Dodgers' 12th home win ties MLB mark
Weaver allows one run in five innings in first start since '07
LOS ANGELES -- With a dreadlocked left fielder hustling on the bases, a second baseman who channels Jackie Robinson and a starting pitcher who leaves tickets for a 1970s rock star, the Dodgers Tuesday night reached a milestone even an old-school Ty Cobb could appreciate.
A 3-1 win over the D-backs gave the Dodgers their 12th consecutive victory at home to start a season, matching the modern-day record of Cobb's 1911 Detroit Tigers. It was the Dodgers' sixth consecutive win overall.
The tone of the game was pretty well set in the first inning, when Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson made the first of two spectacular diving catches to prevent Arizona from scoring in the top of the first, then triggered the rally for all of the Dodgers' runs in the bottom of the inning with a flare double.
"I closed my eyes and Jackie Robinson carried me to the ball," the three-time Gold Glove winner said.
Makes sense to Jeff Weaver, who took another step on his comeback-of-the-year journey with a triumphant return to the Dodgers' starting rotation. Making his first Major League start since 2007 and first for the Dodgers since 2005, he allowed one run on a wild pitch, lasted five innings while striking out six and walking only one.
"He gave us everything we could have expected or wanted," manager Joe Torre said. "We gave them a couple extra outs and he pitched around that. He couldn't have been better than he was."
It was like old times for Weaver, who won 27 games for the Dodgers from 2004-05.
"I finally had a pass list again," said Weaver, the Southern California native who spent all last year and the beginning of this year in the Minor Leagues. "I had a handful of people show up and share it with me. My parents, a couple buddies, my wife and Gary Wright. You know who he is?"
Wright sang the 1976 hit "Dream Weaver," not only on the platinum album but at Weaver's wedding.
"We met when I was pitching in Detroit, we kept in touch and he sang at my wedding," Weaver said. "He came to show support."
Weaver had just enough support in the field. There was Hudson's first catch racing out to right field on Mark Reynolds' popup to end the first inning with a runner on second base, another diving web gem toward shallow center field off the bat of opposing pitcher Max Scherzer with runners on the corners to end the fourth inning.
"I didn't think he had a prayer on either one," Torre said.
And there was barely enough offense in the bottom of the first inning, in which the Dodgers scored for the third consecutive game. Andre Ethier had a one-out RBI single on which Manny Ramirez went from first to third, so Ramirez was able to score on James Loney's groundout to second. Shortstop Josh Wilson's throwing error allowed a third run to score.
That was it for the Dodgers, who then relied on pitching. Weaver had to work out of repeated jams, having allowed hits to the leadoff hitter in the first three innings. The D-backs went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"He said he didn't do a good job with the leadoff hitters, but that's pretty much why we felt good about sending him out there," said Torre, who replaced rookie James McDonald with Weaver. "He's done this. He's never been one to rattle."
But Weaver said he appreciated the historical significance of the record win.
"I'm happy for the team -- 12-0 and I hope we get 13," he said. "You never know exactly how the road is going to turn. I'm fortunate to be part of something like this, it's really special. I'd like to stick around and keep it rolling and get the team to the postseason."
Torre received four scoreless innings from his bullpen, using four relievers. Ramon Troncoso ran his scoreless innings streak to 14 1/3 with 1 2/3 innings; Will Ohman got a key out by retiring Chad Tracy to end the seventh inning; Ronald Belisario struck out the side in the eighth and Jonathan Broxton fanned a pair in a scoreless ninth inning for his eighth save.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.