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Dodgers’ bullpen nearly coughed up the lead in 7-5 victory over the D-Backs

Mar 23, 2014, 2:26 AM EDT

Australia Baseball Dodgers Diamondbacks AP

Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill couldn’t overcome his control issues and the Dodgers took advantage in the second and final game played at the Sydney Cricket Grounds in Australia, winning 7-5. They fly back home having swept the D-Backs in the two-game overseas set.

The Dodgers rallied for a two-out run in the first inning when Andre Ethier hit a line drive single to right-center to drive in Yasiel Puig.

In the top of the third, Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu singled to lead off the inning, then advanced to third base on a Dee Gordon double to right-center that was just a few feet short of the fence. Puig then singled Ryu home, but got caught in a rundown for the first out of the inning. After Hanley Ramirez walked to put runners at first and third, Adrian Gonzalez brought Gordon home on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 in favor of the Dodgers.

Cahill was finally chased in the fifth inning after walking Gonzalez and Ethier consecutively to start the frame. Manager Kirk Gibson brought in reliever Josh Collmenter, but he too issued a walk to A.J. Ellis, loading the bases with no outs for left fielder Mike Baxter. Baxter grounded into a double play, but Gonzalez scored to make it 4-0. Juan Uribe followed up with a double to make it 5-0. Cahill’s final line: four innings pitched, five earned runs allowed on eight hits and four walks and a hit batsman, while recording only one strikeout.

Collmenter took the mound in the sixth inning, but the Dodgers continued to score. Leading off, Gordon bunted in front of catcher Miguel Montero, who made an error attempting to throw out Gordon, who scampered to second base. Puig doubled to left to drive in Gordon. Finally, Collmenter walked Hanley Ramirez before Gibson took him out for lefty Joe Thatcher. Thatcher stopped the bleeding, striking out Adrian Gonzalez. Puig was thrown out trying to advance on a wild pitch, then Ethier lined out to end the frame.

Meanwhile, Ryu was nearly unhittable on the mound. The Diamondbacks were only able to scrape together two singles and a walk over five innings. The lefty struck out five in the effort.

Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow took over in the sixth inning, but immediately got into trouble, issuing a walk to Aaron Hill and a single to Paul Goldschmidt to put runners on first and second with no outs. Martin Prado killed the momentum, however, grounding into a 6-3 double play. Montero grounded out to end the inning.

The Dodgers kept the pressure on, scoring their seventh on the seventh when Dee Gordon hit a sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded. In the bottom half, Paco Rodriguez and Jamey Wright teamed up to load the bases, but narrowly escaped with the shutout intact as Hill lined out to right field to end the inning. Wright stayed in for the eighth, got into trouble, and couldn’t escape. A one-out walk followed by two consecutive singles by Montero and Mark Trumbo led to the D-Backs’ first run. Lefty J.P. Howell came in and extinguished the fire.

The Dodgers asked Jose Dominguez to close out a 7-1 ballgame but the young right-hander got himself into trouble with back-to-back walks of A.J. Pollock and Hill. Paul Goldschmidt then hit a fly ball to deep right-center that would have been out of most MLB parks, but Ethier caught it on the track with but a couple feet to spare. Pollock advanced to third. With Prado at the plate, Hill took second base on defensive indifference. Prado knocked both runners in with a single to right-center, chasing Dominguez from the game with a 7-3 score. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly brought in lefty Paul Maholm, who struck out Montero. Don Mattingly then made his seventh and final pitching change of the night, bringing in Kenley Jansen, who immediately served up a two-run home run to Trumbo to make it 7-5. Jansen struck out Gerardo Parra at long last to seal the deal.

Dee Gordon finished 3-for-4 with a double, walk, and a hit-by-pitch, along with an RBI and a run scored.

Adrian Gonzalez went 0-for-2 with two walks. In the fifth inning, Gonzalez stole second base off of Cahill and advanced to third on Montero’s throwing error. It’s just the sixth stolen base of his career, but he’s five-for-five in stolen base attempts since the start of 2010.

After a tough 0-for-5 game in the opener, Yasiel Puig went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored.

Cuban rookie Alexander Guerrero made his Major League debut as a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth, but D-Backs closer Addison Reed struck him out.

Juan Uribe went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Paul Goldschmidt singled twice in five at-bats.

Mark Trumbo went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI.

Overall, the game featured 12 runs, 21 hits, 16 walks, and four errors. The two teams combined to use 14 pitchers.

The Dodgers will fly back home and resume spring training with three games against the Angels before traveling to San Diego to open up the regular season in the United States on the 30th.  The Diamondbacks will play three against the Cubs as well as split-squad games against the Reds and Indians before their home opener against the Giants on the 31st.

  1. moogro - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:24 AM

    I watched all of it. Baseball is awesome.

    • NatsLady - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:33 AM

      Me, too. But it was totally unnecessary for my alarm to wake me up at 4:00 a.m. THIS morning. Gotta figure out how to turn it OFF.

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        I have always found a ball peen hammer effective for a variety of round-the-home uses.

  2. proudlycanadian - Mar 23, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    It will be a long ride home by the Snakes In A Plane.

    • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      Gritty ninth, though.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:18 AM

        True Grit in the ninth. Hallelujah!

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Yeah, and speaking of Charles Portis, someone mentioned to me last week that one of the guys upon whom a character from Portis’ Dog of the South series was based got arrested recently, but I can’t Google up squat about it. Keep yer ears open and let me know if you hear anything.

      • stercuilus65 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Yep they can mark that down as a “gritty win”, might make the difference in them making the playoffs!

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      two games behind the pool defilers before the real start of their season. talk about going under.

  3. chacochicken - Mar 23, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Thanks, Puig.

  4. josemartez - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Why did both teams wear their home uniforms? I thought the Dodgers were the “away” team?

    I’m assuming they just wanted to show Australia the Dodgers’ nice home duds instead of just their grey aways.

  5. paperlions - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Losing. Just one more thing Arizona does the right way more than the Dodgers.

  6. capsboy - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Nice to see Trumbo crush Jansen’s cutter after that ugly K in game 1.

  7. El Pollo Loco - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Maybe next year they can schedule a game at an every further away location like the South Pole.

    • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      The ball wouldn’t carry very well.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM


      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Why go all the way there when you’ve already got Denver?

  8. yahmule - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Well, it was a hassle for them, but both teams seemed to have the right attitude and the fans in Australia had a great time. The upshot is Clayton Kershaw will wind up making one more start this season than he would have without this game, so we all win (except the team playing him).

  9. jimeejohnson - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Didn’t matter to me: I was eating like an Aussie at Outback Steakhouse.

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