The Comeback: Dodgers 10, Blue Jays 9

Adrian Gonzalez got the big hit Tuesday night. His 8th inning three run blast gave the Dodgers a 9-8 lead after they’d trailed 5-2 and 8-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Dodgers would go on to win the game 10-9. (Image source: USA Today at http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/ac1394dbdcca6a36cbf486633b129cd813095ac3/r=x404&c=534×401/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2013/07/23/1374635651000-GTY-174314604-agon-1307232315_4_3.jpg)

The Dodgers extended their post-All Star Break winning streak to five games tonight, posting a 10-9 victory of the Toronto Blue Jays in dramatic fashion.  In addition to a five game win streak, the Dodgers have now won nine consecutive games on the road.

Trailing 8-3 after a bad start by Chris Capuano and a bad relief stint by the newly-brought up Carlos Marmol, the Dodgers managed to make up the ground in the later parts of the game and pulled off a 10-9 victory.

The game was full of big hits, but perhaps none was bigger than Adrain Gonzalez’s two-on, none out smash in the top of the eighth inning.  The home run to dead center traveled an estimated 430 feet and might have gone twice that distance on the roll if the black-covered seats didn’t get in the way.

Here’s how the game went.

The two teams managed to stay scoreless until the bottom of the third in this one when the Blue Jays scored first.  Jose Reyes had an RBI double and Jose Bautista had an RBI single to stake the Jays to a 2-0 lead on Chris Capuano.

The Dodgers evened the score in the top of the fourth.  Yasiel Puig singled, Adrian Gonzalez grounded into a forceout, Hanley Ramirez managed an infield single, then Andre Ethier skipped a ball over the left-center field wall for a ground rule double, scoring Gonzalez and giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.  Mark Ellis then singled home Ramirez, tying the game at 2.

Capuano never seemed to get on track after the third inning and gave up two more runs in the bottom of the fourth.  Mark DeRosa hit a solo homer out to right field, then Brett Lawrie hit a sacrifice fly three batters later, giving the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead.

The Jays extended their lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth.  Jose Bautista hit his 23rd homer of the year, a solo shot to center with one out, chasing Capuano to the game and allowing Carlos Marmol to make his Dodger debut.  Marmol would manage to get out of the fifth inning without surrendering any further runs.

Capuano managed to pitch only 4 1/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits, walking one and striking out two.

Jerry Hairston, Jr. would do some pitcher chasing of his own in the top of the sixth, blasting a home run into the left-center field seats to narrow the Jays’ lead to 5-3 and chasing starter Todd Redmond from the game.  Redmond went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs while walking one and striking out six batters.  Redmond left with no runners on base and the lead, one out short of a “quality start.”

The Blue Jays would rough up Carlos Marmol in the bottom of the sixth.  J.P. Arencibia almost hit a ball over the center field wall, saved only by Andre Ethier getting a glove on it and putting it back into the field of play.  Arencibia wound up with a double.  Brett Lawrie singled to score Arencibia, who had taken third on a wild pitch.  Then Jose Reyes smashed a ball down the right field line for a 2-run home run off Marmol that gave the Jays what appeared to be an insurmountable 8-3 lead with their bullpen, which has been the team’s one strong point in an otherwise disappointing season, entrusted with the five run lead.

However, the Dodgers have shown us recently that no lead is safe and that you have to record 27 outs to end a ballgame against them (and sometimes more.)

Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil managed one out in the seventh before the wheels came off.  Yasiel Puig had an infield single to third, Adrian Gonzalez singled to left, then Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier managed back-to-back walks to force in a run (represented by Puig) with the bases loaded and cutting the Jays lead to 8-4.  Dustin McGowan then relieved Brett Cecil and promptly gave up a sharp single down the left field line to Mark Ellis, scoring Gonzalez and Ramirez and making the score 8-6.  Nick Punto hit a hard liner with two outs back to McGowan who did not field it cleanly and threw home to force Ethier, though replays showed that catcher J.P. Arencibia might not have had a full grip on the ball and that Ethier might have beaten him to the plate.

The Blue Jays threatened in the bottom of the seventh, but Brandon League, who has shown some improvement as of late, managed to strike out Arencibia on three pitches with a runner on third to end the inning.  League would find himself rewarded for picking up this big strikeout the very next inning.

The Dodgers started out the top of the eighth carrying on the fire they’d shown in the seventh.  Carl Crawford singled, Yasiel Puig drew a walk, then Gonzalez hit his blast off of Darren Oliver off the tarp covering the seats in back of center field, giving the Dodgers a 9-8 lead.  Andre Ethier would follow two batters later by hitting a line drive down the right field wall that carried over the wall, then caromed off of the secondary wall behind it for a solo shot that gave the Dodgers a 10-8 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Ronald Belisario got two quick outs and then gave up a single to Colby Rasmus, bringing up Jose Bautista with a chance to tie the game.  Bautista took three balls, then a strike down the middle before Belisario threw him two of the nastiest sliders he has thrown perhaps in his entire career.  Bautista was clearly sitting fastball on both pitches, swinging mightily at both and striking out on a ball that went about 58 feet then torpedo’d straight for the dirt.  Catcher Tim Federowicz stopped the ball and put the tag on Bautista to end the inning.

Kenley Jansen had an adventure in the ninth, giving up a ground rule double, a walk, and an RBI single to Arencibia that cut the Dodger lead to 10-9, but got a long fly ball from Brett Lawrie that landed in the glove of left fielder Carl Crawford to end the game.

In a wild game in Toronto, Brandon League picks up the win, improving his season record to 4-3.  Darren Oliver’s disastrous eighth inning gives him credit for a blown save and the loss, his record falls to 3-2.  Kenley Jansen, despite the shaky inning, picked up his 12th save of the season.

The Dodgers take yet another series and look to ensure that they return to Los Angeles in first place today at 4:07 p.m. local time.  Ricky Nolasco (1-1, 3.12 ERA since coming to the Dodgers and 6-9, 3.75 ERA overall) takes on Esmil Rogers (3-4, 3.84 ERA) of the Blue Jays in the third and final game at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

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