April 20, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (27) is congratulated by Justin Sellers (12) after Kemp hit a home run in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Minute Maid Park Train Never Left Station in 3-1 Dodger Win

Dodgers 3 9 0

Astros 1 5 0

WP- Lilly (2-0)

LP- Happ (1-1)

S- Guerra (7)

HR- Kemp (8)

April 20, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly (29) pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Ted Lilly picks up his second win of the season in a easy victory in Houston Friday evening. Minute Maid Park is always fun to play at. Complete with Tal’s Hill in center field, and a chugging homerun loving train, the park will be missed by me once the Astros move over to the American League next season. Eight was great tonight as Matt Kemp slammed his 8th homerun of the season, and Javy Guerra collected his 8th save of the season. The Dodgers improve to 11-3 on the season, and they maintain their first place position in the NL West.

Adorned in a Colt 45 throwback jersey, J.A. Happ goes to the mound for the Astros. Justin Sellers steps up to the plate to lead off. This is his first start of the season, and he is playing shortstop instead of Dee Gordon who has had trouble at the plate recently. SellBlock promptly hits a line drive single to left field to begin the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mark Ellis makes the first out on a shallow fly ball. Matt Kemp then slaughters a ball for a two-run opposite field homerun! That is number 8 for The Bison! 2-0 Dodgers. Juan Rivera‘s shallow fly ball is out number two in the inning. Andre Ethier grounds out to end the inning.

 

Houston wore cool throwback Colt 45 uinforms complete with smoking guns. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

 

Ted Lilly strikes out Jose Altuve, but he allows a two-out walk to J.D. Martinez in the bottom part of the first inning. Carlos Lee is the second consecutive free pass allowed by Lilly who seems to be getting squeezed by the home plate ump. Chris Johnson grounds out to Sellers to strand the two runners.

Hairston flies out, and James Loney strikes out swinging in the second inning. A.J. Ellis hits a to right field which bounces over the fence for a two-out ground-rule double! Ted Lilly has a nice plate appearance, and he draws a walk to bring up Justin Sellers. Sellers strikes out swinging for out number three. Dee Gordon looks noticeably depressed from the bench, but I think he needs to regroup and come back focused on getting on base more.

Jed Lowrie flies out, and Brian Bogusevic walks to start the bottom of the second inning. Chris Snyder pops out in foul territory behind the plate to A.J. Ellis who falls down in the process. J.A. Happ strikes out to end the frame.

Mark Ellis leads the third off with a single. Matt Kemp is walked on four pitches. That is Kemp’s sixth walk of the season. Rivera hits into a double play. Dre comes up and slaps a single off the first pitch to bring in Ellis to score, 3-0. Jerry Hairston grounds out to finish the top of the third for the Dodgers.

Altuve, the little second baseman, singles on a ground ball to third. Hairston grabs it after it rolls into foul territory and throws out Altuve who was trying to go for two! J. D. Martinez walks on two outs, but Lilly strikes out Carlos Lee to end any threat whatsoever. The Astros’ guns are definitely not blazing.

James Loney doubles to the left center corner nook area at the Juice Box to open the fourth inning. Steve Lyons hilariously called it “Gibbons Corner.” One of the few times Lyons has come up with a funny. A.J. Ellis grounds out, and Lilly strikes out for the first and second outs. Justin Sellers walks, and Mark Ellis flies out wasting Loney’s rare double.

Lilly strikes out Chris Johnson for his fourth whiff of the game. Bogusevic gets a two-out single, and picks Lilly’s pocket for a stolen base which is very easily done off of Ted. Chris Snyder singles, and Bogusevic scores getting the Astros on the board, 3-1. The pitcher Happ flies out in foul territory to end any sort of Astro “rally.”

In the fifth, Matt Kemp legs out an infield single to start the inning. Rivera’s single allows Kemp to reach third, but Rivera is tagged out between first and second on the play. Matt Kemp is out at the plate on a fielder’s choice by Ethier. That’s the second TOOTBLAN of the inning for the Dodgers. Hairston pops up, and the side is retired.

Jose Altuve draws a one-out walk and steals second in the bottom of the fifth. Martinez gets an infield single off of Lilly’s glove. Carlos Lee comes to the plate seeking revenge on Lilly for his earlier strikeout, but he flies out to left field. The runners are able to advance to second and third on two outs. Chris Johnson is intentionally walked to load the bases for Lowrie. Lowrie’s hard hit ball to Jerry Hairston bounces off his glove, but he quickly grabs it and crawls over to the third base bag just ahead of Martinez to get the force out! Jerry Hairston has made some dazzling defensive plays in the last three games since Uribe has been out with a sore wrist.

 

April 20, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Jerry Hairston (left) shows the ball after a put out on Houston Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez (14) in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

 

A.J. Ellis draws a one-out walk in the sixth. Lilly sacrifices Ellis into scoring position. Sellers makes the third out on a soft line out.

Lilly begins the bottom of the sixth by hitting Bogusevic by the pitch. Snyder strikes out, and Bogusevic is caught stealing off a good throw by Ellis. Marwin Gonzalez flies out to end the sixth.

Brandon Lyon comes in to relieve Happ for the top of the seventh. Happ pitched 6 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts on 115 pitches. Matt Kemp gets his third hit of the night to lead off the inning, and he barely gets back to first on time after Rivera’s deep fly ball is caught. Wesley Wright, a left-handed pitcher, is brought into face Andre Ethier with two outs. He gets Dre to hit it back to the mound for the final out.

Josh Lindblom comes in to pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Dodgers. Lilly pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 6 walks, and 5 strikeouts on 94 pitches. Jordan Schafer singles to lead off the inning for the Astros. Altuve hits into a double play. Josh Lindblom has really pitched exceptionally well so far this season. Lindblom whiffs Martinez to end the inning!

Wilton Lopez comes out of the bullpen for Houston in the eighth. Hairston and Loney ground out for the first couple of outs. Lopez gets A.J. Ellis out on strikes sending the Dodgers down in order.

Kenley Jansen pitches the bottom of the eighth for the Dodgers. Carlos Lee walks on four pitches to lead off. Chris Johnson strikes out swinging. Lowrie is blown away by Kenley as well. Two down. Kenley, throwing fire, strikes out Bogusevic to strike out the side!

The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. Javy Guerra comes in to try to close shop for the Dodgers and pick up his 7th save on the season. Snyder grounds out for the first out. Matt Downs, pinch hitter, strikes out. Schafer whiffs as well, and Javy closes the book on another Dodger win!

Tomorrow afternoon Clayton Kershaw will go up against Kyle Weiland at 4:05 pm. Have a great Friday night, Dodger fans!

 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @LasordasLair and yours truly @organicallyrude

 

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Tags: Houston Astros J.A. Happ Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Ted Lilly

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