Today's game had the earmarks of a Dodgers performance you'd like to forget: Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier combined to go 0 for 13, and the Dodgers stranded eight men, leaving the bases loaded in the third and eighth innings.
But! The Dodgers got contributions from other parts of the lineup:
- Chad Billingsley continued to go all BEARD MODE, pitching seven innings of three-hit, scoreless ball. He's won a career-high six straight and is acting like that dependable Number Two everyone's been expecting him to be.
- The bottom third of the order killed it, going 7 for 10, led by a clutch solo homer in the fifth by Luis Cruz, who's now homered in consecutive games. As for his leg: "Cruz had a cramp and expects to play Monday," tweets Ken Gurnick.
- In the eighth, interim manager Trey Hillman (2-0) called a ballsy hit-and-run play with Juan Uribe (!) at first and Shane Victorino at the plate. Uribe eventually scored, thanks to Jason Heyward (see below).
- After wasting earlier opportunities, Mark Ellis finally broke the game open with a bases-clearing double in the ninth.
- Heyward lost not one, but two high fly balls in the sun, both times eventually leading to Dodgers runs.
Can you imagine what would happen if everybody showed up on the same day? Hopefully we'll find out what that's like during the upcoming stretch run. Dodgers complete a successful 7-3 road trip (their third this season) and return to Dodger Stadium tomorrow locked and loaded to take on the Giants!