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Dodger Hitting Continues, Defeat Rockies

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Having missed the Dodgers’ 17-hit victory against the Florida Marlins Sunday afternoon, I was wondering what happened. Was all of this hitting a fluke? Am I a jinx against the team?

Jamey Carroll acknowledged that it was a good watching the team get its act together on offense for one day at least particularly with runners in scoring position. “We understand we haven’t been good at it,” Carroll told me before Monday’s game about getting the timely hits. Sunday they managed to get five hits with runners in scoring position.

Monday night the Dodgers mustered a measly 11 hits, actually out-hit by the Colorado Rockies 14-11, but they did win by a comfortable 7-1 margin. Which leads to the conclusion: I am not the jinx.

After an uneventful two innings against Rockies’ starter Jason Hammel (L, 3-5), Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley took things in his own hand starting a rally with a leadoff single to right field. After a Rafael Furcal single, Jamey Carroll was called on to sacrifice. With the sacrifice play out after getting a second strike, Carroll hit a swinging bunt towards third base to load the bases. Andre Ethier hit a fastball softly back up the middle that eluded both Hammel and second baseman Eric Young and scored Billingsley and Furcal and sent Carroll to third base.

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Matt Kemp then hit a towering fly ball to center field in what looked to be a routine sacrifice fly. However both center fielder Dexter Fowler and left fielder Carlos Gonzalez converged on the ball which resulted in the ball landing on the field. Carroll easily scored for the third run of the inning, however Ethier stood like a brick at first base. Fowler easily scooped the ball up and threw it to Young at second base for the force play. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was you prototypical sacrifice fly fielder’s choice 8-4 play.

After Jay Gibbons flied out to center, James Loney hit his second single of the game to score Kemp for the 4-0 lead.

Although Ty Wigginton hit a solo homer for the Rockies in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 4-1, the Dodgers didn’t let up on Hammel. In the fifth inning Carroll led off with a triple and scored on Ethier’s single. Loney, showing a resurgence in recent weeks, hit a bomb that landed in the right field pavilion seats for the 7-1 lead.

“He seems to be getting a little bit of confidence back,” Mattingly said of Loney’s renaissance.

“We know we are a good hitting team, it was just a matter of time,” Loney said.

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Even though the Dodgers gave up only the one run, Billingsley (W, 4-4) was constantly under pressure.

“The leadoff guy was always on for them,” he said. “I was able to make pitches when I needed to.

“I felt like everything was working. I was staying down in the zone for the most part. It felt pretty good out there giving up 11 hits too.”

Despite giving up those hits, Billingsley did manage to stay in the game seven innings striking out eight for the win.

“It feels good,” he said.

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Now whether this is a fluke or not.

“Too early to say,” Ethier said. “There are a lot of ups and downs in the season. I would say for the most part we’re not going to sit there and hang our heads when things are going bad. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves - one game at a time.”

Mattingly was living on a prayer, as it were.

“Hopefully for us we can start putting some games together,” Mattingly prayed. “I think we’re a club that needs to consistently put up runs. We’ve been in games. We’ve had our chances.”

LA Angels defeat Kansas City Royals 10-8.

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TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Angels at Kansas City Royals. 5:10 p.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Colorado Rockies at LA Dodgers. 7:10 p.m. KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.