair of doubles and walking twice.

His second double drove in what proved the winning run, as the Dodgers edged the Brewers 5-4, and in the process, pulled to within 5½ games of the National League wild card.

Ramirez was reportedly placed on waivers Wednesday. That would give teams two days to put in a claim. If he clears, the Dodgers could trade him to any team.

Ramirez had been 0-for-7 since coming off the disabled list Saturday for the third time, but he started to appear like someone getting his timing back  Wednesday.

After Andre Ethier hit his 20th home run of the season in the third, Ramirez doubled to right. He walked for the second time and scored in the fifth.

And then in the sixth he followed a Ryan Theriot double with a run-scoring double of his own.

The beneficiary of all this offense was right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (9-11), who went seven innings, allowing Milwaukee’s four runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out six.

Left-hander Randy Wolf (10-10), whose allowed departure by the Dodgers last offseason caused its share of fan anguish, lasted only five innings for the Brewers. He allowed four runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out four.

After the Brewers scored three times to go in front 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Dodgers quickly regained the lead with three of their own in the fifth.

A Theriot double and walk to Ramirez preceded a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp. Casey Blake doubled Ramirez to third, before James Loney’s sharp single scored both.

Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Ronald Belisario, George Sherrill and Octavio Dotel each got one out in the ninth, Dotel getting credit for his 22nd save, but first as a Dodger.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers celebrate the return of Manny Ramirez with four home runs in 8-5 victory

Manny Ramirez returned Saturday. Home runs immediately rocketed out of Dodger Stadium. Dodgers’ home runs. Four of them all together.

Ramirez hit none of them, though it could be argued his mere presence in the lineup helped his cohorts get remarkably better pitches to hit.

Of course, it could also be argued the hitters were helped by it being right-hander Johnny Cueto’s first start in 11 days after his suspension for that little kicking participation in the Reds-Cardinals brouhaha.

Regardless, the home runs by Ryan Theriot, Andre Ethier, Jay Gibbons and Matt Kemp -- all solo shots -- spurred the Dodgers on to an 8-5 victory to snap the Reds’ seven-game winning streak.

Ramirez was activated off the disabled list prior to the game and immediately inserted into left and into the third in the batting order.

He received modest applause when introduced and then trotted out to left field with his now-familiar dreadlocks, though they did appear a tad longer than when last seen.

Fighting a series of leg injuries, Ramirez has missed half the season and appeared in one full game since June 29. He had been on the disabled list since straining his calf on July 16.

Personally, the night was uneventful for Ramirez. He went 0 for 3 with a pair of strikeouts. He left the game after the fifth, the Dodgers then seeming comfortably ahead, 7-1.

Cueto (11-4) got off to rough start before the home-run barrage even began. In the first inning, Ethier singled and Cueto then walked three consecutive batters to force in a run.

The Dodgers added back-to-back home runs by Theriot and Ethier in the second, and back-to-back homers by Gibbons and Kemp in the third.

It was only the second time this season the Dodgers have hit four home runs in one game. And the other was the home opener on April 13. They’d hit only four in their previous 13 games.

Chad Billingsley (10-7) was cruising early, allowing only one hit through three innings. The Reds got to him for one run in the fourth and then chased him with a pair of runs in the sixth.

Billingsley allowed three runs on seven hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts in his 5 2/3 innings.

Casey Blake doubled in a run in the fifth and scored on a Jamey Carroll single, runs that proved useful when the Reds scored twice in the sixth and seventh innings.

Reversing his recent trend, Manager Joe Torre used Hong-Chin Kuo in the seventh inning and brought back Jonathan Broxton in the ninth to earn his 22nd save, but his first since Aug. 3.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers watch another one get away in 3-1 loss to Reds

Exhibits were on display Friday night. The classic baseball kind. The kind the Dodgers really didn't need to see, nor demonstrate.

The old baseball refrain is that good teams find ways to win, bad teams find ways to lose.

Any guesses yet as to Friday's outcome?

The Reds are a good team -- also a hot team -- which they showed again in their 3-1 victory over the Dodgers.

They started a pitcher who just last week made his first start in almost three months, Homer Bailey, and let him throw 114 pitches. They got three runs batted in from their leadoff hitter, Brandon Phillips.

And they made it hold up for their seventh consecutive victory, pushing their lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central to 4½ games.

The Dodgers, remarkably, found still another way to lose.

They were locked in a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning when right-hander Carlos Monasterios fielded a bunt by Drew Stubbs ... and threw it to Chinatown.

That would be Monasterios, the starting pitcher. A guy capable of throwing 90 pitchers around the plate but unable to make a routine throw to first.

Monasterios managed to pick up a couple of ground balls for outs, which would have ended the inning. But Phillips, who had singled in the Reds’ first run in the second, lined another hit to center to score two more.

Three Dodgers relievers -- Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen and Octavio Dotel -- held the Reds scoreless the rest of the game, but the damage had been done.

Monasterios (3-4), subbing for injured Vicente Padilla and starting for the first time since July 30, went 4 1/3 innings and was something less than sharp. He gave up eight hits and walked one, but did strike out a career-high six.

The Dodgers scored their run off Bailey (3-2) in the third after Jamey Carroll walked and went to second on a single by Brad Ausmus. Monasterios’ sacrifice bunt advanced the runners. After Scott Podsednik lined out to short, Ryan Theriot beat out a bunt single that drove in Carroll.

Otherwise, Bailey was tough all night. He went seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks. He struck out six.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers' new ace, Ted Lilly, too much for Rockies in 2-0 shutout

So apparently, while no one was looking, the Dodgers did go out and pick up an ace before the trading deadline.

A lights-out, bar-the-doors, you-don’t-have-a-prayer ace.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Ted Lilly.

Yep, the guy who was 3-8 in 18 starts for the Chicago Cubs is now 4-0 in four starts for the Dodgers. Imagine the Cubs’ surprise.

He was at it again Thursday night, pitching a masterful complete game, shutting out the Colorado Rockies on two hits in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory.

With Reed Johnson providing the entire game’s offense with a two-run homer in the second inning, the rest was left to Lilly (7-8 overall).

Lilly gave up a first-inning double and a seventh-inning single, and otherwise completely dominated the Rockies.

He struck out a season-high 11 and walked two. As a Dodger, he lowered his earned-run average to 1.29. It was his third career shutout.

Things could have started much differently for the Dodgers and Lilly.

In the very first inning, Dexter Fowler drilled a hit down the third base line that ricocheted off the rolled-up tarp for a double. Ryan Spilborghs hit a sinking liner to left, but Scott Podsednik made a nice diving catch to steal a hit and save a run.

And Lilly was on his way to retiring 19 consecutive hitters. Which is getting to be something of a habit for him. In his first start as a Dodger, he retired his last 20 Padres.

The Dodgers’ offensive outburst was quick and brief.

Casey Blake walked with one out and Johnson lined his first home run of the season out to left.

Just like that, it was 2-0. And that’s how it would stay.

The Dodgers missed out on a couple of good scoring opportunities against left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.

They led off the bottom of the sixth with a single by Podsednik and a double by Ryan Theriot. With runners at second and third and no outs, Matt Kemp and James Loney grounded out. After an intentional walk to Blake loaded the bases, Johnson bounced into a fielder’s choice.

Then in the seventh, a walk to Jamey Carroll and an error by Spilborghs on a Brad Ausmus fly gave the Dodgers runners at  first and second with no outs. Lilly popped up trying to bunt and Podsednik bounced into a double play.

De La Rosa (4-4) went seven innings, allowing his two runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out three.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers fall deeper into the abyss with 3-2 loss to Rockies in 10 innings

And down they go, sinking lower by the day. Pretty soon the Dodgers will be so small, you'll need a magnifying glass to find them. They'll probably talk with little squeaky voices.

A flat, listless-looking Dodgers squad lost again on a hot Wednesday night, falling, 3-2, in 10 innings to the Rockies.

The loss dropped them still deeper in the standings, a season-high 12 games behind the Padres in the National League West and eight games behind the Phillies for the wild card.

This time, it was reliever Octavio Dotel’s turn to blow a game.

Dotel provided the Rockies’ winning run on three walks (one intentional) and three wild pitches in the 10th. Just to show you what kind of year it’s been for the Dodgers, Dotel had thrown two previous wild pitches all year.

The Dodgers had a chance to tie the score in the bottom of the 10th when Reed Johnson singled and tried to score on a hit by Scott Podsednik, but he was thrown out at the plate to end the game. Somehow, a fitting ending.

The Dodgers had opened the scoring with a run in the first.

Podsednik, who has hit safely in 32 of his last 35 games, started the Dodgers’ half of the inning with a single to left.

As Manager Joe Torre continues to go more to small ball to try to generate badly needed offense, Ryan Theriot then bunted Podsednik to second.

Right-hander Jason Hammel, who had thrown seven wild pitches in his previous 130 1/3 innings, then threw a wild pitch that allowed Podsednik to go to third and another that allowed him to score.

The Rockies got that run back in the second against Hiroki Kuroda when singles by Seth Smith and Ian Stewart put runners on first and third. Miguel Olivo lifted a blooper to left that Jay Gibbons charged and dove for, but the ball bounced off his glove for a double that drove in Smith.

The Dodgers regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on a single by Casey Blake and Jamey Carroll's run-scoring double.

Colorado made it 2-2 in the fourth. Smith walked, took third on a one-out single by Stewart and scored on a groundout by Olivo.

Hammel settled down after the second. He went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits, four walks and the two wild pitches. He struck out four.

The Rockies, however, suffered a loss of another kind. The Rockies have been more hampered by injuries this season than even the Dodgers, and in the sixth inning they lost their best offensive player.

James Loney singled with two out before Blake lined a drive to the wall in right. Carlos Gonzalez made an excellent running catch just before crashing into the wall. He held onto the ball but collapsed on the warning track and remained down for several minutes.

He walked off the field but did not return to the game. The Rockies said he suffered a right knee bruise.

Kuroda went seven innings for the Dodgers, giving up two runs on six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.

-- Steve Dilbeck

It's becoming a season theme: Dodgers lose 4-3 when Braves score three times in ninth

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It’s true, the Dodgers can invent new ways to lose. Painful, rip-out-the-heart ways. Ways to make the life of their 2010 season grow all the more dimmer.

It happened again, somehow, incredibly, on Monday night in Atlanta when the Dodgers were seemingly on their way to victory, only for everything to come crashing down, their old nightmare replaced by their new nightmare.

The Dodgers took a two-run lead into the ninth, and then the Braves scored three times and escaped with a 4-3 victory.

Hong-Chih Kuo was unable to pull off a two-inning save, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning after pitching a 1-2-3 eighth.

Manager Joe Torre then called on Octavio Dotel to finish it off. He did, too, just not the way Torre had hoped.

Dotel walked David Ross to force in one run and then gave up a bouncing two-run single to Melky Cabrera as the Braves celebrated their come-from-behind win and the Dodgers looked on once again in disbelief.

The offensively challenged Dodgers scored their three runs without the benefit of a single hit with runners in scoring position. That left them 0 for 21 in that department in this four-game series.

The Dodgers scored twice in the eighth off Jonny Venters to take the lead, thanks to some defensive struggles by third baseman Brooks Conrad.

Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson opened the inning by drilling a one-hopper that took a wicked bounce off Conrad. Originally ruled an error, it was later changed to a hit.

Scott Podsednik drew a walk before Ryan Theriot hit a little bouncer toward Conrad, who charged and threw on the run. The throw sailed past Troy Glaus at first base for an error as Johnson scored.

Right fielder Jason Heyward had the wet ball ricochet off him in the corner, and Podsednik, who had stopped at third, came home. Heyward was not charged with an error, but could have been.

The Dodgers had opened the scoring with a run off Tommy Hanson in the first on a Theriot infield single and Andre Ethier double.

They handed the 1-0 lead to starter Chad Billingsley, who sported a 1.32 earned-run average in his last five starts, and told him to make it work. In a downpour, he acted like it was no problem. The guy must love rain.

He shut out the Braves for five innings, at which point it looked like the game might be called for rain and the Dodgers would escape with a 1-0 victory.

Instead, they spread some more dry dirt around the infield and sent the teams back out for more.

Which worked out for the Braves. Omar Infante led off the bottom of the sixth with his first triple of the season and Heyward lined a shot to right that almost screamed home run.

Only it lost steam in the rain and then Ethier made an outstanding running, leaping catch at the wall.

Infante tagged to tie the score, but Ethier took away an extra-base hit from Heyward. Ethier and the rain, anyway.

Billingsley went seven strong innings for the Dodgers. He gave up his one run on five hits and a walk, striking out eight.

The way things are going for the Dodgers, mired in fourth place in the NL West right now, seven strong is not going to be enough.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers second baseman Ryan Theriot is tagged out by Braves catcher Brian McCann in the eighth inning when trying to score on a fly ball by James Loney. Credit: Curtis Compton / McClatchy-Tribune.

It's Ted Lilly to the rescue, Hong-Chih Kuo for the save in Dodgers 2-1 victory over Braves

Lilly_600 Ted Lilly, fifth starter. Or could it possibly be, Ted Lilly, stopper?

Lilly looks like the guy in high school who sat in the back of the class and barely said a word. Who could sing in a quartet and everyone would leave certain they’d heard a trio.

The mild-mannered Lilly, however, has been an explosive find for the Dodgers since coming over from the Chicago Cubs just before the July 31 trade deadline.

A staggering Dodgers team received the big start they needed Saturday night, as Lilly shut out the Braves for six innings and the Dodgers went on to eke out a 2-1 victory and snap their three-game losing streak.

The Dodgers collected 12 hits, but continued to have trouble driving in runs, their scores coming during a double play and a sacrifice fly.

But Lilly and four relievers made it hold up, with Hong-Chih Kuo delivering in his first opportunity as the team’s new closer by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Lilly earned the victory, and in his three starts for the Dodgers he is now 3-0 with a 1.89 earned-run average.

Former Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe matched Lilly early in the humid night before the Dodgers -- shut out the previous night in Atlanta -- scratched together a run in the fourth.

James Loney opened the inning with a single. With Loney running on the pitch, Casey Blake singled him to third. Matt Kemp bounced into a double play, but Loney scored for the Dodgers' first run in 14 innings.

The Dodgers doubled their lead against reliever Jonny Venters in the seventh after Scott Podsednik picked up a one-out hit and Ryan Theriot singled him to third. Andre Ethier’s fly to right was deep enough to score Podsednik.

In his six innings, Lilly (6-8 overall) allowed only three hits -- all singles -- and issued his first two walks with the Dodgers. He struck out four.

The Braves got one run back in the bottom of the seventh as rookie Kenley Jansen was charged for his first major-league run in nine appearances. Jansen gave up a leadoff walk to Matt Diaz. A one-out double by Melky Cabrera sent him to third.

George Sherrill relieved Jansen and got David Ross to bounce out to third, but Diaz scored on the play. Octavio Dotel struck out Omar Infante to end the inning and then pitched a perfect eighth.

That set it up for Kuo, who had been given the closer’s role over struggling Jonathan Broxton the previous day.

Kuo, throwing up to 97 mph, struck out the first two Braves he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Ted Lilly, who pitched six shutout innings against the Braves on Saturday, is now 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his first three starts with the Dodgers. Credit: Tami Chappell / Reuters

Dodgers blow a seven-run lead in 10-9 loss to Phillies

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What a meltdown. What a completely miserable meltdown.

After leading 9-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers suffered their most crushing loss of the season Thursday when Carlos Ruiz completed a stunning Philadelphia comeback with a two-run double off the wall against Jonathan Broxton for a 10-9 Phillies victory.

The Phillies scored four times in the eighth off Ronald Belisario and four more times off Broxton in the ninth.

For Broxton, it continued a miserable history against the Phillies. Philadelphia loaded the bases in the ninth without a hit as Broxton hit batter and gave up a pair of walks. Casey Blake then booted a potential double-play grounder for a two-run error before Ruiz completed the comeback.

Struggling Matt Kemp returned to the lineup after a two-game benching and drove in four runs, two on his team-high 19th home run.

After being shut out the previous night, the Dodgers went right to work against Joe Blanton, scoring three times in the first.

Scott Podsednik led off with a single to center and James Loney drew a two-out walk before a succession of singles by Ronnie Belliard, Kemp and Jamey Carroll each drove in a run.

The Phillies got one back in the second against Clayton Kershaw after Ruiz singled and Wilson Valdez doubled him to third. Blanton managed to drive in the run when he bounced out to Belliard at third.

Philadelphia made it a 3-2 game in the fourth when Jayson Werth singled, stole second and scored on a Ruiz hit.

The Dodgers, however, got the run back in the fifth after Ryan Theriot singled and an Andre Ethier single sent him to third.

Belliard lined out to Raul Ibanez in medium left, but Theriot tagged anyway. The throw by Ibanez was on line, but Theriot made a terrific slide, going to the far side of the plate to elude the Ruiz tag and then touch the plate with his left hand.

The Dodgers got to reliever Chad Durbin in the seventh when Loney singled and Kemp drilled his two-run homer to left.

The Dodgers seemed to have the game put away after scoring three runs in the eighth on RBI singles by Blake, Kemp and Carroll to take a 9-2 lead.

But the Phillies managed to turn it into a nervous affair against a lost-looking Belisario in the eighth.

Belisario gave up four runs on four hits and a bizarre balk when he faked a throw to third, despite there being no runner at the base. He did not record an out.

Beleaguered reliever George Sherrill followed Kenley Jansen to put an end to the Phillies’ rally.

Broxton came on to close it in the ninth, but did not record an out.

The loss dropped them nine games behind the Padres.

The Dodgers, who had 18 hits against the Phillies on Tuesday, had 15 on Thursday.

Kershaw went 6 2/3 innings. He gave up the two runs on six hits and a pair of walks, with four strikeouts.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is swarmed by teammates (from left) Mike Sweeney (5), Brian Schneider and Greg Dobbs (19) after hitting the game-winning, two-run double in the ninth inning against the Dodgers on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Barbara Johnston / US Presswire

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