It was the most meaningless victory to date of the 2010 season, but it was nice, like running into an old friend from high school after some dark times.
Though they once again wasted a strong start by Hiroki Kuroda (six innings, six baserunners, one run), the Dodgers got some strong late-inning relief pitching from Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo and Octavio Dotel, stretching tonight’s game long enough for Jay Gibbons to hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning for a 4-2 victory.
Gibbons’ defense in left field almost thwarted his own heroics – he caught only one of the three balls hit to him during extra innings – but Dotel pitched around the extra baserunners for a two-inning victory.
Gibbons, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning, hit his fourth homer in his 39th plate appearance as a Dodger, tying him with Rod Barajas (45 plate appearances after going 3 for 4 tonight) for eight place on the Dodgers’ 2010 roster. Both Gibbons and Barajas are making strong cases for the Marlon Anderson/Ronnie Belliard Award, and all the good and bad that implies.