Torre’s Boys Need Help


Playing at a .500 clip isn’t good enough for the Dodgers (63-62), not when three teams are in front in the National League West.

The club divided six games on their recent home stand, and it’s going to take a near miracle for the team to make the playoffs.

Cincinnati claimed two of three, including last Sunday’s 5-2 victory, as Joey Votto blasted a solo homer (29th) in the sixth off Clayton Kershaw (11-8), added a two-run single in the ninth, Ryan Hanigan drove in two, and Brandon Phillips had four hits.

Matt Kemp slugged his 21st homer in the second inning, driving in his 69th run, and A.J. Ellis contributed an RBI single in the fifth.

Powered by back-to-back home runs in the second and third, the Dodgers were 8-5 winners Saturday over the Reds.

Pitcher Chad Billingsley (10-7) left with two out in the sixth inning after allowing seven hits, three runs (earned), striking out seven and walking one.

Ryan Theriot sliced a homer down the left-field line to make it 2-0, and Andre Ethier followed with his 19th homer to center, knocking in his 69th run to make it 3-0.

The Dodgers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Casey Blake drew a bases-loaded walk.

In the third, Jay Gibbons lined a solo blast to center that hit the top of the wall and bounced over, and Kemp ripped a solo shot that made it 5-0.

The Dodgers added two runs in the fifth inning when Blake doubled to right-center, scoring Gibbons (single), and Jamey Carroll’s hit brought in Blake to make it 7-1.

Blake singled in the seventh, and scored on a fielder’s choice that gave the Dodgers an 8-5 edge.

Phillips drove in three runs during Friday’s 3-1 victory. A two-run single in the fourth afforded Cincinnati a two-run advantage. Phillips (three hits) also had a run-scoring single in the second.

Pitcher Ted Lilly made his fourth start for the Dodgers after being acquired at the trade deadline, notching as many victories.

On Thursday, he tossed a complete-game shutout over the Colorado Rockies, winning 2-0.

A bright spot, Lilly (7-8), a left-hander, struck out 11, walked two and allowed two hits.

Reserve outfielder Reed Johnson collected a two-run homer in the second inning for the only runs.

In the middle game, the Dodgers fell in 10 innings, 3-2, when reliever Octavio Dotel uncorked a wild pitch that sent Melvin Mora home with the game-winner. Johnson was thrown out at the plate to end the contest.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers blanked the Rockies 6-0, with Kershaw giving up five hits, striking out six, and walking three over seven innings.

James Loney and Scott Podsednik each belted two-run doubles in the fifth inning. Blake (two hits and a run scored) drove in a run.

Before arriving home, the Dodgers were handed a 4-3 setback to the Atlanta Braves on Monday when Melky Cabrera slashed a two-run single to left in the ninth.

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