Anderson delivers third consecutive walk-off
RBI single in 14th gives Los Angeles a sweep of Arizona
LOS ANGELES -- Two players the Angels gave up on put the finishing touches on another Dodgers walk-off win and another Arizona walk-off loss on Wednesday.
Former Angels All-Star Garret Anderson's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 14th inning drove home Matt Kemp for a 1-0 win, providing the first Major League victory for rookie reliever Travis Schlichting, a former Angels infield prospect who was called up on Sunday and pitched four innings for the first time since the Arizona Fall League.
It was the first time the Dodgers have had three consecutive walk-off wins since 1982; the first time since 2001 that any two teams played back-to-back nine-inning scoreless games; and the first time for the Dodgers since 1919.
The Dodgers' fourth series sweep only added to the misery of the D-backs, who have lost their last 10, went winless on a nine-game trip and are 1-8 against the Dodgers this year. It was Arizona's fourth consecutive walk-off loss, tying a Major League record.
"Anybody who doesn't think pitching is the name of the game, take a look at the numbers of this series," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Dodgers pitchers held the D-backs scoreless over the last 31 innings of the series, their longest roll since a 37-inning span in 1991.
Less than a day after Kemp's home run in the bottom of the 10th won Tuesday night's 1-0 game, Torre had to lift Rule 5 rookie starter Carlos Monasterios from his scoreless pitchers' duel with former Dodger Edwin Jackson after five innings because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Jackson kept going through nine scoreless innings.
Monasterios allowed only two hits with no walks, lowering his ERA to an eye-popping 1.87 (second among NL rookies) and for now securing a spot in the starting rotation alongside fellow rookie John Ely, if the blister cooperates. In three starts, Monasterios has a 1.93 ERA.
"I can throw next time," said Monasterios, who had the blister drained of fluid. "I can throw tomorrow."
With Hong-Chih Kuo and Jeff Weaver off-limits after pitching the night before, Torre paraded every other reliever he had -- Ramon Troncoso for one inning, Justin Miller for two, Jonathan Broxton and Ronald Belisario for one each, then turned it over to Schlichting, a converted infielder once released by the Angels who pitched in independent ball before being signed by the Dodgers.
By the 14th, Schlichting's fastball had lost four miles an hour from the 11th inning, and he allowed a one-out single and walk, but got Augie Ojeda and Rusty Ryal on flies to center.
"It felt great out there," said Schlichting, who made two appearances in a 2009 big league cameo before blowing out a disk in his back. "I think last year I was a little nervous coming out. I don't know, this year just felt different, I just feel more relaxed and more calm out there which is a good thing to feel."
The irony wasn't lost on Schlichting, however, that the Dodgers' bullpen is spent, and if a reliever is called up for Thursday night's series opener with Atlanta, Schlichting could be the one sent down to make room.
"The same thing crossed my mind," Schlichting admitted. "I mean, that would hurt, but if that's the move that has to be made to help the team win, I'd understand."
Until Anderson's hit, all the Dodgers could do was stay even. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position until then with only six hits, three of them by Jamey Carroll, as Torre did not start regulars Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake and Russell Martin.
Of course, they all played before it was over, with Reed Johnson remaining the only Dodgers position player who did not enter the game. Torre reluctantly had Weaver warming up when D-backs center fielder Chris Young made a diving trap of Anderson's liner to left-center, which scored Kemp from third. Kemp led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch and third on James Loney's ground out.
"I had no idea where we would have gone from there," said Torre.
Anderson -- 0-for-5 to that point and unable to advance the runner after Loney's double leading off the 10th -- hung the loss on Arizona reliever Cesar Valdez. Anderson was hitting .146 when he came to bat and was greeted by boos from the few thousand fans still remaining from the announced crowd of 35,355.
"I've heard that before," Anderson said of the boos. "I mean, I wasn't getting something done. I don't mind hearing boos out there when I'm not doing things I'm capable of."
Anderson was chased down by Kemp in the on-field celebration, which was tempered for the third straight day by awareness of the broken leg suffered by the Angels' Kendry Morales.
"I was trying to get away as far as I could but I'm not going to get away from those young guys," said Anderson.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.