Dodgers-Diamondbacks: Ramon Troncoso Loses Control, NL West Lead Shrinks to 2.5

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Dodgers-Diamondbacks: Ramon Troncoso Loses Control, NL West Lead Shrinks to 2.5

Jon Garland went pitch-for-pitch with his former teammate Dan Haren. Yet as brilliantly as each pitched, the game fell onto the arms of the bullpen.

Ramon Troncoso issued a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to sink the Los Angeles Dodgers (83-58), 4-3, against the Arizona Diamondbacks (62-79).

Troncoso had intentionally walked the previous two hitters to load the bases after committing a throwing error to lead off the inning. 

Not only was it a heart-wrenching loss, but it also allowed the Colorado Rockies to creep within two-and-a-half games in the NL West, as Colorado scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning versus the Cincinnati Reds to come from behind and win their sixth consecutive ball game earlier in the evening.

Garland had had little success at Chase Field prior to tonight, going 4-5 with a 5.35 ERA as a Diamondback in 13 starts this season.

However, the recently acquired right-hander tossed six innings and allowed three runs on six hits, while throwing just 89 pitches.

He was taken deep twice but had a solid outing in his second appearance as a Dodger, both of which have come against his former team.

Last Thursday he faced them and surrendered just two runs in seven innings at Dodger Stadium.

Haren, his counterpart, pitched a hard-nosed 7.1 innings, fanning nine and throwing 119 pitches.

At one point, the 6’5” ace struck out four consecutive Los Angeles hitters.

Haren exited with runners on first and second in the eighth, but Juan Gutierrez got Manny Ramirez and James Loney to strike out, ending the threat and keeping the game deadlocked at 3-3.

The Dodgers had leapt out to a 1-0 lead on Haren, capitalizing on a leadoff triple from Rafael Furcal with a Manny Ramirez infield single.

Furcal has now hit safely in eight of his last nine games and scored seven runs in his last five games to provide a spark at the top of the lineup.

The Dodgers shortstop also made one of the best defensive plays of the season, robbing Haren of a single with the bases loaded and two out in the fourth inning with the Boys in Blue ahead 2-1 at the time. The play surely saved one run and most likely two from scoring.

Arizona grabbed a 2-1 lead when Miguel Montero and Chris Young hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning. Montero went 3-for-3 and came up a triple short of the cycle, while the homer from Young was his second of the series and fifth in his past four games.

Ramirez and Loney answered the call, stealing the lead with a back-to-back job of their own in the fourth inning.

Ramirez smacked a line drive into the right field bleachers for his 18th homer of the season—12 of which have been solo shots—and continued to give Haren and the D-Backs nightmares.

Manny is hitting .577 (15-for-26) with three homers in his career against Haren, and his average of .421 (40-for-95) against Arizona is the highest against any team in his career.

Loney followed by crushing a fastball that landed in the overhang above the center field wall, inching the Dodgers in front 3-2.

The pair also hit consecutive homers on Monday afternoon in the first game of the three-game tilt.

Los Angeles has struggled to find power throughout the season but has connected for 21 homers in the past 16 contests.

The Dodgers will enjoy a day off tomorrow and then take on the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, when Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 4.15) will face Matt Cain (13-4, 2.51). The Giants lost tonight and sit six-and-a-half games behind in the division.

 

 

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WP: Gutierrez (4-3)

LP: Troncoso (4-3)

 

Notes from Wednesday Night

Wolf Joins Growing Group of Injured


Randy Wolf has been scratched from his start on Friday against the Giants. Clayton Kershaw was originally supposed to start that contest, but he hurt his non-throwing shoulder on Sunday. Jim Thome and Casey Blake have also been sidelined recently with toe and hamstring injuries, respectively.

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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