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LAst Night's Action: Astros Three-Run Ninth Sinks Dodgers

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Houston Astros defeat LA Dodgers 4-3. The Dodger bullpen seemed to have stabilized in the month of May. Until Monday night, that is, when Kenley Jansen couldn’t get the crucial third out in the bottom of the ninth when staked to a 3-1 lead.

We should have smelled this one coming. Jansen fell behind leadoff hitter Chris Johnson 3-0 but eventually salvaged the at-bat getting Johnson to strike out swinging. After Bill Hall lined a single, Jansen struck out pinch hitter Matt Downs. Unfortunately that would be the last out he got.

After a walk to pinch hitter Angel Sanchez, Michael Bourn rewrote the game story with a double to tie the game. Then some questionable moves by Manager Don Mattingly.

After Jansen got ahead of Clint Barmes 0-2 he hit him with a pitch. At that point Jansen was at 36 pitches, and it looked like he was struggling there. So what did the rookie manager do? Leave him in.

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And that’s where Hunter Pence hit the game winning single to send the 50 Houston fans happy.

It is a shame since Mattingly actually made a great decision. With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning with runners on first and second, two outs and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s spot coming up in the lineup, Mattingly pulled Kershaw for pinch hitter Andre Ethier. Ethier, who after losing a battle with a fence in Sunday’s game at U.S. Cellular Field in the South Side of Chicago, belted a single to center fielder Bourn who whiffed on fielding the ball which allowed a second run to score.

Kershaw did have a good outing going six innings giving up a run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. And Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers the 1-0 lead in the second inning with his 100th career homer.

But all of that for nothing.

LA Angels defeat Oakland Athletics 4-1. While Torii Hunter couldn’t help give starting pitcher Jered Weaver his first win since April 25, he did his best to prevent the Angels from falling 1 ½ games back of the Texas Rangers.

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First in the top of the seventh inning with two outs and Andy LaRoche on second base, CoCo Crisp hit a single to Hunter in right field. Hunter proved there were plenty of bullets in his gun getting the ball to catcher Jeff Mathis in plenty of time to get LaRoche out and keep the 1-1 tie.

Hunter then broke the tie in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI double that scored Bobby Abreu. Jeff Mathis added a couple of insurance runs to hand the game to Jordan Walden who got his ninth save retiring the side in order in the ninth.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Dodgers at Houston Astros. 5:05 p.m. KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.

Oakland Athletics at LA Angels. 7:05 p.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.