Interleague play returned to Dodger Stadium on Monday evening as the Dodgers kicked off a three game series against their spring training mates the Chicago White Sox. Defense is usually the Dodger’s undoing, but tonight it was the White Sox, as the Pale Hose allowed five unearned runs in their flustery sixth inning which led to a 5-2 Dodger win.White Sox 2 5 3 Dodgers 5 6 0 WP-Kershaw-4-2 LP-Quintana-3-5 SV-Jansen-17 HR-Abreu-15
The White Sox committed two costly errors in that fateful sixth inning, which was a very Dodger like inning. Beckham made a blunder and Connor Gillaspie made a very costly error on a chopper from Hanley that should have ended the inning. Gonzo’s infield single off of Quintana’s glove tied the game. Then the Dodgers got a two-run flare single from Justin Turner, and an opposite field run scoring hit from Butera. That was all they would need tonight. It’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot for once.
Clayton Kershaw was his usual excellent self on this night. He allowed just two earned runs on four hits through eight dominant frames with nine whiffs and no walks. His only blemish was a two-run home run served up to the Chicago’s Cuban star Jose Abreu, who was playing at first base with Adam Dunn on the bench.
Kershaw had retired the first nine batters he faced until Gordon Beckham singled and then Abreu did this in the top of the fourth….
That put the Dodgers down 2-0 after four innings. But it was Kershaw himself who got the rally started in the sixth with a single up the middle. His mound opponent left hander Jose Quintana was good, until he wasn’t. He ran into a wall in the sixth. However his defense did nothing to help him out.
Quintana is well known for starting out strong during games and then fading in the late innings. In that sixth inning, after Kershaw singled, Quintana whiffed Figgins for the first out. Then Matt Kemp reached on a force attempt error by Beckham, the first of two Chicago miscues in the frame.
Yasiel Puig struck out for the second out. Quintana was very close to getting out of it. Thankfully he did not. With runners at first and second, and Kershaw being the lead runner, Hanley Ramirez hit a chopper to third that should have been the third out. All third baseman Connor Gillaspie had to do was jog a few feet to third base and step on the bag for a force out. I have no idea why he didn’t. For some reason he tried to go the long way to first and threw the ball wide ad past Abreu. The error allowed Kershaw to score and the score was 2-1 Chicago.
The inning continued as Adrian Gonzalez stroked a single off of Quintanta’s glove that Beckham could only stop from going into the outfield. His throw to first was way offline, and Kemp scores the tying run. After a coaching visit to the mound, Scott Van Slyke walked. Then Justin Turner flared a single into center over the head of the diving Beckham to score two runs. Dodgers go up 4-2! The Dodgers added one more run on Drew Butera’s opposite field RBI single. The Dodgers go up 5-2.
That was all she wrote. Kershaw allowed just four hits, and made 97 pitched through his eight innings of work to pick up his fourth win of the season. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his seventeenth save.
You all know I haven’t been happy or impressed with the Dodger’s play this season. It’s been a rough year thus far. I’m still not very confident the Dodgers can turn this around, but a game like this is a great start. The Dodgers improve to 31-28 and pick up a half game on the idle Giants. The Dodgers are now seven games back.
I apologize for this being so short guys, but I’m not feeling too hot. I should be back to my normal self by tomorrow.