YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Hiroki Kuroda gets Dodgers on the way to 1-0 win over Astros

Right-hander doesn't get the decision but pitches seven solid innings. Dioner Navarro's home run in the eighth inning is the difference.

June 19, 2011|By Jim Peltz

Hiroki Kuroda was pitching a gem through seven innings Sunday, holding the Houston Astros scoreless and to only three hits.

But this is the 2011 Dodgers we're talking about, so not surprisingly, Kuroda had nothing to show for it because his teammates also hadn't scored.

It was a familiar story for the Japanese right-hander, who had lost his previous five starts in large part because of poor run support.

In the eighth inning, though, the unusual happened: Catcher Dioner Navarro — batting .165 — drilled a 2-and-0 fastball from reliever Wilton Lopez into the right-field pavilion to give the Dodgers a 1-0 victory.

The win, secured with relief from Matt Guerrier (3-3) in the eighth inning and Javy Guerra in the ninth, ended the Dodgers' losing streak at five games and gave them their first win in their current 12-game homestand.

"It just feels good getting out of that funk as a team," Navarro said, adding that "my whole family was here" among the 44,665 at Dodger Stadium. "I'm so glad I didn't disappoint them."

Houston won two of the series' three games, and starter Bud Norris held the Dodgers to one hit through six innings Sunday.

The Dodgers, in fact, had only three hits in the game and Navarro had two. The other was a single by James Loney in the seventh inning.

"I know my numbers don't show it," but "I've been working hard," said Navarro, who's going to receive more playing time in the next two weeks because the Dodgers' other primary catcher, Rod Barajas, was put on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of a sprained right ankle.

"I've just got to hit the ball where they ain't," Navarro said.

The strong outing allowed Kuroda, the father of two, to celebrate Father's Day after a pitchers' duel that skipped along in 2 hours 34 minutes.

"Hiro was great and … did a great job of keeping them off balance," Manager Don Mattingly said.

Kuroda said through an interpreter that "most of my pitches were working today, but I give all the credit to Navarro. He knew what pitch to call and he knew all the hitters on the Astros."

Taking note of the loud music that always plays in the Dodgers' clubhouse after they win, Mattingly said, "It's a nice sound. It's nice to hear. Right on time."

The Astros twice threatened to score early, and each time Kuroda held them back.

In the second inning, Houston had runners at second base and third base with two out, but Carlos Corporan struck out looking.

A throwing error by shortstop Dee Gordon and a Kuroda wild pitch helped the Astros put runners at second base and third base in the third inning with two out, but Carlos Lee popped out.

Los Angeles Times Articles