After rally, unearned run seals Dodgers' fate

After rally, unearned run seals Dodgers' fate

After rally, unearned run seals Dodgers' fate
LOS ANGELES -- After erasing an early four-run deficit for the second consecutive night, it appeared as if the Dodgers were destined again for another come-from-behind win.

But this time there was no thrilling victory in the books for Los Angeles as the White Sox didn't allow a single Dodger to get a hit in the last five innings en route to a 5-4 victory at Dodger Stadium.

"We're grinding until that very last out is over and the game is over," said starter Chad Billingsley, who took the loss. "We are a team that has come back early or late in the game. We never quit."

On Friday, the team battled back early with a four-run rally in the third to tie the game after the Dodgers dug themselves a quick hole. As for the late-game comeback, the team's bats went missing.

With his team trailing, 4-0, in the third, Billingsley got things started with a hit to lead off the inning. Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier followed with singles to load the bases with no outs.

One by one, all three would score in the inning, thanks to a Jerry Hairston sacrifice fly and RBI singles by Bobby Abreu and A.J. Ellis. The Dodgers tied it up later in the inning with an RBI knock by James Loney to score Abreu and by the end of the inning, the Dodgers had strung together six hits for four runs.

"It was one of those innings where we put a bunch of hits together," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We are down 4-0 there and to get back in the game I thought it was a huge momentum swing. But then to give that one run right back, we let that momentum get back on their side."

That go-ahead run in the fourth was scored by Alexei Ramirez, who was hit by a Billingsley curveball to start things off. Ramirez stole second, took third on Hairston's fielding error and scored on Alejandro De Aza's fielder's choice.

"At that point, after that inning, nobody was really able to score," Mattingly said. "They get that run and we weren't able to score back the rest of the night."

That's because Chicago starter Philip Humber and the White Sox bullpen took over and shut down the Dodgers.

"Those guys continue to come in and get the job done," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said about his relievers. "They come in and shut it down for four-plus."

As for Humber, Ventura said it wasn't his best outing, but he said the righty was able to battle through it and put the White Sox in position to win. Humber got the win, but he was tagged for nine hits and four runs in only five innings.

Billingsley, who was coming off a pair of promising wins -- giving up only one run in seven innings in both -- after a nine-game winless streak, didn't fare much better. The 27-year-old righty wasn't able to carry over his recent success into Saturday's game, giving up five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits in six innings as he struggled with his fastball command.

He first got into trouble in the second when a Paul Konerko double and an Alex Rios single put runners on the corners with no outs. After A.J. Pierzynski struck out, Ramirez dropped in a bloop single into left-center to score both baserunners. The shortstop would later score on an RBI single by Humber, his first career hit.

A Rios triple the next inning on a misplayed jump at the wall in center field by Elian Herrera scored Adam Dunn to give the White Sox a 4-0 lead.

"The biggest thing when you talk about Chad is the consistency," Mattingly said. "Obviously, you see two outings in a row are really good. But this is a pretty good ballclub over there, too. We're not talking about a team that can't hit."

For the ninth time in 13 games, the Dodgers' final outcome was decided by a single run. And on Saturday, after the team came back from being down four runs yet again, it felt as if L.A. was going to pull out another one in heroic fashion.

"We never sell ourselves short," Billingsley said. "We are trying to find a way every time.

"We're going to battle you to the very last out. That's what we've shown throughout the season."

Despite the loss, the Dodgers head into Sunday's series finale with the best record in the Majors at 41-25. With the Giants losing to Seattle on Saturday, L.A. continues to hold a four-game lead in the National League West.

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.