The hottest team in baseball just got even hotter last night.
James Loney led the charge by going 2-5 with a 3-run double and 3-run home run to lead the Dodgers to victory, 12-7. Much like the previous game, the Dodgers built a big lead, suffered through a big Rockies' comeback, then put the game away late with another big run. The way they are swinging the bats is not only fantastic, it's downright shocking after the way they started the season.
Of course, facing some clown named Jorge De La Rosa didn't hurt, as the Dodgers just pounded on the poor boy. To his defense, he was just acquired this past Wednesday from the Royals, and hadn't even pitched in the Bigs yet this year. He didn't exactly have that much time to prepare, so him getting the start seemed odd. Still, giving up 9 runs in 4 innings is lousy no matter what the circumstances were.
The lead was 4-0 at the end of 1 thanks to a bases loaded walk to Russell Martin (starting at 3rd base again) and the double by Loney. A Matt Kemp sac-fly and Jeff Kent groundout pushed it to 6-0 in the 2nd. Esteban Loaiza then hit a big rough patch, giving up 6 runs in the 2nd and 3rd, chasing him after 2.1 IP. Fortunately, Hong-Chih Kuo pitched 3.1 great innings of relief, giving up 1 run and K'ing 5 to get the win.
What's been great about this recent winning streak is that the Dodgers have had to battle back from adversity on numerous occasions. It's not like they've won each game from the start without much of a battle. Last night, with the game tied at 6 in the 5th, Loney unloaded on his 3-run shot to put the game away. Unlike the start of the season, it's that type of clutch hitting that is carrying them over the top.
While Rafael Furcal and Kemp continue to scorch the ball, Juan Pierre deserves plenty of praise as well. He was 3-4, 2 R, 2 SB, 1 BB. He started once again for Andre Ethier, but proved he belonged out there with another big game.
Andruw Jones? 1-5 with 2 K's. He still sucks.
Anyway, it'll be hard to get Pierre out of the lineup when he plays like that, and he realistically should be playing in place of Jones. But, that's not going to happen. I think Ethier will need to get used to sitting more than usual. Jones might get days off every now and then, but as the "big free agent signing" this offseason, he'll be out there, completely sucking up the place in the process.
The Dodgers will look to enter Cloud 9 and go 6 for 6 against the Rockies when Derek Lowe goes against Aaron Cook in a solid pitching duel this afternoon. It'll then be right back home for 6 games against the Mets and Astros.