Extra-inning walks costly as Dodgers fall

Extra-inning walks costly as Dodgers fall

Extra-inning walks costly as Dodgers fall
CHICAGO -- The Dodgers' first trip under new ownership ended Sunday with a 4-3 walk-off loss to the Cubs, injuries to Matt Kemp (tight hamstring) and Jerry Hairston (strained hamstring) and another blown save by Javy Guerra, who finally has manager Don Mattingly wavering in his support.

"Well, I've got to keep looking at it, that's for sure," Mattingly said, a departure from his usual answer that he isn't changing closers.

The game ended with an 11th-inning bases-loaded walk-off walk of David DeJesus by Jamey Wright, and the winning rally started when the Dodgers lost a ball in the lights in a day game at Wrigley Field.

Calling this one a day game was pushing it, since it started two hours and 41 minutes late because of rain and ended under the lights, which blinded third-string third baseman Adam Kennedy on Dexter Barney's shot that deflected off Kennedy's glove.

Wright intentionally walked hitless catcher Welington Castillo and hit pinch-hitter Jeff Samardzjia with a pitch to load the bases. Mattingly employed the five-man infield for the second time this trip and for the second time it really didn't come into play, as Wright walked DeJesus on a 3-2 cutter to leave the Dodgers 2-4 on the trip, having lost series in Denver and Chicago.

The Dodgers are still in first place, but they have issues. Even if Kemp's out for just a game or two, the loss of the hot-hitting (.315) Hairston could be bad enough, with Juan Uribe's wrist still hurting. Justin Sellers will get the call if Hairston is placed on the disabled list.

Then there's the bullpen. Guerra was unable to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, walking DeJesus before allowing Tony Campana's game-tying double, as the Dodgers wasted Juan Rivera's two-run homer and six solid innings from starting pitcher Aaron Harang.

Only a perfect relay from Andre Ethier to Mark Ellis to A.J. Ellis on Campana's double erased DeJesus at the plate and kept the Cubs from winning in the ninth.

"[Stewart] and DeJesus had really good at-bats," said Campana. "Stew battled him and got a two-strike hit, and Zeus [DeJesus] was able to get the walk. [Guerra] was kind of struggling to throw strikes so I figured he was going to try to throw one right down the middle and he did and I was able to hit it hard."

Guerra has three losses to go with the three blown saves and a 5.84 ERA in 14 games.

"I got one out and didn't get the rest," he said. "Physically, yeah, [I'm fine]. Everything's there. Ian Stewart had a good at-bat [nine pitches, four fouls and a single]. I have to be able to execute. He fought off and got a pitch to hit and did what he is supposed to do. He got it."

Mattingly said the club doesn't know why Guerra has had such a reversal of form from last year, when he inherited the role from Jonathan Broxton and saved 21 of 23 opportunities.

"We're not real sure," Mattingly said. "The ball is still coming out, you see the gun [95 mph], velocity is still there. He walks DeJesus; he's got to go after him. Stewart fouled off a bunch of balls, then got one over the plate. Not really, I don't really know."

Wright's having problems too. He allowed the Cubs' only run Saturday and was asked to give two innings Sunday. He allowed an infield single in the 10th, but couldn't keep the Cubs down in the 11th. He's pitched 12 innings over 11 games with 10 walks (one intentional) and hit two batters. This was his second bases-loaded walk this year.

The Dodgers scored in the second. A.J. Ellis and Tony Gwynn walked to load the bases after Hairston's single. On Harang's slow bouncer to second, Gwynn's slide into second base disrupted shortstop Starlin Castro's relay and his throw to first base was uncatchable, allowing Kennedy to score.

The injuries to Kemp, Hairston and Uribe meant the Dodgers batting order included five left-handed hitters against the left-handed Wood. They went 0-for-11 against him.

The Dodgers expanded their lead in the third inning when Mark Ellis singled, stole second and Rivera homered to left, his second of the season. After Rivera's home run, the next 14 Dodgers were retired.

The Cubs answered with two runs in the third on a two-out, two run single by Castro, driving in Wood, who had hit a one-out double inside third base.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.