Phils lose heartbreaker to Dodgers

August 12, 2008 10:37:43 PM PDT
Phils relievers could not hold a 3-2 lead in the eighth. The Phillies have now lost two in a row to the Dodgers.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andre Ethier singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Casey Blake had two RBIs for Los Angeles, including a sacrifice fly that tied it in the eighth.

Phillies reliever J.C. Romero (4-4) began the ninth by hitting Russell Martin with a pitch. Martin went to second on James Loney's groundout to first, then scored when Ethier lined a 1-2 pitch into the outfield.

Hong-Chih Kuo (4-2) pitched two hitless innings for the win.

The Dodgers tied it 3-all in the eighth against reliever Chad Durbin, who hit Manny Ramirez just above the left elbow with a pitch to load the bases with none out. Blake followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Matt Kemp, but Nomar Garciaparra grounded into an inning-ending double play in his first game off the disabled list.

Trailing 3-1, the Dodgers opened the sixth with singles by Juan Pierre and Kemp against left-hander Cole Hamels. One out later, Ramirez singled to center on a 3-2 pitch to score Pierre, after getting spun around on back-to-back fastballs by a pitcher who has not hit a batter all season.

Blake was retired on a dribbler back to Hamels, and Garciaparra was intentionally walked, loading the bases. But Martin was robbed of a hit by second baseman Chase Utley, who went into the hole to make a diving grab of his line drive and deprive him of a potential two-run single.

It also was a tough break for Dodgers rookie Clayton Kershaw, saddled with a no-decision after allowing three runs and six hits over six innings against an offense whose 161 home runs are tied with Florida for second-most in the majors behind the Chicago White Sox. The 20-year-old left-hander had eight strikeouts, his highest total in 13 big league starts.

The Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the second with three consecutive two-out hits, including an opposite-field RBI single by Hamels, whose line drive hit the third base bag on the fly and popped straight in the air before dropping in front of Blake. It was the third RBI for Hamels, who is 16-for-57 (.281) this season.

Pat Burrell made it 3-1 in the third with a sacrifice fly, then ended an 0-for-20 drought with a double in the sixth.

Utley opened the scoring in the first, driving a 2-2 pitch into the lower seats in the right-field corner for his 30th home run. Utley has five homers in his last 14 games after hitting just four in his previous 44 contests. He homered 21 times in his first 59 games and became the first second baseman in history to hit at least 10 before the end of April.

The Dodgers got the run back in the bottom half with Blake's RBI single. The hit scored Kemp, who doubled to the left-field fence and continued to third when Burrell had trouble picking up the ball. The miscue snapped a 122-game errorless streak by Burrell dating to Sept. 22, 2007.

Hamels allowed two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts. Notes: Phillies CF Shane Victorino left after six innings because of lower back stiffness. ... Howard, who leads the NL with 100 RBIs and is tied for the league lead with 32 homers, fanned twice to increase his strikeout total to a league-worst 151. Last season, the 2006 MVP struck out a major league-record 199 times. ... Tuesday was the first day Dodger Stadium concession stands were selling blue "MANNYWOOD" T-shirts, which had Ramirez's No. 99 on it next to a silhouette of his head, complete with dreadlocks and reflecting sunglasses - no facial features. The Dodger caps with the facsimile dreadlocks are schedule to arrive on Thursday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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