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LAst Night's Action: Dodgers Beat Down DBacks Bullpen

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LA Dodgers defeat Arizona Diamondbacks 13-3. It didn’t look to be a rout. DBacks’ starter Dan Haren raised eyebrows everywhere when he struck out nine Dodgers in three innings. The Dodgers didn’t really care in the fourth inning when they hit three doubles to score twice. Meanwhile Dodgers’ starter John Ely just kept eluding DBacks hitters while walking no one. They added one more run in the sixth inning and seventh inning. But after Ely gave up back-to-back singles to Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew to lead off the seventh inning, the bullpen made the game interesting as Jeff Weaver gave up a single to Chris Young that plated one and George Sherrill gave up a double to Kelly Johnson that plated two making the Dodger lead 4-3. Russell Martin got all three runs back with one swing of the bat in the eighth inning as the Dodgers pounced on the awful “turible” DBacks bullpen to the tune of seven runs in the inning. The Dodgers added another two in the ninth as Carlos Monasterios pitched a perfect eighth and ninth innings. Ely now gets his first Major League win while the Dodgers pull themselves to one game below .500.

Tampa Bay Rays defeat LA Angels 7-2. The Angels couldn’t touch Rays’ starter Jeff Niemann who took a shutout into the eighth inning. In fact they could only get runners to second base in the first three innings. Meanwhile Evan Longoria hitting a three run homer in the seventh inning and singled in a run in the fifth inning as the Rays put up a 6-0 lead in the seventh inning against former teammate Scott Kazmir. Kazmir only made it through five innings giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks dropping his record to 2-3. The Angels finally got to the Rays scoring twice in the eighth inning. They even had a chance to tie the game in that frame having the bases loaded with one out, but Howie Kendrick struck out and Michael Ryan grounded into a force play to end the threat.

NOTABLE NOTES

  • NO SINGLES. Like single cigarettes were banned from being sold from liquor stores around the county years ago, the Dodgers will not be selling single tickets for their upcoming series with the Yankees in the final weekend of June. According to a press release issued by the team:
    The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that due to the velocity of sales of mini plans and season tickets, the games against the defending World Champion New York Yankees will not be available on an individual game basis.

    With an overwhelming volume of requests from current season ticket holders, the team will offer a limited number of tickets for the series against the Yankees to those existing season ticket holders, as is customary with Opening Day and the Postseason.
    So there you go people. There are still tickets for the series available for those who buy seven-game mini plans or pro-rated season tickets, but that’s it! Ticket brokers should have a field day with this.
  • THE KING FALLS FLAT. In practice Monday, LeBron James told anyone who wanted to listen that he wanted to guard Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo for their Game 5 that is tied 2-2. Rondo who notched a triple-double with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists was nowhere close to that scoring 16 points all in the second half. While LeBron did manage to prevent Rondo from embarrassing the Cavs, he failed to prevent himself from doing so. He managed only 15 points on 3-of-14 shooting and got seven assists while getting crushed by the Celtics 120-88 at home. The Celtics take a 3-2 series lead and will look to close out the Cavs at home Thursday night to face the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • COLLEGE EXPANSION. Word has been circulating about the Big Ten Conference expanding from the 11 teams it currently has. Rumor has it the Big Ten has been talking to Missouri and Nebraska of the Big 12, Rutgers and Connecticut of the Big East and long-time independent Notre Dame. While the talk has been the Pac-10 also going the expansion route and taking Colorado from the Big 12, late last week both conferences met in Phoenix and talked about a “strategic alliance.” Right now both conferences have complete jokes for television contracts which are set to expire after the 2011-12 academic year, and the idea is to leverage their power jointly to get more favorable contracts. But with the way the talks have been going, if the Big Ten does indeed expand and take Missouri and Nebraska off of the Big 12’s hands, could the Pac-10 and Big 12 merge to form a super conference? That seems to make the most sense because it will give Big 12 schools a larger recruiting pool from the West Coast and the Pac-10 will get a couple of big-boy football programs especially if the NCAA puts USC on probation when their findings get released this week. This is a very interesting time for collegiate sports.

  • GIANT JOKE. While Memorial Stadium gets upgraded in the 2011 season, the University of California Golden Bears football team will be playing their home games at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants and the Emerald Bowl. When configured for football one end zone abuts right against the outfield wall. However they will make a change in the field alignment so that team benches are on opposite sides of the field rather that next to one another during bowl games. Really Cal? They have two viable alternatives with Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers, and the nearby Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders. Yet they choose a field that was specifically designed for baseball to play football? Even Stanford isn’t that bush league.
  • TONIGHT’S ACTION

    LA Dodgers (16-17) at Arizona Diamondbacks (14-20). Hiroki Kuroda (3-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (1-4, 7.32 ERA). 6:40 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

    Tampa Bay Rays (23-10) at LA Angels (15-20). David Price (4-1, 1.91 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (4-1, 2.66 ERA). 4:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.