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Dodgers Rain Down on Astros

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‘Twas a cold miserable night at Dodger Stadium complete with a sort of skywater intermittently trickling down from the heavens at the beginning of the game. But the Dodgers didn’t let that get them down in their 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

In fact Dodgers’ starter John Ely made it rain strikes for the Astros grabbing a career high eight strikeouts while walking no one in his third straight game. Ely has not allowed a walk to 84 consecutive batters.

“I’m just going out there with the same game plan - throwing strikes and keeping the ball down,” Ely said.

“Tonight he was terrific,” Torre said. “He gave us seven innings under 100 pitches, that’s pretty good.

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“He’s going to make you hit it. He’s going to make them do the work. He changes speeds so well, and I think that is the biggest reason why he’s had the success early on.”

The Astros struck first when the speedy Michael Bourn led the game off with a single. Lance Berkman singled him home giving the Astros the quick 1-0 lead.

That was about the only positives for the Astros as their starter Wandy Rodriguez’s outing was doomed by an error in the first inning.

After Reed Johnson hit a one-out single and Manny Ramirez walked, Matt Kemp hit the ball to Astros’ shortstop Geoff Blum who tried to start the double play throwing to second baseman Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger pulled off the bag too soon and was charged with an error that allowed the bases to be filled with Dodgers.

Not one to turn down gifts the Dodgers promptly capitalized when James Loney hit a towering sacrifice fly to right to score Johnson and tie the game.

Casey Blake, who had been struggling this month with a .150 batting average and four RBI, added to the Dodgers’ treasures scalding the ball just over first base bag for a double. Manny came home and with Kemp hauling to the plate the Astros tried to make the play at the plate unsuccessfully with allowed Blake to take third giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

Fortunately for Rodriguez, he stopped the bleeding by getting Blake DeWitt to ground to first.

“It’s huge,” Ely said of the Dodgers giving him the lead back. “It’s a lot easier to pitch with the lead. It really makes you feel good as a pitcher to have that kind of support behind you.”

The Dodgers increased their lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning when Jamey Carroll hit a sacrifice fly to right field that let DeWitt score from third after hitting a one-out triple.

And just when you thought DeWitt was done for the night he came through again in the eighth inning with another triple that brought Manny and James Loney home for the Dodgers 6-2 lead.

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“I don’t think I’ve ever hit two [triples] in a game,” DeWitt said. “I don’t hit too many of those.

“They had the shift on, and I was just fortunate enough to drop that first one in there. It was a good night.”

DeWitt became the first Dodger since Rafael Furcal on June 13, 2007 to hit two triples in a game.

Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning extended his hitting streak to 12 games tying his career high from June 21 to July 7, 2007.

As for the big storyline coming into the game: ANDRE ETHIER PINKIE-WATCH 2010 SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!!!

Ethier met with Dr. Neal Elattrache before the game to examine the extent of the damage to his pinkie.

“We have not had any decision yet,” Torre said. “The doctor’s consultation went fine. It didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t know. It’s still a matter of how sore it is.

“We’re going to have to make a decision in the next day or so.”

Ethier refused to talk about the Dodgers’ most important pinkie ever.

Despite the Pinkie, the Dodgers continue to be the hottest team in all of baseball winning eight straight games and 10 out of their last 11.

“We are playing well together now,” Torre said. “The biggest reason that’s happening is that we have good pitching. We’ve had good starts, and we’ve done some good work out of the bullpen.”

Dodgers’ pitching during the eight-game winning streak has held opponents to a .175 average while posting a 1.75 ERA.

“It is just nice after the road trip to continue this thing at home.”

The Dodgers get another shot against the Astros tomorrow night with Hiroki Kuroda (4-1, 2.66 ERA) going up against 25-year old Bud Norris (2-4, 6.03 ERA.)

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