Matt Kemp hits his 17th homerun off Francis. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Kemp's Three-Run Shot Awakens Dodger Offense For 60th Win

Dodgers 6 9 1

Rockies 4 8 2

WP- Billingsley (8-9)

LP- Torres (1-1)

S- Jansen (22)

HR- Young (2), Kemp (17)

After a mind numbingly bad two games, the Dodgers really needed to get their act together to stave off a sweep at home at the hands of the last place Colorado Rockies. The Dodger offense had only mustered one measly run in the first two games before tonight. With only 50 games left after tonight, the Dodgers cannot afford to lose to the Rockies especially at home. Chad Billingsley had a shaky first inning, but he ended up with a decent performance and picked up his eighth win. That’s four wins in a row now for Bills. Matt Kemp‘s huge first inning three-run homerun finally woke the sleeping offense from its slumber. Shane Victorino’s trio of hits also were key. The Dodgers would go on to score another run in the fifth and two additional runs in the sixth after capitalizing on Jim Tracy’s nonsensical pitching management.

 

Eric Young sure was pesky this series. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The game starts on a wild note when Eric Young hits a ball hard over Matt Kemp’s head which bounces off the center field wall and back in front of him. Young is already motoring around the bases, and by the time the throw comes back to the infield, Young is sliding into home for an inside-the-park homerun. Unbelievable. One out later, Dexter Fowler doubles to right field. Billingsley walks Wilin Rosario which prompts an early coaching visit to the mound. Immediately thereafter Tyler Colvin singles in Fowler, but Andre Ethier mows down Rosario after he tries to get back to second after rounding the bag. Jordan Pacheco strikes out for the third out but not before the Rockies score two. Billingsley made 27 pitches in the inning.

In the bottom of the first, Shane Victorino leads off with a single on a hard groundball to Pacheco. Jeff Francis gives Mark Ellis a free

pass. Then Matt Kemp comes up and crushes a three-run homerun to left center field! That’s his 17th homerun of the season, and with one swing of the bat the Dodgers take a 3-2 lead. We needed that so bad! Hanley Ramirez flies out. Andre Ethier gets a base hit on a groundball to first. Juan Rivera flies out. Jerry Hairston Jr. hits a pop-up which seems like an easy routine catch for Matt McBride, but he embarrassingly drops it to draw an error. The Dodgers now have runners at first and third with two outs. Matt Treanor flies out to shallow right field to end the inning. Francis made 29 pitches in the inning.

Chad Billingsley bounces back in the second inning after the rough first by striking out two Rockies while sending them down in order.

 

Mark Ellis draws a two-out walk in the bottom of the second, but Matt Kemp strikes out to end the frame.

Fowler singles with two outs in the third, and he advances to second on a wild pitch by Bills. Colorado fails to score as Rosario flies out to right to end the inning.

The Dodgers don’t do much in the bottom of the third, but Andre Ethier does get thrown out at second by Dexter Fowler after trying to leg out a double.

Bills strikes out Colvin to start the fourth, but Pacheco then doubles to left. DJ LeMahieu singles over Hanley into left, and Pacheco brings home the tying run.

The Dodgers go down in order quickly in the home half of the fourth.

The Rockies also go down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.

Jim Tracy hooks Jeff Francis after 4 innings of work and 73 pitches. He has this ridiculous 75-pitch count rule this season. Francis allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts.

Carlos Torres, right-hander, has come into relieve Francis in the bottom of the fifth. Victorino leads off with a single. With Mark Ellis at the plate, Victorino steals second. Ellis draws a walk. Kemp singles to short on a 3-2 count, and the bases are loaded with nobody out. Torres walks Hanley which brings in a run and gives the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Ethier hits it hard, but Pacheco is there to snag the line drive for the first out of the inning. Rivera grounds into an inning ending double play, and the Dodgers only manage one run off that rally.

The Rockies go down in order again in the sixth.

Matt Treanor is hit by a Torres pitch with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Billingsley successfully bunts Treanor over to second.  Victorino comes up with his third hit of the night, and Treanor brings in the fifth Dodger run! For some reason Jim Tracy is letting Torres completely blow this game. The Flyin’ Hawaiian scores on a Mark Ellis single, 6-3. Matt Kemp singles to right, but he is caught in a rundown after a fake out rundown of Mark Ellis between second and third.

LeMahieu singles for the Rockies with one out in the seventh. Chris Nelson walks, and that’ll be it for Billingsley. Ronald Belisario comes in to pitch, and EY singles to right. LeMahieu scores as Ethier makes a fielding error when he over runs the ball, 6-4. That’s Ethier’s second error of the season. Fowler grounds out to end the inning.

Chad Billingsley pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts on 100 pitches.

Beard power propels Chad Billingsley's four-game win streak. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

 

In the home half of the seventh Mike Ekstrom comes into pitch for Colorado.  Eric Young makes an amazing diving catch to rob Hanley of an extra base hit. Rivera reaches on a throwing error by Pacheco, but Hairston flies out to end the inning.

Belisario pitches a scoreless eighth inning and strikes out two Rockies. Ekstrom pitches a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth.

Kenley Jansen comes into shut the door on Colorado in the top of the ninth. LeMahieu whiffs. Jonathan Herrera whiffs. EY pops out, and Kenley notches his 22nd save.

This would be the Dodgers’ 60th victory on the season. They are 8 games above .500. The Giants won 15-0 over St. Louis earlier, so we remain 1 1/2 games back. The D-backs lost, so they fall to 5 games back of San Francisco.

Tomorrow is a much needed off day before the Dodgers embark on another long road trip. Their first stop is at the new Marlins Park in Miami for a 4:10 pm game on Friday.

Tags: Chad Billingsley Colorado Rockies Eric Young Jeff Francis Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp

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