Thursday, April 9, 2009

Manny's double in the 7th lifts Dodgers

Manny Ramirez made his first big impact with the Dodgers by hitting a 2-run double in the 7th, breaking a 2-all tie and carrying them to a win, 5-2. That was his 3rd RBI of the game after an RBI groundout in the 1st.

The first couple of innings saw a run apiece for the Dodgers, with Manny's RBI coming first. In the 2nd with 2 outs, Casey Blake launched a solo shot into deep left to get a 2 run edge. That was his first hit of the season after going hitless in the first 2.

Chad Billingsley faced very little resistance the first 4 innings, then hit a wall in the 5th, kind of like Hiroki Kuroda a couple nights before. Up 2-0 and facing the bottom 2 in the order, he promptly walked the bases loaded without getting anybody out. That was a flashback to his wild days when walks came quite often.

He thankfully only surrendered a couple runs, but the Padres ran themselves out of the inning. Jody Gerut had an RBI fielder's choice for 1 down and runners on the corners. David Eckstein hit a sac-fly RBI, but Gerut got greedy and tried to go to 2nd, only to have James Loney cut off the throw to home and quickly get him at 2nd. Not a good decision.

That would be it until the 7th when Manny followed consecutive singles by Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson to plate them both. Loney drove him in with a single 2 outs later.

Billingsley ran out of steam in the 5th, but still picked up the win with 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. The 4 walks is too high, but 2 hits is pretty darn good. More great bullpen work followed with scoreless innings by Cory Wade, Hong Chih-Kuo, and save from Jonathan Broxton, K'ing 2.

The final game will be this afternoon with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound. The bats really haven't busted out yet, but they've had chances with runners on. Once the bottom part of the order starts getting those hits with runners on, they'll be clicking.

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