Torre’s Bunch Bounces Back


Losses like the 8-6, 10-inning setback to the New York Yankees in their final inter-league matchup could have been unsettling, and tough to recover from.

Having one-time Yankees Manager and four-time champion Joe Torre in the Dodgers’ dugout is calming, and with a mix of young talent and veterans, the Dodgers (45-36) went 5-1 during their recent road trip, winning two of three from Arizona and sweeping three from San Francisco.

In the finale against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field, Matt Kemp’s go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning last Sunday, eased the club past Arizona, 3-1, and they whipped them, 14-1, on Saturday, as Rafael Furcal, Kemp, and Andre Ethier poked home runs, while pitcher Clayton Kershaw (8-4) took the victory while striking out eight, walking two, giving up four hits over five and two-third innings.

On Friday, the Dodgers fell behind 9-0 after three innings, and were handed a 12-5 defeat, as Hiroki Kuroda (7-6) failed to get out of the second inning.

Arizona’s Chris Young drove in five runs, scored three runs, with three hits, including his 15th homer.

James Loney and Ethier finished with three hits, while Furcal and Blake DeWitt each added two hits for the Dodgers, who were out-hit, 13-12.

In the series finale on Wednesday at AT&T Park, the Dodgers were 8-2 winners over the sagging Giants, as Kemp and Furcal, who is batting .338, each slammed home runs.

Vicente Padilla notched his 100th career victory after going seven innings, striking out five, walking one, allowing three hits, and one run (earned).

“You have to give your all against the Yankees,’’ said Padilla, who went seven frames against New York in a 2-1 loss. “They will punish you for any mistake you make.”

Padilla (2-2) was ready for the Giants. “I have to come out the same way, approach them the same way,’’ he said.

The Dodgers opened a 2-0 advantage in the third, made it 5-0 in the fifth, and 8-1 in the seventh.

In Torre’s doghouse for shoddy defensive play, Kemp went three-for-four, scored a run, and drove in three.

Furcal had four hits in five at-bats, scoring three runs and driving in two, and the versatile infielder Jamey Carroll crossed the plate three times, and had two hits.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers delivered a 4-2 loss to the Giants, as Furcal continued his horrid hitting, getting two singles and a triple, while scoring a run.

Rookie hurler John Ely (4-5) fanned five, walked three over seven innings, and allowed five hits, and one run (earned).

Tied at 1-1, heading into the fifth, the Dodgers erupted for three runs, and coasted.

In the opener on Monday, Casey Blake’s two-run homer in the eighth was the difference in a 4-2 victory.

Chad Billingsley didn’t get the decision after giving up five hits, two runs (earned), striking out three, and walking two in six innings. Jeff Weaver (5-1) picked up the win after working the seventh.

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