Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dodgers stun Mariners on Kendrick's walk-off single

Howie Kendrick's two-run broken-bat single with one out in the ninth inning rallied the Dodgers to their second walk-off win in as many nights, 6-5, over the Mariners on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
"I got a sinker running in, pretty firm," Kendrick said of the pitch from Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, his Angels teammate in 2010-11. "The big thing was to get a pitch up that I could hit. It's always good to come through for my teammates."
With the Dodgers trailing, 5-4, Justin Turner led off the ninth with a single off Rodney and was singled to third by Jimmy Rollins on an 0-2 pitch. Turner was tagged out in a rundown on Carl Crawford's fielder's-choice bouncer. After Adrian Gonzalez worked a walk to load the bases, Kendrick lined Rodney's first pitch into right field to score Rollins and Crawford, who beatNelson Cruz's throw home.
"The pitch was a little bit up," said Rodney, who had a streak of 23 successful saves snapped. "That's why he pushed the ball the other way. I know he's going to swing and I tried to throw the sinker in and get a ground ball, but they got me tonight."
The rally overcame back-to-back first-inning homers by Robinson Cano and Cruz. Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma pitched five-plus innings, allowing four runs, two on a pinch-hit home run by Alex Guerrero in the fourth. Guerrero was batting for David Huff, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his Dodgers debut and first Major League start in 18 months. More >
The Mariners added a run in the fifth inning on Willie Bloomquist's RBI groundout after reliever Juan Nicasio walked the bases loaded. Andre Ethierhomered for the Dodgers leading off the bottom of the sixth, chasing Iwakuma. It was Ethier's first homer since June 29.
Muscle-bound Mariners: Cruz continued his road-trip tear with his fifth home run in the past four games, this time launching a high-arching shot just over the left-field fence in the first inning on a full-count changeup from Huff. Cruz, who homered twice in Monday's series opener, has gone deep in four straight games to tie the longest streak of his career (April 1-4, 2011, while with the Rangers). Cano hit a two-run shot one batter earlier for his first home run of the year as Seattle jumped on top 3-0. More >
A rough start: Huff, getting his first shot at being the occasional fifth starter while Hyun-Jin Ryu is on the disabled list, dug an early three-run hole by serving up the back-to-back home runs in the first. He allowed a fourth run in the fourth inning when Rickie Weeks' RBI single scored Bloomquist, who was hit by a pitch. Huff was charged with four runs on seven hits in four innings.
Guerrero's on fire: Guerrero pulled the Dodgers within a run with a two-run pinch-hit homer in the fourth inning. Guerrero, who started the previous two games with third baseman Juan Uribe nursing a sore hamstring, has eight RBIs in his last 10 at-bats.
Bullpen blues: With Iwakuma only able to go five-plus innings, the already well-worn Mariners bullpen needed to step up to protect a 5-4 lead. AfterCharlie Furbush allowed a pair of singles leading off the seventh, Yoervis Medina provided a huge lift by striking out Kendrick and getting Yasmani Grandal to ground into a double play. Medina then threw a scoreless eighth to turn the game over to Rodney. But Seattle's closer had his second straight rough outing, and this one turned into his first blown save since July 20, snapping a string of 23 straight saves. More >
• "He was available to look like he could pinch-hit." -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Yasiel Puig, limited to decoy duty by a strained left hamstring
• "It's very disappointing and we have to right the ship. But I would caution that we're 3-5, we're eight games into a 162-game schedule. And I think this team is going to be just fine." -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon after his team lost a big early lead for a second straight night even with Nos. 2 and 3 startersJames Paxton and Iwakuma on the mound.
Cruz's four-game home run streak is the longest by a Mariners player sinceAlex Rodriguez went deep five games in a row in 1999. The club record? That would be Ken Griffey Jr.'s eight-game streak in 1993, which remains a Major League record shared with the Pirates' Dale Long (1956) and Mattingly, accomplished with the Yankees in '87.
McClendon successfully challenged a stolen-base attempt by Joc Pederson in the bottom of the eighth. Pederson was called safe on the throw from catcherMike Zunino, but a quick review showed Cano tapped him on the shoulder before he reached second base. The out was the third of the inning and preserved Seattle's 5-4 lead.
Mariners: Taijuan Walker gets the start in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT Interleague series finale at Dodger Stadium. The 22-year-old right-hander looks to rebound from a rough season debut in which he gave up nine runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings in Seattle's 12-0 loss to the Angels. Walker is 3-4 with a 4.15 ERA in 12 Major League outings over the past three seasons.
Dodgers: Brett Anderson makes his second start on Jackie Robinson Night, with right fielder Yasiel Puig's playing status uncertain because of left hamstring tightness that kept him out Tuesday night. Anderson is 7-4 with a 1.81 ERA in his career against Seattle.

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