Surging Dodgers Tie ML Wins Mark
How much better can it get for the Dodgers?
Jeff Weaver allowed one run in his first major league start in two years Tuesday, and the Dodgers scored all their runs in the first inning to topple Arizona 3-1 and improve to a major-league best 20-8. The victory also was the Dodgers 12 th at Dodger Stadium without a loss, tying the 1911 Detroit Tigers for most consecutive wins at home at the start of a season. “I’m happy for the team – 12-0 and I hope we get 13,” Weaver said on Dodgers.com. “You never know exactly how the road is going to turn. I’m fortunate to be part of something like this, it’s really special. I’d like to stick around and keep it rolling and get the team to the postseason.”
Weaver, who won 27 games for LA in 2004 and 2005, struck out six, walked one and allowed five hits in five innings. His wild pitch in the third accounted for the Diamondbacks’ run, and he needed two diving catches by second baseman Orlando Hudson to snuff out scoring threats. Hudson ended a first-inning bid by making an over-the-shoulder grab on Mark Reynolds’ popup to right and grabbed pitcher Max Scherzer’s blooper to center in the fourth to end a first-and-third situation. Hudson also doubled to start the Dodgers’ game-winning outburst, the third straight game LA has scored in the opening inning.
“He gave us everything we could have expected or wanted,” Dodger Manager Joe Torre said of Weaver on the Dodgers website. “We gave them a couple of extra outs and he pitched around that. He couldn’t have been better than he was.” Ramon Troncoso, Will Ohman, Ronald Belesario and Jonathan Broxton (eighth save) again excelled in relief for the Dodgers, allowing two hits in four shutout innings. Andre Ethier singled twice out of the Dodgers five hits to boost his average to .327.
The victory enabled LA to sweep the two-game series with the Diamondbacks as the Dodgers won the opening game on Monday, 7-2. In that contest, Many Ramirez (three RBI) and Ethier smashed solo homers and amassed two hits each as did Matt Kemp (double and single). Eric Stults (3-1) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He fanned four and walked two. Belisario, Guillermo Mota, Corey Wade, and Broxton finished up.
“It doesn’t surprise me we’re going out every day and grinding,” Torre said on Dodgers. Com. “The danger is in living for the streak. We’ve got a lot of baseball to play. Streaks are something to admire and look back on afterward. Things can happen very quickly in this game.”
Dodger Chatter: Especially with opening-day pitcher Hiroki Kuroda not expected back for at least two more months, Chad Billingsley seems to be the only starter who can consistently pitch more than five innings per outing. Perhaps due to the need to work, the Dodger bullpen has accumulated some impressive statistics. Broxton is 3-0, has allowed two hits in 14 innings, struck out 25 and boasts an 0.64 ERA, Trancoso (0.98) has allowed 11 hits in 18 1/3 innings, Belisario (3.12) has struck 20 in 17 1/3 innings and allowed 14 hits, and Wade (2.25) has allowed five hits in eight innings. Ramirez (.348), Hudson (.333) and Ethier (.327) are all hitting over .300 and Matt Kemp is at .289.
The Dodgers will try to extend their Dodger Stadium winning steak and break the major league record when they face the Washington Nationals in a two-game series Wednesday and Thursday. Clayton Kershaw (2-0) and Randy Wolf (1-1) are expected to start for LA.
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