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Billingsley and Kemp Raise Dodgers to Victory

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Jamey Carroll really didn’t have much to do as an acting manager. With Chad Billingsley (W, 12-11) pitching a shutout after seven innings, the Dodgers went on to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks despite a bumpy eighth.

“He made it extremely easy,” Carroll said of Billingsley’s performance. “I was praying for that going in. [Billingsley] threw a great game and allowed the decisions to be few compared to the night before.”

However the eighth inning got off to a shaky start when Brandon Allen led with a single and Billingsley hit pinch-hitter Ryan Church with a pitch after Gerardo Parra struck out.

Carroll made his first managerial move walking out to the mound to talk to Billingsley.

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“We knew he was close to where we wanted to take him out,” Carroll said. “We wanted to go out there and get a read on him - trying to read his face more than listen to his words.”

“It was like, ‘Hey Skip,’” Billingsley joked. “He asked me how I was doing, and I’m like just get a double play ball here.”

Deciding to leave him in, Stephen Drew knocked in Allen with a single for their first run. Carroll then went out to the mound to take Billingsley out to the cheers of the remainder of the 41,918 crowd.

In came Ramon Troncoso, and a sacrifice fly to Tony Abreu that scored Church and a strikeout to Kelly Johnson ended the inning with Billingsley still on top.

Billinglsey was pitching a perfect game until the fifth inning one out when Adam LaRoche walked. Still posting a no-hitter as the sixth inning got started, Gerardo Parra broke it up with a leadoff single.

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The only real decision Carroll had to make was the lineup for which he consulted his brother Wes Carroll, the third-year head coach of Division I University of Evansville men’s baseball team.

“He told me he wanted to see me put things in action, get people moving,” Carroll said. “That’s something we always talk about - creating things, putting the pressure on the other team.”

And that’s why he inserted Andre Ethier second in the lineup.

It really did look stale as the Dodgers were able to punch at D-backs’ starter Joe Saunders (L, 9-17). They got six hits through the first four innings with nothing to show for it.

It looked to be more of the same in the fifth inning as Ethier started a two-out rally with a single. On a 3-0 green light, Matt Kemp came up big hitting a 410-foot homer to the left field pavilion, a career-high 27th home run of the season for number 27. It was the third time in his career he had hit a home run in four consecutive games.

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“He had a couple of good at-bats before that,” Carroll said about giving Kemp the green light. “Why not take a chance here? He made me look good.”

D-backs’ centerfielder Chris Young helped out the Dodgers in the sixth inning misplaying Rod Barajas’ fly ball to right centerfield with one out. Barajas ended up on third base, and Reed Johnson cashed him home with a sacrifice fly to Young.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth inning for his fourth save of the year.

Aiding Carroll in his managing duties were Brad Ausmus as bench coach, bullpen catcher Mike Borzello as pitching coach, John Lindsey as hitting coach, Jonathan Broxton as bullpen coach and Russell Martin as assistant bench coach. Joe Torre will return to his managing duties for his final game ever, presumably, with Ausmus the starting catcher in his final game as a player.