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Dodgers get sweet sweep

June 08, 2012|Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, right, and catcher Matt Treanor celebrate following the Dodgers' 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario, right, and catcher Matt Treanor celebrate… (Tom Mihalek / EPA )

PHILADELPHIA — Walking out of the showers with a towel wrapped around his waist, Matt Kemp shouted over the music that blared in the clubhouse.

"That was sick!" Kemp barked. "You guys are fun to watch! That was sick! That was sick!"

His smile was as broad as his voice was loud.

Improbably and inexplicably, the Dodgers won again on Thursday, completing a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with an 8-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park.

It was the first four-game series sweep for the Dodgers in Philadelphia since their move to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958.

How they did it defied reason.

They were down, 3-0, after three innings with All-Star Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phillies.

The Dodgers' bullpen was depleted, as closer Kenley Jansen and setup man Josh Lindblom were unavailable for the day -- Jansen having appeared in the three previous games and Lindblom in three of the previous four.

Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, remained in a cheerleading role. Their other All-Star outfielder, Andre Ethier, was given a day off. Catcher A.J. Ellis was also resting, recovering from a bruised left shin.

The Dodgers' first four runs were driven in by Jerry Hairston Jr., James Loney, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Matt Treanor.

"You mean not the marquee players?" Treanor, who started in place of Ellis, asked with a laugh.

The Dodgers capitalized on two errors by Phillies third baseman Ty Wigginton, which put runners on the corners in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly by Hairston got the Dodgers to within 3-1.

Hairston was batting cleanup for only the second time in his 15-year major league career. The first time was on Friday in Colorado.

The Dodgers took the lead in the sixth inning. Elian Herrera drew a lead-off walk from Hamels. That was followed by a single from Juan Rivera. Herrera scored on a single by Loney. Gwynn singled in Rivera, and Treanor knocked in Loney.

Up 4-3, the Dodgers handed the ball to Jamey Wright, who hadn't pitched since appearing in mop-up duty six days earlier.

"I didn't feel great," Wright said. "I think I threw one curveball for a strike."

But Wright's cutters and sinkers were moving. He pitched two scoreless innings.

Taking advantage of another defensive miscue by the Phillies -- this one by second baseman Mike Fontenot -- the Dodgers scored four runs in the ninth inning to extend their advantage.

The Dodgers improved to 14-8 in the 22 games they have played over Kemp's two stints on the disabled list. Their record stood at 37-21, the best in the major leagues, as they departed for Seattle, where they will play a three-game series to conclude a 10-game trip.

The trip started with their losing a fifth consecutive game, but they have now won five of their last six.

"Five days ago, people were talking about us kind of falling apart," Manager Don Mattingly said. "This game is so quick momentum-wise that you win a couple of games, the next thing you know, you're hot, you get the feeling back. Every win that you get, you build confidence."

The players never thought their season was spiraling out of control.

"People were thinking, 'Oh, this is a turning point, this is where they're going to falter,'" starting pitcher Aaron Harang said. "That's not what this team is about. These guys, they're going to play until the final out is made each game. Even when we're behind, we never feel like we're out of it."

Harang earned the 100th victory of his career by holding the Phillies to three runs and eight hits over six innings.

Meanwhile, the Phillies' misery continued. The Phillies have lost six consecutive games, their longest losing streak of the season, and sit in last place in the National League East.


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