Dodgers Continue To Impress


No matter how deep, every major-league team can always use more starting pitching, and the Dodgers are no exception.

Thus far, Chad Billingsley (5-2), Clayton Kershaw (4-2), Hiroki Kuroda (5-2), and John Ely (3-1), have done a solid job, but landing Roy Oswalt, who pitches for the Houston Astros, with a 2-6 record and a 2.66 earned-run average, and recently asked to be traded, would significantly improve the rotation.

The Dodgers (25-19) have played well, taking 12 of 14 games, even though left fielder Manny Ramirez, shortstop Rafael Furcal and right fielder Andre Ethier, have spent time on the disabled list.

Detroit closed out its three-game inter-league series with the Dodgers last Sunday afternoon with a 6-2 victory behind Rick Porcello, who scattered nine hits over six innings, and two runs (both earned). Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera, each drove in two runs for the Tigers.

On Saturday, Ely out-lasted the Tigers, 6-4, with the help of a three-run fourth inning that pushed the advantage to 5-2.

Ely allowed two runs in the first, but then shut out the Tigers over the next five innings. Ely struck out three and walked one, with eight hits.

Casey Blake knocked in a run and added three hits, including his sixth homer, and scored two runs, Matt Kemp hit a double, a home run, and scored twice, and Blake DeWitt had a two-run triple.

Friday night’s 4-1 victory saw Billingsley tame the Tigers on four hits over seven innings, with five strikeouts and two walks.

After Detroit struck for a run in the top of the first inning, the Dodgers scored solo runs in the fourth and sixth, and sandwiched two runs in the fifth.

Ramirez had a run-scoring single in the fifth, while reserve infielder Nick Green and backup catcher A.J. Ellis, each chipped in with run-scoring hits.

One night earlier, Kershaw limited the San Diego Padres to seven hits across seven-and-one-third innings during the 4-1 win.

Kershaw has won three straight games, and fanned seven while giving up two walks and one run (earned).

The Dodgers’ nine-game winning skein was halted by the Padres on Wednesday, falling 10-5, as Jon Garland gave up nine hits in five frames.

San Diego scored five runs in the fourth inning and took an 8-3 lead, with Adrian Gonzalez blasting a three-run homer in the inning. The first baseman drove in six runs, and finished with three hits.

Kuroda’s seven-hit, six-inning effort was the story on Tuesday, as the Dodgers eased to a 7-3 win over the Astros.

Blake, Ramirez and James Loney, all drove in two runs apiece, and they combined for five hits, with Blake getting three.

On Monday, Ely was at it again, this time posting a 6-2 victory over Houston, as he allowed two runs (earned) in seven innings.

DeWitt and Blake each drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who took a 3-1 lead in the first inning and never looked back.

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