Reversing the Streak

After an ugly week that saw the Dodgers lose 6 of 7 games, most recently dropping 2 of 3 over the weekend in Colorado, the Dodgers have gotten back on the winning track.  The Blue Crew has won the first three games of a four game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.  Behind strong pitching from Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, and Kenley Jansen, and some clutch hits from Elian Herrera, the Dodgers have won every game of the series by one run.  Kershaw pitched 7 innings Monday night, giving up 3 runs, and striking out 5 with no walks.  Phillies starter, and Cal State Long Beach alum, Vance Worley lasted only 4 innings, giving up 3 runs in his first start off the disabled list.  After Dee Gordon tripled off Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th, Herrera singled to drive in Gordon, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead and ultimately, the win.  Papelbon had words for home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, who is a minor leauge relief umpire, after the inning.  Papelbon wasn’t the only one who had an issue with Reyburn’s strike zone as both Don Mattingly and bench coach Trey Hillman got ejected from the game for arguing Reyburn’s strike zone.  Herrera’s heroics continued the next night.  After Chad Billingsley kept up with Cliff Lee, who struck out 12 Dodgers, for 7 innings, Herrera struck again in the 8th inning.  With two runners on, Herrera doubled to deep-left on a two-strike count, to drive in both runners.  Josh Lindblom and Kenley Jansen pitched scoreless innings to preserve the 2-1 win.  Despite his 2.92 ERA and sparkling 6-to-1 K:BB ratio, Lee remains winless for the year.  Despite a rough start from Chris Capuano, and homers from Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins, the Dodgers managed a 6-5 win earlier tonight.  Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick’s 5 walks came back to haunt him, staked to a 4-2 lead, he walked Jerry Hariston, Jr. to cut the Philly lead to 4-3.  Dee Gordon, the Dodgers new hottest hitter, singled to right, driving in the go-ahead  runs.  The Dodgers got an insurance run in the 9th when James Loney drew a bases-loaded walk.  Kenley Jansen, going for his third consecutive save, had to work, but got the job done.  Jansen hit Carlos Ruiz after Ruiz fouled off multiple pitches, Ty Wigginton doubled to score Ruiz, cutting the Dodger lead to one run.   No matter, Jansen struck out pinch-hitter, and former Dodger, Jim Thome, and got Brian Schneider to pop out to end the game.  The Dodgers are once again starting to get run-production from unlikely sources, A.J. Ellis, Herrera, and Gordon, as of late.  If the pitching can hold up over the next month, the Dodgers can maintain the best record in MLB without Matt Kemp.  Despite being out the past 3 weeks, Kemp leads the National League in All-Star balloting.  The Dodgers will go for the sweep of the Phillies tomorrow afternoon before heading back to the West Coast for an interleague matchup with the Seattle Mariners.  Aaron Harang will take the hill for the Dodgers against Cole Hamels who is the NL co-leader in wins with 8.

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