06/19/09 2:15 AM ET
Torre gets milestone W, even if Wolf doesn't
Loretta's pinch-single moves manager into fifth place in wins
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Ramon Troncoso made two pitches, got the only batter he faced on a double-play bouncer, and got the save.And a 3-2 Dodgers victory over the A's got the 2,195th managerial victory for Joe Torre, now fifth on the all-time list. Meanwhile, Randy Wolf allowed one run over six innings and all he got for his 87 pitches was a 10th hang-with-'em no-decision. So, the numbers don't always add up. "To me, the one big star has to be Wolf," said Torre. "He didn't have his good command at all, but he pieced it together, he still battled. He was determined. Because of his experience, he didn't panic. A lot of pitchers would say, 'It's not my day' and throw up their hands and get them next time." As far as the Dodgers might go this year, they wouldn't have without Wolf, no matter what his 3-2 overall record seems to imply. They've won 10 of his 15 starts and seven of his last eight. He has a 3.29 ERA and leads the team in starts and innings pitched, on a seasonal pace for 225. "It reminds you that wins and losses are out of the pitcher's control," said Mark Loretta, whose pinch-single in the seventh inning drove in the winning run. This one was a struggle for Wolf, who contained the A's while battling command problems. Oakland had runners on base each of Wolf's innings, but stranded five runners in scoring position. The only run he allowed reached base on one of his four walks. Yet he left the game in position to win, only for the bullpen (and the defense) to let a victory slip away for the sixth time.
|3.||Tony La Russa||2497|
"We somehow find a way to have more runs than they do at the end of the game," said Wolf. "I wouldn't say we're dominating, but we play a good team game. Team wins are the most important thing. We don't need to do it by a lot."And they don't. This was their 16th one-run victory, which leads the league (13-2 at home). Meanwhile, they lead the division by nine games and are a season-high 21 games above .500 as they head to Anaheim for a Freeway Series with the Angels. After the game, Wolf spoke in a voice left hoarse from his six-week coughing siege. While bloodwork hasn't come back with a specific diagnosis, he said the chest X-ray was negative and his lungs are clear. The Dodgers gave Wolf a 2-1 lead on Orlando Hudson's fifth home run and Juan Pierre's RBI single in the fifth inning. But the A's tied the game off Cory Wade in the seventh by stealing a run off Pierre. Wade hit Rajai Davis with a pitch with one out and former Dodger Nomar Garciaparra lobbed a pinch-single down the left-field line. Davis motored to third and when Pierre threw to second to keep Garciaparra from advancing, a heads-up Davis sprinted home and beat Hudson's throw. It was up to Loretta's RBI pinch-single in the seventh inning to cash in James Loney's double to break the tie. Loretta was hitless in his previous 14 pinch at-bats. With the victory, Torre broke a tie with Sparky Anderson on the all-time list and now trails Connie Mack (3,731), John McGraw (2,763), Tony La Russa (2,497) and Bobby Cox (2,357). "If you told me a dozen years ago I'd be in this rarified air, I'd say you're full of baloney," Torre said. "I started out way under .500 when I took over the Yankees. I thank George Steinbrenner for putting me in this position. I've admired Sparky for years. I'm proud to be in that company." Troncoso picked up his third save in place of Jonathan Broxton, out a second game with a sore big toe but expected back Friday night. For Troncoso, he bounced back after allowing four runs and two homers to the A's on Tuesday night, going back to his sinker after tinkering too much with a breaking ball. "That was two days ago," Troncoso said, speaking like a veteran closer. "Today's a new game, tomorrow's a new game too. The home runs, that was a terrible inning. But that's over." Troncoso followed Ronald Belisario, who pitched 1 1/3 innings in this game, 1 1/3 innings Wednesday night and one inning Tuesday night, allowing only one infield hit. "I'll have to promise him a day off tomorrow," said Torre.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.