Kemp single gives Dodgers extra-inning win over A’s
LOS ANGELES – Joe Torre tied Sparky Anderson for fifth place on the all-time managerial wins list, and Matt Kemp helped him do it in dramatic fashion.
Kemp drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the 10th inning, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Tuesday night and providing Torre with his 2,194th victory during the regular season.
Torre, whose loss total is 36 fewer than Anderson’s, has won six pennants and four World Series titles. Anderson won five pennants and three World Series championships. Both were named AL manager of the year twice, Torre with the New York Yankees, Anderson with the Detroit Tigers.
“It means you’ve been around a long time,” Torre said. “It’s a pretty good neighborhood. Sparky’s a friend. I’ve had respect for Sparky Anderson from the first moment I met him, and even before that when I watched him manage in the early days as a 37-year-old kid.”
Orlando Hudson greeted Brad Ziegler (1-2) with a leadoff single and Casey Blake reached on a fielding error by two-time Gold Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera. James Loney, who doesn’t have a sacrifice bunt all season, bunted two pitches foul before grounding into a double play.
Loney originally was ruled safe at first after second baseman Adam Kennedy’s throw pulled first baseman Jason Giambi off the bag. But TV replays showed Giambi tagged Loney in time. Oakland manager Bob Geren asked umpire Jim Joyce to get a second opinion, and the call was reversed.
Kemp promptly followed with a single to right to score Hudson and send the A’s to their fourth straight loss.
“We never lose confidence,” Kemp said. “We always feel like we’re in the game, especially with this offense. And it showed again tonight. We’ve got a lot of fight.”
Guillermo Mota (3-1) pitched a perfect 10th for the victory, making the Dodgers 15-5 in one-run games and 12-1 at home.
Giambi hit a three-run homer with one out in the eighth inning against Dodgers reliever Ramon Troncoso – ending a 3-for-23 slump – and Troncoso’s scoreless streak at 13 2-3 innings. Bobby Crosby added a solo shot off the right-hander two batters later to give Oakland a 4-2 lead.
“It’s deflating, but we know there’s still time,” Andre Ethier said. “The mentality in here is to play all nine innings and we’ll get another chance before the last out is made. We just find a way to win, and it’s not just one particular guy who’s doing it every night.”
The Dodgers tied it with two in the bottom of the eighth. Both runs were charged to reliever Michael Wuertz, who gave up an RBI single by Blake. Ethier drove in Blake with a fielder’s choice grounder against closer Andrew Bailey, who was charged with his fourth blown save in nine chances.
Blake and Loney hit consecutive RBI doubles in the sixth to break a scoreless tie after reliever Ronald Belisario retired Nomar Garciaparra with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw scattered four hits over 5 2-3 innings and struck out eight. He was lifted in the sixth after giving up a two-out double to Giambi and a walk to Cabrera. Garciaparra batted for Jack Hannahan and Belisario retired the former Dodger on a grounder to first after both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Oakland lefty Dallas Braden allowed two runs and four hits over six innings and retired his first 14 batters before Kemp doubled to left-center with two out in the fifth. This was the seventh time in his 14 starts this season that the A’s have scored fewer than two runs while Braden was in the game.
“He goes out and does his best and puts us in a position to win,” Geren said. “The (lack of) runs that we get when he pitches, it’s nothing that a starting pitcher can control. There will be days when he’ll get a ton of runs. Over time, it all evens out. So if he just keeps doing his job well, good things will happen.”
NOTES: Troncoso had pitched 43 2-3 consecutive innings without allowing a home run before facing Giambi. … Mitch Jones, who hit 21 homers in 192 at-bats for the Dodgers’ Triple-A Albuquerque club this season, made his major league debut at age 31 and struck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. RHP Jason Schmidt was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for him on the 40-man roster.