Dodgers reward new owners with home win

Dodgers reward new owners with home win

Dodgers reward new owners with home win
LOS ANGELES -- On a night full of buzz as the Dodgers played their first home game under Guggenheim Baseball Management, the new owners got to see just how well the team is playing this season.

Behind six strong innings from starter Ted Lilly and an offense that plated nine runs, tying a season high, the Dodgers got a 9-1 win over the rival Giants on Monday at Dodger Stadium.

"The fans were excited," Matt Kemp said. "We talked in the clubhouse about how crowded it was for a Monday night game. It really was great to see."

Los Angeles won its fourth consecutive game at Chavez Ravine and improved its Major League-best home record to 11-2.

"You felt it. The energy was big, especially when you hear Magic Johnson's name announced," Lilly said. "A lot of happy people in L.A. right now."

With the score tied at 1 in the sixth, a single by Bobby Abreu and a walk by Juan Uribe put runners on first and second with one out. A.J. Ellis then doubled down the right-field line, scoring Abreu.

Still not done, a safety squeeze by pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn scored Uribe after a throw to first by Giants third baseman Conor Gillaspie pulled Buster Posey off first base, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

Getting an insurance run in the seventh, Kemp doubled before a fielder's choice by Juan Rivera and an error by Giants reliever Steve Edlefsen on a throw to third plated Kemp.

Kemp reached base in all four of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Raising his batting average up to .406, Kemp also continued his domination against Giants starter Barry Zito, picking up a pair of hits to raise his career batting average to .449 vs. the lefty.

The Dodgers scored five more in the eighth, highlighted by Andre Ethier's two-run single to hike his league-leading RBI total to 30.

The eight-run win was the team's largest margin of victory since beating Pittsburgh 15-1 on Sept. 18 of last season.

"It was all different guys tonight," manager Don Mattingly said. "It seemed like a game where we got breaks and instead of getting one run, we got a bunch. Up and down the lineup, everyone hit well."

Yet before the five-run eighth, birthday boy James Loney made a diving grab at first base in the top half of the inning with runners on second and third to stop the possibility of a Giants rally in a tight three-run ballgame at the time.

"He made a great play there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If that ball gets away, it's two runs in and the tying run on second. It turned the whole game around. Our wheels just came off. It's happened a few times."

Removed in his last start due to stiffness in his right side, Lilly showed no signs of the injury, surrendering just one run on four hits for the win. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA.

Lilly also tied his career-long winning streak at seven games and has gone 7-0 with a 1.03 ERA in his last eight starts.

"Lilly just seemed sharper coming into spring and it has really shown so far this season," Mattingly said. "His ball was down and had finish tonight. His breaking stuff was also better."

Cruising through the first two innings, Lilly got out of a jam in the third with runners on the corners, when Melky Cabrera grounded out to second base to end the threat.

"I was able to get the changeup over for strikes when I needed to, and that really was the difference tonight," said Lilly.

The Dodgers put a run on the board in the bottom half of the inning, when Rivera hit a fielder's choice to second base, scoring Mark Ellis from third after he doubled earlier in the inning.

The Giants got a runner into scoring position against Lilly in the fifth when Dee Gordon misplayed a grounder to shortstop and had an errant throw to the left of first base that put Angel Pagan on second with two outs. But the left-hander got Ryan Theriot to fly out to right field.

Another error by Kemp on a soft fly ball hit by Cabrera to begin the sixth put him on second with no outs. After a wild pitch by Lilly moved Cabrera up to third, a single by Joaquin Arias tied the score at 1.

Kemp, who is continuing to deal with a tight left hamstring, was replaced in center field by Gwynn to begin the eighth inning. After the game, Mattingly said Kemp was feeling fine and that he took him out as a precaution.

"It's a win, but it's early. It's a great rivalry with the Giants," Mattingly said. "We had a trip that we should have done better, and coming home, we got on the right foot forward coming out of the gate."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.