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Dodger Pitching Slows Down Diamondbacks


After losing the opener of a three-game series with the Diamondbacks at the start of the week at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers bounced back to eke out 6-5 and 1-0 wins Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, Chad Billingsley (7-3) combined with three relievers to stifle Arizona on seven hits. The big right hander allowed four hits and threw 111 pitches in six innings, striking out nine and walking four. Ronald Belisario, Ramon Troncoso, and Jonathan Broxton (13 th save) each pitched an inning to finish up. The Dodgers scored in the sixth off starter Jon Garland when James Loney hit a lead-off triple and Casey Blake followed with a sacrifice fly.

“This is so important to win games well pitched by the other team because it’s something that when you go to the postseason, and that’s obviously our goal, you’re going to face the best and learn how to manufacture runs,” Dodger Manager Joe Torre said on the Dodger website. “And that’s what pretty much happened tonight. We just stayed with them. The wins don’t have to be pretty.”

LA Dodgers hats The Dodgers (37-18) increased their lead to 9 ½ games over second place San Francisco, their biggest margin since 1988 and the last time they won a World Series. Loney and Blake were also stalwarts in Tuesday’s game as the Dodgers battled from a 5-1 deficit by scoring five runs in the eighth. Loney stroked a three-run double to tie the score and tallied the winning marker on Blake’s single. LA was held to one run (a solo homer by Andre Ethier) and two hits through seven innings by starter Dan Haren but then celebrated his departure by assaulting relievers Tony Pena and Daniel Schlereth. Jeff Weaver (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to earn the victory and Broxton notched the save with a one-two-three ninth, striking out two.

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Dodger Chatter: The Dodgers, who have yet to lose a series at home, are 5-3 against Arizona this season. Juan Castro (0-for-2) started at second base Wednesday for worn out Orlando Hudson. Since it was the first game Hudson has missed all year, Loney now is the only Dodger to appear in all of the team’s games. The Dodgers have excelled at playing “small ball” this year. Despite scoring just 20 runs in their last seven games (eight of which came last Sunday against the Cubs), they lead the National League with 296 runs scored yet rank only 13 th in the NL in home runs. In a battle of divisional leaders, LA plays host to the World Champion Phillies in a four-game series Thursday-Sunday. The Phils are red hot, having won eight of their last 10 games to take over first place from the Mets in the NL East. Clayton Kershaw, Eric Milton, Hiroki Kuroda, and Randy Wolf are scheduled to start on the mound for the Dodgers.


By: Bob Trostler
Los Angeles Dodgers Correspondent

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