The Angels, who had won nine of 12 coming in, answered with a run the Dodgers could have prevented. Guerrero led off with a fly in the right-field corner. After a long and circuitous run, Matt Kemp was unable to reel in the ball and it bounced over the wall for a double. One out later, Casey Kotchman singled home Guerrero. But Lowe got Garrett Anderson on a fly to center and he struck out Howie Kendrick.The Dodgers turned it over to the bullpen. Jonathan Broxton struck out two in an easy eighth, but Takashi Saito had to work for his 19th save, allowing a pair of two-out infield singles before Anderson bounced out, giving the Dodgers a four-game win streak after sweeping the Mets. "That's our strength, getting to those guys with a lead and they've been money for us all year," said Gonzalez. Lowe had a self-deprecating explanation for the strikeouts by a sinkerball pitcher. "It's all luck," he said. "I don't ever try to strike anybody out. My goal is to get every out on ground balls. If they swing and miss, maybe I'm tricking them." However, Lowe agreed that his sinker has been effective lately (3-1, 1.75 ERA in last five starts) and was particularly nasty Friday night. One possible explanation for his recent success (seven of nine quality starts) is eliminating between-starts bullpen sessions. "I never really felt like I got a lot out of them, and sometimes when you're pitching well in games, you can get yourself into a funk in between," he said. "So I just stopped them and it seems to be working." Was his decision influenced by another pitcher who skips such practice work? "Uh, yeah, Pedro [Martinez]," he said. Told that he hadn't been a teammate of Martinez in three years, Lowe said: "OK, it took me awhile."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less