Hiroki Kuroda stepped up and pitched 8 strong innings to give the Dodgers the 3-game sweep over the Cincinnati Reds, 5-2. Kuroda and Chad Billingsley the night before combined for 15 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K. Those are great number from 2 young studs.
Other than Kuroda, the real story of this game will probably be how the Reds seemingly wanted to lose this game. The first run of the game came when James Loney scored on a wild pitch from Johnny Cueto. Matt Kemp then scored on Chin-lung Hu's fielder's choice RBI.
After the Reds tied the game in the 4th on an Edwin Encarnacion sac-fly, the Dodgers added another run when Blake DeWitt scored on a passed ball. The next inning, Cueto committed a throwing error that allowed Kemp to score. James Loney finished off the scoring in the 7th with a solo shot into the right field bullpen, his 5th of the year.
A bit of history was made last night when Takashi Saito nailed down the Reds in order for his 8th save in 10 chances. For the 1st time in Major League history, an all-Japanese connection combined for a win and save in the same game. Let's hope there's plenty more of that to come.
These 3 games were very Dodger-like victories: good pitching and just enough hitting to score just enough runs to win. Really, it's how they win. Brad Penny was awful in the first game, but Billingsley and Kuroda were fantastic the last 2. Saito had 3 good appearances with 2 saves and a win via scoreless 9th inning before DeWitt's game-winning single on Monday. I'm glad Kuroda was able to finally pick up his 2nd win, which was long overdue. The bats did just enough help his cause.
After an off day Thursday (which will hopefully cause those horrid wins to go away), the St. Louis Cardinals will come to town. Albert Pujols certainly had an interesting game last night. He hit a line drive that bloodied Chris Young's face, and then slid into home plate and injured Josh Bard's ankle. 2 potentially big injuries that the Padres cannot afford considering how far back they are already. Hopefully the Dodgers won't get in his way!