A.J. Ellis’ speed secures unusual 4-3 win for Dodgers against Padres

first_imgSAN DIEGO >> A.J. Ellis reached base three times Friday against the San Diego Padres, a new season high for the Dodgers catcher.Ellis is a relatively slow runner compared to his teammates, so replacing him with a pinch-runner late in games is a viable option. In the seventh inning of a 3-3 game, Ellis was on first base and Andre Ethier was on second when Alex Guerrero shot a dying quail into center field.This time, Ellis’ speed was an asset.Guerrero’s hit dropped in for a single. Ethier slid home safely. The throw from center field went to third base and Ellis, per his custom, was just a tad slower getting there than Ethier got home. Ellis was tagged out less than a second later and the run counted. That single play meant the difference between a win and a loss in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over the Padres. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error With two outs and Ethier on first base, Ellis worked a full-count walk against pitcher Shawn Kelley. Guerrero was then announced as a pinch-hitter; his sixth pinch hit of the season against Padres pitcher Dale Thayer (2-1) drove in Ethier and continued his remarkable rookie season.Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw had thrown 17 consecutive scoreless innings when the Padres broke the game open in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Clint Barmes hit a solo home run to bring the Padres within 2-1. Kershaw faced one more batter, bringing his pitch count to a season-high 117, before he was relieved by Garcia.“My fastball command was so bad tonight that my pitch count kept going up and up and up,” Kershaw said. “I’m glad I got to go back out for the seventh.”Kershaw had won his last three starts, improving his record to 5-3, but didn’t factor into the decision this time. Garcia (3-2) allowed a home run, but not an earned run by virtue of Turner’s error. He threw seven pitches and was credited with the victory.This wasn’t how any sane manager would draw it up, and Don Mattingly had a few gripes — with Garcia, for not vacating the infield on Myers’ seventh-inning pop-up, and with Turner, for getting picked off second base in the eighth inning.“I’m frustrated with our baseball tonight,” Mattingly said. “Too many mistakes.”Gonzalez might have been the most frustrated, though he aired his grievances on the field.“I wanted (Eddings) to toss me,” he said. “I was going to make sure he tossed me.”Gonzalez believed that two pitches Eddings called strikes were actually out of the strike zone. After watching video replays in the clubhouse, Gonzalez said his beliefs were confirmed. He wasn’t shy about sharing this with Eddings.“The fact that (Eddings) didn’t care got me mad,” Gonzalez said.Would Gonzalez regret being ejected if the Dodgers had lost the game?“No,” he said.Of the error on Turner, Gonzalez said, “That’s not JT’s fault. That’s part of the game where Yimi knows he should’ve gotten out of the way.”The Dodgers got a run in the third inning when Gonzalez drove in Joc Pederson with an RBI single. Turner scored on a single by A.J. Ellis in the fourth inning to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Kershaw made the two runs hold up by limiting the Padres to mostly weak contact for six innings. He struggled to find the strike zone at times, walking three batters, but also struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings — one shy of a season high.Kenley Jansen threw a scoreless ninth inning for his eighth save of the season.Combined with the San Francisco Giants’ loss, the Dodgers (36-25) extended their lead in the National League West to 2 1/2 games.center_img It was the most unlikely twist of several that threatened to derail the Dodgers’ fourth straight victory. Adrian Gonzalez was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Doug Eddings in the top of the seventh inning. Justin Turner took over at first base in the bottom of the seventh and failed to catch an infield pop-up by Wil Myers with two outs.Myers reached second base on the error. The next batter, Derek Norris, hit the first pitch he saw from Yimi Garcia into the first deck of seats in left field — a two-run home run that put the Padres ahead 3-2.Turner made amends in the top of the eighth inning. With Howie Kendrick on third base — the result of a throwing error by Padres right fielder Matt Kemp — Turner shot an RBI single through the infield that tied the score 3-3.But Turner was picked off second base when Jimmy Rollins pulled back after squaring up to bunt. last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Meta

Tags