LA-Arizona: Ronnie Belliard Explodes in Dodgers 7-2 Victory

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LA-Arizona: Ronnie Belliard Explodes in Dodgers 7-2 Victory

After a disappointing series at home against the last-place San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers headed to the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks for a Labor Day Matinee.

The bats finally awoke for the NL West leading Dodgers (82-57), as Ronnie Belliard went 3-for-4 with two RBI and fell just a triple short of the cycle, stealing the show in a 7-2 victory over the Diamondbacks (61-78).

Belliard got into a pitch from Arizona starter Max Scherzer in the fourth inning and wrapped a long home run around the left field foul pole, his second as a Dodger. He has now started six consecutive games and is filling in at third base for Casey Blake, who has a strained hamstring.

He also added an RBI double in the eighth inning. Since he joined the Dodgers, Belliard has notched a .370 average and knocked in six runs in eight games.

As a team, the Dodgers launched three home runs off Scherzer to jump out to a 4-0 advantage.

Manny Ramirez and James Loney smacked back-to-back home runs in the second inning to start the scoring and give the Boys in Blue a 2-0 lead.

It was the 17th long ball of the season for Ramirez, but his day didn’t last long. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings ejected Ramirez after striking out in the third inning.

Manny swung and missed at the final pitch, but he was upset about a called strike earlier in the at-bat. Eddings gave the heave-ho when Ramirez tossed his bat and helmet towards the first base line and made a comment about the calls, but it sure looked like he didn’t do enough to warrant an ejection.

As for Loney, he now has 10 homers this season—all of which have come on the road.

The home run was also his first extra base hit in 10 games.

Later in the second inning, Russell Martin singled home Belliard to extend the margin to 3-0, which would be all the Dodgers needed to secure the win.

Martin has been struggling recently but now has three RBI in his last two games, as he also lifted a sacrifice fly in eighth inning. The Dodgers’ catcher hit just .239 in August, but has now hit safely in 10 of his last 11 starts.

Vicente Padilla, another late-season addition, made his third start as a Dodger and contributed six gritty innings, throwing 93 pitches and allowing only two runs, both of which came on a 430-foot home run by Chris Young in the fifth inning.

Young hit three home runs at Coors Field yesterday, and with his blast today now has 11 on the season despite hovering around the Mendoza line with a .199 average.

Padilla cruised through the first four innings, but had to work out of a tough situation in the bottom of the sixth when the Diamondbacks mounted runners on first and second with the meat of their order coming to the plate.

But Padilla buckled down to retire Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds to escape the jam and strand the tying runs on the base paths.

The 31-year old right-hander was acquired on Aug. 20 after the Texas Rangers designated him for assignment, despite an 8-6 record in the American League.

There were some doubts about Padilla’s aggressive and sometimes confrontational style of play when he came to Los Angeles, but in his three starts wearing Dodger blue, Padilla has now tossed 16.1 innings and surrendered five runs, good for a 2.76 ERA since joining the Senior Circuit.

The entire Dodgers pitching staff has been spectacular lately, leading the Majors with a 2.58 ERA since Aug. 10, and the bullpen came in to relieve Padilla and shut the door on the Diamondbacks.

Ronald Belisario, George Sherrill, and Jonathan Broxton combined to work the final three innings of shutout baseball.

Since the Colorado Rockies won 4-3 over the Cincinnati Reds, it was important for the Dodgers to win in order to maintain a three-and-a-half game lead in the division.

 

 

 

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WP: Padilla (2-0)

LP: Scherzer (9-9)

SV: Broxton (33)

 

Notes From Monday Afternoon

 

Kemp Struggling

Matt Kemp went 1-for-5 today, and is now just 2-for-27 in his last six games since homering in four straight contests; his average has dropped from .316 to .306 in that stretch.

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers 

 

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