Russ Mitchell hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Dodgers rallied for three more runs in the 10th, giving them a 6-4 win over the White Sox in their interleague play opener at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Kenley Jansen pitched two scoreless innings for the victory, his first of the season. The game featured contributions from a number of unlikely heroes for the Dodgers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Dodgers were down 3-2 in the eighth inning when Jamey Carroll hit a double down the left field line that would have easily scored Jerry Sands from first base, only the ball happened to bounce over the fence. That gave the Dodgers runners at second and third base with no outs, and the heart of the batting order due up. However, Andre Ethier struck out and, after an intentional walk to Matt Kemp, Juan Castro struck out and James Loney grounded out to end the rally. Castro entered the game in the previous half inning on defense after Juan Uribe suffered a strained hip flexor.
The extent of Uribe's injury is unknown, but the Dodgers currently have eight players on the disabled list and have sent 11 different players to 14 DL trips this year. After Mitchell's home run, the first run allowed by Sergio Santos in 21 innings this season, the Dodgers touched up Santos for three more runs in the 10th inning. Both Castro and Loney drove in runs, as did Jay Gibbons.
Matt Guerrier began the bottom of the 10th inning, and was followed by Scott Elbert (who retired Adam Dunn, who is 0-for-30 against southpaws this season) and Mike MacDougal to close out the game. MacDougal became the fifth Dodger to collect a save this season.
Lost in the late heroics was a solid pitching performance from Ted Lilly. Lilly allowed three runs on five consecutive two-out hits in the second inning, but settled down to retire 16 of the final 18 batters he faced. Matt Kemp, who started Friday night at DH after starting the 45 previous games in center field, hit a two-run home run in the first inning, which was the only Dodger offense until Mitchell's blast in the ninth inning.
Mitchell had seven hits and 56 at-bats in his career before the home run in the ninth inning. Jamey Carroll picked up his first four-hit game as a Dodger, and the seventh of his career. The Dodgers are 4-0 in extra innings this season. Before tonight, the Dodgers were 11-37 in American League parks since 2005. Jon Garland, who pitched for the White Sox from 2000 to 2007, starts for the Dodgers on Saturday, against Mark Buehrle of Chicago.
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