video thumbnail

ATL@LAD: Sands drives home the Dodgers' first run

LOS ANGELES -- Vicente Padilla figures to join the Dodgers' bullpen this week, which should prevent a replay of the eight-run avalanche that buried relievers Kenley Jansen and Ramon Troncoso in the ninth inning Tuesday night.

What can fix the offense, though, nobody knows after the Dodgers saw a one-run deficit turn into a 10-1 blowout to the Braves, who slugged four home runs while the only Dodgers run scored on a groundout.

Whether it was 2-1 or 10-1, it was a loss nonetheless as the Dodgers' offense was blanked for six innings by Braves rookie starter Brandon Beachy for his first Major League victory. Beachy came into the game with a 5.09 ERA.

Of the Dodgers' 10 losses this year, they've allowed at least nine runs in five of them. Manager Don Mattingly, however, said this was different because the Dodgers were in this game for eight innings.

"We had a chance to win this game and then we couldn't stop the bleeding," Mattingly said.

Opposing manager Fredi Gonzalez agreed.

"People will get up tomorrow and read this box score seeing we won 10-1, but it wasn't that case for eight innings," Gonzalez said.

Hiroki Kuroda gave the Dodgers 6 1/3 innings, allowing solo homers by Martin Prado in the sixth and Freddie Freeman (who played for Mattingly in the Arizona Fall League) in the seventh. Kuroda issued three of the eight walks by Dodgers pitchers.

"Obviously, mistake pitches," Kuroda said of the homers. "With the offense this week, I thought we'd be able to get runs if I kept the game close, but that wasn't the outcome today."

Blake Hawksworth escaped a bases-loaded mess in the seventh and Mike MacDougal overcame back-to-back walks in the eighth, after the Dodgers pulled to within a run in the seventh on singles by Juan Uribe and James Loney and an RBI groundout by rookie Jerry Sands, who doubled earlier.

But with closer Jonathan Broxton having pitched in back-to-back games and Mattingly apparently saving Matt Guerrier should the Dodgers tie the game, he called on Jansen, the sensational rookie who last year allowed two runs in 27 innings after his callup.

Jansen allowed five runs in the ninth inning alone in this game, two scoring on a three-run homer by Dan Uggla off Troncoso. Jansen's ERA, 0.67 last year, is now 11.42. He's allowed three home runs (none last year) and 19 baserunners in 8 2/3 innings.

Those kinds of numbers might be cause for automatic demotion, except they are better than Troncoso's. Called up only last week when Hong-Chih Kuo was sent to the disabled list, Troncoso has allowed a staggering 12 hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Mattingly wasn't cutting either of them any slack and wouldn't concede that Padilla can solve all of the problems of a bullpen that has a closer (Broxton) with a 6.14 ERA and doesn't know how long it won't have Kuo, who is out with a sore back and the yips but looked healthy playing extended long toss before the game.

"We expect them to get outs there when they come in," Mattingly said of Jansen and Troncoso. "It would have been hard to burn another guy. I expect these guys to throw well all the time."

Mattingly said Jansen "hasn't been like last year. He hasn't been overpowering. We're not seeing that extra gear."

Mattingly wasn't as critical of his offense, although it wasted a quality start by Kuroda. The Dodgers are 0-for-8 with the bases loaded, .184 with runners in scoring position and .091 with runners in scoring position and two outs. They are last in the league in RBIs, runners stranded and next to last in runs scored.

"The guys in the middle are still pretty good," he said, referring to Andre Ethier (who extended his hitting streak to 16 with a double) and Matt Kemp. "James [Loney] hit the ball hard tonight. I don't know where to mix, maybe different spots, but I don't know what else to do. We were in the game tonight. It looks like that's the way we're going to play.

"We just won two in a row and we're in the game until the ninth and all of a sudden we're out of it. The game looks a lot different than the way it played out. Five to four, four to three, that doesn't bother me. I do think we'll get going and score more runs than we've been scoring." Comments