Friday, July 15, 2011
Rivera, Kemp power Dodgers
Juan Rivera homered on his first pitch as a Dodger, Matt Kemp threw out a runner at the plate, hit his 23rd homer and drove in four runs, and Clayton Kershaw allowed no earned runs over seven innings.
Yet thanks to a Juan Uribe error that paved the way for four unearned runs off Kershaw in the bottom of the seventh (including a three-run homer to deep center by Xavier Nady), the Dodgers had to sweat out a 6-4 victory.
The error effectively cost the Dodgers their fourth shutout in their past five games.
Hong-Chih Kuo started the ninth and was in position to become the eighth Dodger to get a save this year, but the final out ended up going to Javy Guerra (with the tying run on first base) on a called strike three. By the way, the Dodger team record is 11 pitchers with a save in a single season, last achieved in 1979.
The Dodgers have won five in a row, but all that's done is get them to 11 games out of first place in the National League West, with a half-game drop imminent because San Francisco is romping over San Diego.