LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chad Billingsley scattered four hits over six innings, Casey Blake hit a sacrifice fly and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Billingsley (7-3) struck out nine and walked four, rebounding strongly after back-to-back losses against the Angels and Cubs. The right-hander has allowed no more than two earned runs in eight of his 12 starts this season.
Ramon Troncoso escaped a jam in the eighth when shortstop Rafael Furcal fielded Miguel Montero's sharp grounder with runners at the corners and stepped on second base before completing an inning-ending double play. Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 15 games, completing the combined seven-hitter and securing the Dodgers' second 1-0 win this season.
Jon Garland (4-5) yielded one run and four hits and struck out six in his Dodger Stadium debut. The 10-year veteran, who was born in nearby Granada Hills and played his high school ball there, is 28-25 with a 4.66 ERA in 75 starts since his consecutive 18-win seasons with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and 2006.
Both starting pitchers escaped bases-loaded jams in the fifth — Billingsley on a groundout by rookie Josh Whitesell, Garland on a dribbler up the first base line by Furcal with catcher Montero making the play.
Garland and Billingsley matched zeros until the sixth, when James Loney hit his first triple of the season past a diving Garardo Parra near the left-field line and Blake followed with his scoring flyball.
Los Angeles improved the best record in the majors to 37-18 and extended its NL West lead to a season-high 9 1/2 games over the San Francisco Giants, whose game at Washington was postponed by rain. The Dodgers' were 6 1/2 games in front when Manny Ramirez received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball on May 7 for violating its drug abuse program, and are 16-10 since then.
The Diamondbacks are 11-14 since player personnel director A.J. Hinch replaced Bob Melvin as manager on May 8. They failed to get an extra-base hit for the first time in 74 games — 54 this season — a streak that began after a 7-2 loss against Billingsley on Sept. 6 at Dodger Stadium.
Notes:@ Batting practice was called off because of afternoon showers that kept the field covered until about 45 minutes before gametime, but there was no delay of the scheduled first pitch. ... Only 17 games have been postponed due to inclement weather at Dodger Stadium since the ballpark's inaugural game on April 10, 1964. The last rainout at Chavez Ravine was 752 games ago, on April 17, 2000, with the Houston Astros in town. ... 2B Orlando Hudson, the only player to start in each of the Dodgers first 54 games, sat out his first game of the season — the same night the club commemorated his cycle on April 13 by handing out posters to everyone in attendance. "Hudson's beat up, just from playing every day," manager Joe Torre said. "We talked after the game last night, and we decided to take a day or two."
by the associated press