Dodgers-Braves: Broxton Blows Save, LA Falls in 12 Innings

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Dodgers-Braves: Broxton Blows Save, LA Falls in 12 Innings

The Los Angeles Dodgers engaged in a back-and-forth battle with the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium but fell on the wrong side of late-inning rally on Friday night.

Joe Torre called on Sunday’s probable starter Scott Elbert with two runners on and one out in the top of the 12th.

Following a strikeout, Yunel Escobar singled home a run to put the Braves on top 6-5, then Ryan Church lined a three-run home run into the right field bleachers to break the game open at 9-5.

Casey Blake went 3-for-6 with a three-run home run for the Dodgers, and Russell Martin went 3-for-5 in the losing effort.  

Chad Billingsley beat the Braves on Sunday but left after five innings with a cramp in his hamstring. This time around, he departed after six innings with an apparent injury to the same hamstring.

Billingsley came out to warm up for the seventh inning, but couldn’t make it through all eight tosses. He came out after throwing 78 pitches and allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits.

The scoring began in the second when Church drove home a run to spring the Braves (56-54) to a 1-0 advantage.

Los Angeles (67-43) evened the count at 1-1 in the bottom half of the frame on an Orlando Hudson RBI single that brought home Russell Martin.

The second Atlanta run came across in the third on a double play ball by Martin Prado, and Los Angeles countered an inning later with the same play, just off the bat of Hudson and tying the game at 2-2.

A bizarre play unfolded in the bottom of the fifth inning when Rafael Furcal attempted to steal second base. Andre Ethier was batting with a 3-1 count, and took a pitch that home plate umpire Eric Cooper called a strike. The throw was right on the money and Furcal was called out at second.

Somehow, Cooper decided that it was actually a ball at the plate, which gave Ethier a walk and rendered Furcal safe at second.

Bobby Cox came out and notched his all-time record to 148 ejections when he was sent packing after arguing a play that the umpires clearly mixed up.

After a Manny Ramirez strikeout, the Dodgers capitalized on the gift-wrapped call when Casey Blake cleaned up the base paths with a three-run home run.

The blast was Blake’s 13th of the season, soaring high into the left field pavilion and putting the Dodgers on top 5-2.

It was his first home run since July 5 (21 games) at San Diego and it also chased Jair Jurrgens from the contest.

According to Vin Scully, the home run broke the 2-2 tie, “with assists from Eric Cooper and [second base umpire] Chuck Meriwether.”

The Braves cut the deficit to 5-4 when Kelly Johnson homered to centerfield off left-handed reliever Hong Chi-Kuo.

Atlanta then tried to scrap back and had the tying run at second in the seventh and at third in the eighth, but just as the Dodgers did last night, didn’t break through until the ninth.

Jonathan Broxton came on for the save and had been a perfect 12-for-12 this season at Dodger Stadium. He walked Nate McClouth with one out, and then McClouth swiped second.

Broxton recorded a second strikeout, but Garrett Anderson rolled an RBI single into right field to tie the game at 5-5.

Freshly called-up Tony Abreu had a bases loaded plate appearance in the 11th, but he grounded out to shortstop to end the threat. Abreu last played in the majors in ’07.

The Dodgers’ will send 21-year old southpaw Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.89) to the mound against Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4,38).

 

 

 

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WP: Moylan (4-2)

LP: Troncoso (4-1)

 

Notes from Friday night

 

One 1,000—Two 1,000…

Orlando Hudson recorded hit 1,000th career hit last night. Next up: Casey Blake, who is just 23 hits shy of the milestone.

 

Same Old Schmidt

Jason Schmidt was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He was scheduled to start on Sunday, but youngster Scott Elbert will make his first career Major League start to replace him in the series finale against the Braves.

 

Chipper a Late Scratch

Chipper Jones injured himself during batting practice before the game and was a late scratch from the lineup. He was 3-for-4 last night with a home run.

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers

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