For three innings, it briefly looked like it might be one of those days against Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa, who’d allowed 12 runs (10 earned) in the first 6.2 innings of his comeback from Tommy John surgery over two starts. You know what kind of days I mean, the kind where one team clearly outmatches the opposition but just can’t get it done, and with St. Louis beating Washington today, the Dodgers are quickly running out of opportunities to waste.
Fortunately, that worry didn’t last long, thanks to another display of power from a suddenly resurgent offense. In the fourth inning, Matt Kemp his 23rd of the year and fourth in five days. After Adrian Gonzalez singled (his first of two on the day) and Hanley Ramirez flew out, Luis Cruz parked his sixth of the year, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
Ramirez made it 5-1 by driving in Shane Victorino (who had three singles) to end the fifth – Kemp was thrown out on the play as shown above, and was slow to get up – and then A.J. Ellis continued his remarkable run in the sixth by slamming homer #12, marking his sixth straight game with an RBI. That, combined with another effective game from Josh Beckett (albeit against a Colorado lineup that might not satisfy the MLB requirements for bringing enough regulars to road spring games) proved to be more than enough to sweep the series and win the team’s fifth straight game.
Unfortunately, it’s almost certainly too little too late. The 10-4 drubbing that Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals put on the Nationals keeps them two games up with three to play, and treading water isn’t good enough at this point. When they send Aaron Harang to the mound against Matt Cain and the Giants tomorrow night, the Cardinals will be about six innings into a Bronson Arroyo/Jaime Garcia matchup with the Reds in St. Louis. Can the Dodgers sweep San Francisco while the Cardinals lose at least two of three, with Adam Wainwright & Chris Carpenter lined up for the final two? Stranger things have happened, I suppose.