The Dodgers were one overturned challenge call away from no-hitting the Cleveland Indians on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. A brilliant and dominant start from Dan Haren mirrored a great start from Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber who only allowed one run on a triple from Andre Ethier and a clutch RBI single by rookie Clint Robinson in the seventh.
Michael Bourn beat out a great throw by Miguel Rojas in the top of the third inning for an infield single after Cleveland challenged the play, and that was one of only two base runners the Indians had all night. Haren walked Daniel Murphy in the third as well. Haren was keeping the ball down, and he induced 11 groundouts and only 2 fly outs in the exceptional start. This is the Dan Haren we saw at the start of the season. His back issues had caused him to not be as effective, but tonight’s stellar start was on par with the rest of the Dodgers’ superb rotation.
I also want to give a round of applause to Miguel Rojas, who has been sparkling defensively for the Dodgers at shortstop when Hanley hasn’t been able to play. His great play to rob Bourn of an extra-base hit in the third saved a run.
The Dodgers had trouble against Corey Kluber early on, and they wasted a single from Gonzo and a double by Kemp in the fourth. It wasn’t until the
seventh when the Dodgers called upon Clint Robinson to pinch-hit for Dan Haren, when the Dodgers finally notched the only run of the game. Robinson had a great at-bat going 3-2 against Kluber before he singled in Ethier for the eventual winning run.
The Dodgers move into sole possession of first place! The Giants were idle, so the Dodgers take a 1/2 game lead in the standings. They have not allowed a run in 24 consecutive innings. The Dodgers are beginning to meld and work together for wins. Brian Wilson has been pitching better recently, and him and Kenley Jansen both pitched scoreless frames for the eighth and ninth inning. Kenley picked up his 25th save of the season. While Sergio Romo has fallen out of grace up in foggy San Francisco, Kenley is just getting warmed up down in sunny So Cal.
Dodgers 1 6 0
Indians 0 1 0
WP- Haren (8-4)
LP- Kluber (7-6)
S- Jansen (25)
Dan Haren induces three ground balls for three outs in the first inning against The Tribe.
Yasiel Puig stabs at Corey Kluber’s slider which was away, and he singles to right field with one out in the home half of the first. Adrian Gonzalez is swinging away, and Kluber strikes him out. Matt Kemp grounds out to third to end the inning.
Haren pitches another nice 1-2-3 inning in the second.
Kluber responds with a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the bottom of the second as Ethier, Uribe, and A.J. are all retired consecutively.
David Murphy works a one-out walk in the top of the third, and Kluber successfully sacrifice bunts him over to second. Michael Bourn grounds out to short where Miguel Rojas makes a great smothering stop, but the play is challenged by the Indians and overturned after the video replay shows that Bourn was safe at first and ahead of the throw by Rojas. Murphy moves to third on the play. Bourn steals second with Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate. Haren freezes the Indians in their path as Cabrera strikes out looking to end the frame and strand the runners at second and third.
Rojas grounds out, Haren strikes out, and Gordon grounds out in the bottom of the third.
Dan Haren pitches another nice inning in the fourth, and each ball club only has but one hit.
The Dodgers get their second hit in the bottom of the fourth. Gonzalez plunks down a little single to third with one out. Matt Kemp also finds the hole on the left side as he drills one down the line for a double. Adrian Gonzalez chugs into third with Ethier coming up. Ethier strikes out on a check swing. Uribe flies out to center, and the Dodgers blow a perfect opportunity.
This is a very unlikely pitching duel. The Indians go down in order again in the top of the fifth. Haren has been inducing a lot of groundballs tonight. Rojas makes another great defensive play on a Murphy grounder which Gordon can’t catch up to for the third out.
In the bottom of the fifth…. “The Dodgers tiptoe through the inning.” -Vin Scully
Haren pitches another perfect inning in the top of the sixth, and the right-hander has now retired ten batters in a row.
Adrian Gonzalez finds the hole by Kipnis, and the ball gets to the right field corner for a stand-up double with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Kemp is first ball swinging, and he taps out to third to end the inning.
Dan Haren is on a roll, and he shuts down the Indians in the seventh completing the inning with a strikeout of Jason Kipnis.
Dan Haren pitched 7 shutout innings and allowed only 1 hit with 5 strikeouts and a walk on 103 pitches.
Andre Ethier leads off the bottom of the seventh with a triple to left field! Michael Brantley crashes into the wall trying to make the catch, and the ball bounces off the top of his glove. That’s Dre’s third triple of the season. Uribe can’t drive Ethier home as he grounds out to short. A.J. Ellis strikes out. Hanley Ramirez will pinch-hit, and Kluber intentionally walks Hanley. Clint Robinson will pinch-hit for Haren, and the rookie comes up clutch with a single up the middle! Ethier comes in to score, and Clint has his first Major League hit and RBI as the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead. The Indians will make a pitching change, and the Dodgers replace Hanley at second with Carlos Triunfel as the pinch-runner at second. Kyle Crockett will relieve Kubler with runners at first and second with two outs. Dee Gordon pops out to end the inning, but the Dodgers are able to scratch and claw for a run.
Corey Kluber pitches 6 2/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 6 hits with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk on 107 pitches.
Brian Wilson is in for the top of the eighth for the Dodgers in order to hopefully preserve this slim one-run lead. Lonnie Chisenhall strikes out against the Beard. Yan Gomes grounds out to third. Murphy grounds out to Triunfel who is at short to end the 1-2-3 inning for Wilson. 16 Cleveland batters have been retired in a row by Dodger pitching.
Cody Allen will take the mound for Cleveland in the bottom of the eighth, and he retires the Dodgers in order.
Kenley Jansen will come into the ninth in order to continue the dominant shutdown of this Cleveland team this night at Dodger Stadium. Nick Swisher lines out to Uribe at third. Bourn grounds out to Dee at second who makes a nice off balance throw to get the fellow speedy runner. Cabrera pops out to short, and the Dodgers win! They retired 19 consecutive batters in the Game 1 victory.
The Dodgers improve to 48-37, and they take sole possession of first place in the NL West. The first-place Dodgers will start off the month of July with a Josh Beckett start on Tuesday night.