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LAst Night's Action: Dodgers Blanked in Philly

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Philadelphia Phillies defeat LA Dodgers 2-0. Things were strolling along in the muggy night at Citizens Bank Park with Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels and Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda pitching a nice duel. The only hit in the early going was an infield single by Andre Ethier in the first inning. Then things got interesting.

After Hiroki Kuroda got Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez out in the bottom of the fifth inning, things got interesting. Michael Martinez tripled into the right field corner and Hamels was walked. With Shane Victorino at the plate a Kuroda split-fingered fastball got past catcher Rod Barajas. Thankfully Martinez wasn’t running and Barajas’ poor throw was saved by Victorino’s backside. Victorino was given the free pass to load the bases, but Kuroda got Domonic Brown to fly to right field to end the threat.

That should have been a sign of things to come.

After Placido Polanco struck out to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, Ryan Howard got his first career hit against Kuroda - a blast of a homer to right centerfield. Kuroda tried to keep going against Raul Ibanez but yielded a double ending his outing. Mike MacDougal cleaned up Kuroda’s mess to get out of the inning with no further damage.

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Meanwhile the Dodger offense relapsed into its predictable form. In the top of the seventh Ethier hit a leadoff double and Matt Kemp singled him over to third. With runners on the corners with no outs Juan Uribe popped up to second base, Marcus Thames struck out swinging and Barajas popped up to shortstop.

Okay. So things only got interesting for the Phillies.

Confusing moment in the game came when Manager Don Mattingly inserted left-handed James Loney to pinch hit for Dee Gordon against the left-handed Hamels in the eighth inning. Perhaps Hamels was equally confused as he threw Loney three consecutive balls. But equally confusing was Loney swinging on the 3-0 pitch only to sky and out to left field.

Hamels in his eight-inning effort recorded his eighth win of the season and Ryan Madson got his 14th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. On to Denver for the Dodgers!

Tampa Bay Rays defeat LA Angels 4-3. While the Dodgers have shown their offense does have some life every now and again, the same can’t be said of the Angels. Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia gave the players the day off allowing them not to dress until 90 minutes before game time. Scioscia even shuffled up the lineup. The Angels did reward him with three runs, but it was like pulling teeth. With the bases loaded in the eighth inning they finally got someone to hit with runners in scoring position: Bobby Abreu cleared the bases with a double to tie the game.

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It seems like every time I tune into an Angel game and Fernando Rodney pitches, it’s an adventure. The same held true when in the tenth inning a safety squeeze by Reid Brignac scored the winning run.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Dodgers at Colorado Rockies. 5:40 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.