Interleague Recap

After a fantastic four-game sweep of the Phillies in Philadelphia, thier first of that type in nearly 50 years, the Dodgers embarked on interleague play.  The Blue Crew went way up north for a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.  On Friday night, the Dodgers were the victims of a combined no-hitter.  Six Seattle pitchers specifically combined to shut down the Dodgers, Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, and Tom Wilhelmsen.  Wilhelmsen was the only pitcher other than Millwood to pitch a full inning.  Millwood was forced to leave while warming in the top 7th, due to an apparent groin strain.  The Dodgers had opportunities in the 7th and 8th innings.  In the 7th Elian Herrera reached 2nd on a throwing error by Furbush, but both Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera struck out.  In the 8th Bobby Abreu and Jerry Hairston, Jr. walked and got into scoring position, but League got A.J. Ellis to line out and Tony Gwynn, Jr. to strike out.  Despite being shut down Friday night, the Dodgers bounced back with consecutive 8-run outbursts Saturday and Sunday.  In Saturday’s 8-3 victory Hairston drove in a career-high 5 runs, and Clayton Kershaw struck out a season high 12.  The next day the Dodgers opened the floodgates early scoring six runs in the second inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Ethier.  Chad Billingsley finished the job from there, pitching 7 innings of 1-run ball, striking out 8.  The Dodgers enjoyed a 7-3 road trip, bouncing back from a 13-3 drubbing to open the trip and the Seattle no-hitter.  Welcoming back the Dodgers to Dodger Stadium to open the week was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  The Dodgers dropped 2 of 3 to the Angels, on the losing end of two tough one-run games.  Kenley Jansen took the loss in both of them.  The Dodgers got out to a quick 2 run lead in the first inning, but the Angels chipped away tying the game in the 6th off Josh Lindblom.  In the top 9th Jansen entered the game, as they say, walks come back to hurt you.  After walking Mike Trout, the Angels took advantage of Jansen’s weakness, his inability to hold runners on, and Trout stole second, after striking out Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols came to the plate, with first base open.  The Dodgers opted to pitch to Pujols and Jansen didn’t want to give him anything.  Finally, on a 3-1 count after 3 balls way outside, Jansen sent a fastball high and up the middle that Pujols blooped into shallow left, scoring Trout with the winning run.  Jansen proceed to strike out Mark Trumbo in unceremonious fashion.  Again, the Dodgers had an opportunity in the 9th, A.J. Ellis walked, and Juan Uribe was hit by a pitch from Angels’ closer Ernesto Frieri.  This brought up Dee Gordon with two outs, he hit the ball sharply, but right to Trumbo in left field.  It was announced on Tuesday that the Dodgers and Andre Ethier had agreed to terms on 5-year, $85 million dollar extension.  This assures the Dodgers will have both Ethier and Matt Kemp in the middle of their lineup for years to come, and two fantastic hitters.  The Dodgers turned the tables on the Angels Tuesday, coming back from a 2-1 deficit in the 8th.  With starter Jerome Williams for the Angels still in it in the 8th, Williams walked Elian Herrera and A.J. Ellis, Mike Scioscia allowed Williams to pitch to Ethier and Ethier drilled a line drive to right to tie the game 2-2.  Williams would face Juan Rivera next, and Rivera would deposit the ball into the left field stands.  Jansen would seal the deal in the 9th for a 5-2 win.  The Angels got unlikely power from Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar tonight, as their two solo shots were the difference in a 2-1 game.  Nathan Eovaldi again proved his worth, by matching the Angels’ C.J. Wilson pitch-for-pitch with 6 innings of 1 run ball.  Despite a 1.82 ERA in 4 starts this year, Eovaldi remains winless.  Again Jansen would drop the ball in the 9th, serving up a lead-off homerun to Aybar.  The Dodgers again threatened in the ninth.  A.J. Ellis drew a leadoff walk, and James Loney singled him over to third.  Juan Uribe came up and hit the ball sharply, but right at Aybar who threw out Ellis at home.  However, Loney and Uribe were able to move up to 2nd and 3rd.  Unfortunately, Gwynn would be struck out by Frieri again, and Bobby Abreu pinch-hit for Dee Gordon, but grounded out to end the game.  It was a thrilling series with the Angels, and the Dodgers will see them again next weekend.  Next up is a three-game interleague set with the Chicago White Sox, who sit atop the AL Central, and actually have a better record on the road, than at home.  Despite dropping 2 of 3, the Dodgers remain an NL-best 40-24.

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