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Dodgers rally to force extra innings, beat White Sox, 6-4

Dodgers rookie Russ Mitchell hits the tying home run in the ninth, and Juan Castro, a 38-year-old triple-A call-up, drives in the go-ahead run.

May 20, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Dodgers third baseman Russ Mitchell celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning during the Dodgers' 6-4 comeback victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday.
Dodgers third baseman Russ Mitchell celebrates after hitting a solo home… (Jerry Lai / U.S. Presswire )

Reporting from Chicago — Making only his fourth start of the season and batting under .100, Dodgers rookie Russ Mitchell came to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning and the Dodgers losing by one run to the Chicago White Sox.

Mitchell then fulfilled every Little Leaguer's fantasy, lining a home run just inside the left-field foul line to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

What came next was jolting, too: 38-year-old Juan Castro, without a hit since being called up a week ago from triple-A Albuquerque, drove in the go-ahead run in the next inning with a single.

The Dodgers added two more and defeated the White Sox, 6-4, in 10 innings in the opener of their three-game interleague series, only the Dodgers' second win in their last seven games.

"It's nice to contribute," Mitchell said. "This is a big win for us. We've been waiting for that big hit. Hopefully it's a good sign for us to get on a roll."

Until Mitchell's homer, the game had all the markings of a typical Dodgers effort this season, with reasonably good starting pitching getting little run support.

Dodgers starter Ted Lilly allowed three runs on five consecutive hits in the second inning, but Chicago didn't score again in his seven innings of work.

But on this foggy night at U.S. Cellular Field, at least, the Dodgers' light bats still got the job done, mostly at the expense of Chicago reliever Sergio Santos, who gave up four runs after starter Phil Humber left after seven innings with a 3-2 lead.

The Dodgers also have been hobbled by injuries this season, and another problem surfaced Friday when Juan Uribe came out after the sixth inning with a strained left hip flexor muscle.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said he didn't know how long the injury might affect Uribe, who played on the 2005 White Sox team that won the World Series.

Mitchell, a 26-year-old Georgian who appeared in 15 games as a September call-up last year, hit a Santos fastball for the crucial home run.

"I played with Sergio [Santos] in the fall league, and I know he loves his heater," Mitchell said. "So [with the count] at 2-1 right there, I was looking something hard."

Also in the game:

— The Dodgers broke Santos' streak of 16 scoreless appearances to start the season.

— Dodgers reliever Mike MacDougal got the last out for his first save since late-2009.

— Jamey Carroll had a career high four hits for the seventh time in his career.

The victory came after the Dodgers reached their Chicago hotel about 6:30 a.m. after losing to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

"It's great for our team to travel the way we did last night and then having guys come through for us," Carroll said.

Playing at an American League ballpark also meant the Dodgers could use a designated hitter, and they chose one of their best, center fielder Matt Kemp. He promptly delivered a two-run home run in the first inning.

"Lilly had one bad inning but kept us in the game, and we fought back," Kemp said. "We can definitely build on that."

james.peltz@latimes.com

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