Following three consecutive one-run triumphs over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers were finally able to give themselves a little bit of breathing room.
Leading (once again) by just one run headed into the top of the 9th inning, Los Angeles had its way with reliever Chad Qualls to the tune of four hits and four runs in just 1/3 of an inning of work, turning a 4-3 squeaker into an 8-3 laugher at Citizens Bank Park Thursday afternoon. They now lead the surging San Francisco Giants by 4.5 games in the NL West.
Ace Cole Hamels started for Philadelphia, and uncharacteristically struggled, giving up four runs on six hits in six innings of action. He was vying for his league-leading ninth win of the season. Prior to today, Hamels had been 3-0 with a tiny 1.18 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers.
Aaron Harang took the hill for L.A., giving up three runs on eight hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked one.
The shorthanded Dodgers once again got a spark from third baseman Elian Herrera, who walked twice and reached on a run-scoring Mike Fontenot error in the ninth. He also scored a pair of runs.
Every Dodger starter excluding left fielder Alex Castellanos picked up at least one hit on the afternoon. Castellanos was hitless in five at-bats. James Loney went 2-5 with an RBI, continuing his string of success against Hamels. He has three career home runs against the Phillies’ lefty.
Andre Ethier essentially broke the game wide open with a two-run double in the top of the ninth, capping off the four-run frame. Herrera was thrown out at the plate attempting to score what would’ve been the fifth run.
The Dodgers have played 18 four-game series in Philadelphia since moving to Southern California in 1958, but this is the first time they’ve won all four.
Shawn Tolleson made his ML debut in mop-up duty in the bottom of the inning for L.A., but walked both batters he faced before being removed in favor of Ronald Belisario. Tolleson threw 10 pitches in all, eight of which missed the strike zone.
Belisario coaxed Juan Pierre into grounding into a fielder’s choice at second before Hunter Pence grounded into a game-ending double play. Pence was 2-5 with a pair of RBIs on the day.
Harang (5-3) got the win; the 100th of his career. Hamels fell to 8-3 on the season.
From here, the Dodgers (an MLB-best 37-21) will fly west to take on the Mariners (26-33) for a weekend three-game set, concluding their 10-game road trip.
Nate Eovaldi (0-2) will take the hill in the opener Friday for L.A. opposite veteran Kevin Millwood (3-5) for Seattle. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.