Dodgers Rebound Against Marlins
After they couldn’t quite complete the comeback in last night’s 6-5 loss to the Florida Marlins, the Dodgers uncoiled against them and their starter Chris Volstad (4-8) in their 7-3 win.
“Everybody’s making their contribution,” Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre commented about the win. “[Blake] DeWitt, a couple of stolen bases tonight. We just did a lot of good things tonight.”
In fact DeWitt stole his first two bases tonight en route to a total of five bases stolen by the Dodgers, their most since June 29, 2007 against San Diego.
“We’ve always talked about how we need to be aggressive and make things happen,” Torre said. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
The assault on Volstad began in the second inning with a hit-and-run play with DeWitt hitting a single through the gap on the left side of the infield caused by Russell Martin busting it out to second base. Despite slipping while rounding second base, Martin was able to get back to the bag thanks to an off-line throw by left fielder Chris Coghlan to shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
After Dodgers’ starter Vicente Padilla (3-2) laid down a sacrifice bunt to get DeWitt to second and Martin to third, the National League Player of the Week Rafael Furcal refused to rest on his laurels and hit a single up the middle to score Martin and DeWitt and give the Dodgers the 2-0 lead.
Furcal decided to keep doing more work by stealing second during Matt Kemp’s at-bat. Kemp rewarded him by blasting a 92 mph offering by Volstad 424 feet deep into the left field seats giving the Dodgers the 4-0 lead. With the run scored, Furcal now holds the Los Angeles Dodger record for consecutive games with a run scored at 12 games and tied Gil Hodge’s 12-game streak from June 2 to June 14, 1953.
“He looks comfortable,” Torre said of Furcal. “He really looks comfortable, and it gives a lift to everybody else because when he gets on base it’s a little tougher to go through the rest of the lineup.”
“I’m seeing the ball pretty well right now,” Furcal said. “I feel pretty good.”
To further Volstad’s travails Casey Blake added a solo homer in the third inning, his ninth of the season, to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead.
After a leadoff walk to Blake DeWitt in the fourth inning on four pitches, Marlins’ manager Edwin Rodriguez pulled the plug on Volstad ending his night mercifully. Rookie Alejandro Sanabia came on in relief armed with his hot fastball that jumped all over the place confounding the Dodger hitters.
Well everyone except Andre Ethier, who after trying to go the other way flying out to left field in his first two at-bats against Volstad pulled the first pitch he saw Sanabia to lead off the fifth inning into the first row of the right pavilion seats for the 6-0 Dodger lead.
Padilla had a remarkable performance pitching a shutout going into the seventh inning. His 92 mph fast balls combined with those 52 mph eephus pitches had the Marlins’ batters confused and the 41,575 Dodger fans in attendance oohing and aahing.
“I don’t think I’m forcing anything,” Padilla said through translator Kenji Nimura. “I feel relaxed.”
However a single by Cody Ross and a two-out, two-run homer by Mike Stanton put the only blemish on Padilla’s season-high nine strikeout night as he walked off to a standing ovation and a 6-2 lead.
Furcal kept his engines on an RBI single in the eighth inning for the 7-2 lead, but with Travis Schlicting pitching his second inning in the ninth, he gave up three singles yielding a run to make things uncomfortable for Torre. Closer Jonathan Broxton was brought in for the final two outs, and this time with a four-run lead he was able to turn the lights off for his 18th save.
With San Diego’s loss to Washington, the Dodgers now move to three games behind the Padres in the NL West. The Dodgers also improve to 12-1 in multi-homer games.