It wasn’t for lack of hitting the ball hard. Three times the Dodgers smashed Whac-a-mole shots at Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello, and all they got for their trouble was an infield single and three outs.
So even though the Dodgers always seemed on the verge of rallying to overcome the three runs Hiroki Kuroda allowed in the first inning Sunday, eventually things all fell apart in a 6-2 loss to Detroit.
For the third consecutive day, a different Dodger starting pitcher held the Tigers scoreless after the first inning. But unfortunately for Kuroda (six innings, six hits, one walk, five strikeouts), the Dodger offense did not have much luck on its side.
- With Russell Martin on second base in the bottom of the first inning, Porcello snared Matt Kemp’s liner and turned it into a double play.
- With runners on first and second base in the bottom of the fourth inning, Porcello flagged James Loney’s hot shot and turned it into an out that helped him exit the inning without allowing a run.
- There was another shot off Porcello that went for an infield hit, and the Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on Xavier Paul’s single to left. But with two on and two out, Kemp rocketed one to center – deep, but not deep enough.
After that, virtually nothing went the Dodgers way. Manny Ramirez grounded out as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the sixth, and Magglio Ordonez homered off Ronald Belisario in the eighth to give Detroit an insurance run. The Dodgers got their 10th hit and third walk in the bottom of the eighth inning, but pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard hit into the team’s third double play. The Tigers added two more runs in the ninth, and Martin made it four double plays to end the game.
Martin, Paul, Garret Anderson, Blake DeWitt and Jamey Carroll each reached base twice, but it just wasn’t the Dodgers’ day.