Mike Marshall, who has a history of literally taking offense when opponents intentionally walk Pedro Guerrero to pitch to him in crucial situations, has seemingly devised a way to make those teams regret that decision.
Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, the Atlanta Braves wound up 5-4 losers to the Dodgers in 10 innings when Marshall delivered a bases-loaded single to center field off reliever Gene Garber, scoring Dave Anderson to give the Dodgers their second straight win.
With runners on second and third and two out, Brave Manager Chuck Tanner chose to walk Guerrero, who is always dangerous even though he is in a 4-for-22 slump.
But Marshall, who beat the San Francisco Giants April 21 on a three-run home run after a walk to Guerrero, responded with the hit that gave reliever Matt Young the win in his first extended outing since he injured his elbow June 7.
Young worked three scoreless innings to improve his record to 4-5.
But the standout of the Dodgers' second straight one-run win was Marshall, who found a low fastball of Garber's he liked and drove it into center.
Marshall is no stranger to this situation. After he won the game in San Francisco with the home run, Marshall enraged the Giants by literally pointing out the mistake to Giant Manager Roger Craig as he rounded the bases.
On this night, though, only Dodger players became emotional after Marshall's hit, and there was no controversy, only celebration.
Marshall said he has learned to accept this apparent slight from opposing managers, even though Atlanta Manager Chuck Tanner said he walked Guerrero simply to give the Braves a force play with two out.
"The easiest way to state it is that there's just one player on our team that managers don't want to have beat them," Marshall said. "And that's Pete Guerrero. They'd let anybody but Guerrero do that.
"I can accept that, just like they might walk me to pitch to Stubby (Franklin Stubbs) and on down the line. But maybe next time, they'll pitch to Guerrero instead of walking him to pitch to me."
Garber, a side-armed thrower who baffles hitters with an assortment of tricky, off-speed pitches, ran into trouble in the 10th after pitching an uneventful ninth.
With one out, Garber gave up a double to Dave Anderson--a hit that was almost identical to Anderson's seventh-inning double that scored Jeff Hamilton with the tying run.
Steve Sax moved Anderson to third with a single to right. Then, with John Shelby at the plate, Sax stole second. But Garber struck out Shelby with off-speed pitches, putting him one out away of working out of the jam.
Then came the Braves' decision to walk Guerrero and take their chances on Marshall, who earlier had singled and doubled against Atlanta starter Zane Smith.
"One advantage to walking Pete is that it forced Garber to throw strikes," Marshall said. "He's the type of pitcher that tries to play on your emotions and get you to swing at bad pitches.
"He's also the type of pitcher you have to see a lot to really hit. John hasn't batted against him, but even if you have, it's still tough to hit him."
The Dodgers had trouble hitting much of anything in the first six innings against Smith and the Braves. But then came a four-run seventh that erased a 4-0 Brave lead and eventually sent the game into extra innings.
The early-departers in the crowd of 27,906 missed a seventh-inning rally spearheaded by Stubbs, who delivered a game-winning home run in Tuesday night's 3-2 Dodger win.
Stubbs, out of the starting lineup because Smith, a left-hander, was pitching, proved once again he can hit right-handers when he finally did make an appearance.
With Guerrero on third and Marshall on second, Stubbs doubled to right field off reliever Jim Acker to score both in a Dodger rally that would eventually tie the score.
Guerrero and Marshall, who tried to ignite a rally in the fourth but were shot down by a double play, started it up again in the seventh against Smith, who didn't seem to be tiring to that point.
But Smith walked Guerrero, then Marshall delivered a double down the left-field line that advanced Guerrero to third.
That was when Tanner made the first of his three pitching moves in the inning. Tanner brought in Acker to pitch to Stubbs, but Stubbs responded with the double that made it 4-2.
Stubbs moved to third when pinch-hitter Mike Scioscia, 0 for 24 since returning from an absence due to a broken finger, grounded to second. With Hamilton up, Acker bounced a wild pitch in the dirt that scored Stubbs and narrowed Atlanta's lead to one run.
After Acker walked Hamilton, in came left-handed reliever Paul Assenmacher to pitch to left-handed pinch-hitter Danny Heep, making his Dodger debut. That move by Tanner worked, as Heep flied to left.
Then, Tanner decided to bring in Jeff Dedmon, who had thrown three scoreless innings Tuesday night. Anderson promptly doubled off the screen down the left-field line, scoring Hamilton from first base with the tying run.
The inning ended when Sax lined to right.