Vin Scully got #AJEllis trending on Twitter before he hit his second HR. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

A.J. Ellis Channels Mike Piazza in His First Career Multi-Homerun Game

Dodgers 6 10 0

Cubs 1 4 0

WP- Billingsley (7-9)

LP- Samardzija (7-9)

HR- A.J. Ellis (9 & 10)

Before the game we learned that the Dodgers had been busy working on waiver deals. They acquired right-handed starting pitcher Joe Blanton from the Phillies in exchange for cash and a player to be named later. Ted Lilly was scratched from his scheduled rehab start tonight after suffering a setback with his shoulder. Blanton will take Stephen Fife‘s spot in the rotation, and he could pitch as early as Sunday. It was also reported that the Dodgers were awarded a waiver claim on another certain Phillies pitcher. Cliff Lee was claimed by the Dodgers, but it is unlikely that a deal will materialize for the southpaw. We will keep you posted on the Cliff Lee front.

 

Tonight’s game was a much-needed feel-good win. The battery of A.J. Ellis and Chad Billingsley was the cornerstone of the game. Chad pitched seven strong innings. Him and his red beard only allowed 1 run on 4 hits to the Cubs. He has pitched great since returning from the brief DL stint. A.J. Ellis took center stage by hitting a single and two homeruns while driving in three runs on the night.

 

Matt Kemp robs Alfonso Soriano of an extra base hit in the first inning. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Chad Billingsley starts off strong by striking out David DeJesus looking. Anthony Rizzo gets a two-out pop fly single to left field. Alfonso Soriano hits a deep fly ball to center field, and Matt Kemp reaches up to make the catch right against the wall for the third out.

Jeff Samardzija sends the Dodgers down in order on a couple of fly outs and a Mark Ellis strikeout.

In the second inning, Bills strikes out Bryan LaHair to start it off in the easy 1-2-3 inning.

Andre Ethier leads off with a single, but of course James Loney hits into a signature inning ending double play.

Bills allows a walk to DeJesus in the third, but the Cubs can’t do much else against Chad. The game remains scoreless.

In the bottom of the third with one out, A.J. Ellis hits a solo homerun on a hanging breaking ball from Samardzija to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Anthony Rizzo is called out on strikes to begin the fourth for the Cubs. The red bearded Billingsley then whiffs Soriano. Then for good measure he strikes out LaHair!

The Dodgers make out in order in the bottom of the fourth on three consecutive fly balls.

In the fifth, Darwin Barney reaches safely on a little dribbler along the left field line. A.J.’s throw is just late. Luis Valbuena doubles right over first and down the line. Barney scores, and the Cubs tie it up 1-1.

Hanley Ramirez gets a lead-off leg double in the bottom of the fifth inning. James Loney follows that with a double of his own which allows Ramirez to score easily. The Dodgers retake the lead 2-1. Loney tags up and moves over to third on a fly ball by Luis Cruz. A.J. Ellis singles, and Loney brings in another Dodger run, 3-1. Chad Billingsley fails to execute the bunt and strikes out. Victorino flies out to end the frame.

In the sixth, Soriano draws a two-out walk. LaHair doubles right along the right field line. Soriano has to stop at third. Don Mattingly goes out to argue that the ball wasn’t fair, but it looked just fair to me on the replay. Steve Clevenger grounds out, and Bills works his way out of the jam as the Cubs strand two.

Mark Ellis leads off the bottom of the sixth with a single to the gap. Matt Kemp doubles to left field, and the Dodgers are in business with runners at second and third and nobody out. Hanley Ramirez singles in both runners, and the Dodgers take a 5-1 lead! That will be that for Jeff Samardzija as the Dodgers knock him out of the game. Scott Maine, a lefty, will come in from the Chicago bullpen. He promptly makes a wild pitch with Loney at the plate which allows Hanley to advance to second. Loney lines out. Alberto Cabrera comes into pitch to Luis Cruz who he strikes out to end the inning.

Jeff Samardzija pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, no walks, and 3 strikeouts on 96 pitches.

Jeff Samardizja has a tough sixth inning and picks up the loss. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

 

Billingsley is pitching a gem tonight, and he sends the Cubs down in order in the seventh.

Manuel Corpas comes into pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Cubs. A.J. Ellis proceeds to hit his second homerun of the night! That’s his tenth homerun of the season, and the Dodgers now take a 6-1 lead. Tony Gwynn Jr. strikes out as a pinch-hitter for Billingsley. Shane Victorino singles for his first hit as a Dodger. He also collects his first stolen base as a Dodger with Kemp in the batter’s box. That’s Victorino’s 25th stolen base of the year. Matt grounds out to end the inning.

 

Chad Billingsley has pitched well since returning from that brief DL stint. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Chad Billingsley pitched 7 strong innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 105 pitches.

Brandon League will come into relieve Chad Billingsley in the eighth inning. League pitches a 1-2-3 inning as he strikes out both DeJesus and Rizzo.

Jeff Beliveau is Chicago’s fifth pitcher of the night. The Dodgers go down in order.

Shawn Tolleson is into pitch the top of the ninth for the Dodgers to try to clinch the win. Bryan LaHair walks with one out, and that’s Chicago’s first base runner since the sixth inning. Clevenger walks as well. Barney hits into a game ending double play, and the Dodgers win!

The Dodgers snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 57-50. The Giants won 16-4 against the Rockies at Coors Field, so the Dodgers will remain 1/2 game back. Arizona is 2 back of the Giants and 1 game back of the Dodgers.

Game two will start at 6:10 pm and will feature Clayton Kershaw versus Chris Volstad.

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Chad Billingsley Chicago Cubs Hanley Ramirez Jeff Samardzija Joe Blanton Los Angeles Dodgers