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L.A. Dodgers (42-22) «1030002006101
Texas (35-27)200100000361

Billingsley beats Rangers for NL-leading ninth victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chad Billingsley got the grounder he was hoping for when he threw the pitch. Except the double play got botched and the Los Angeles Dodgers got behind.

Billingsley's response?

The right-hander shrugged off shortstop Rafael Furcal's two-run throwing error in the first by retiring 16 of the next 17 batters. And he pitched into the eighth to earn his National League-best ninth victory, 6-3 Sunday over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

"Billinglsey's been our horse. Today was probably the best start he's had in a few," manager Joe Torre said.

After the error that extended the first, Billingsley (9-3) set down everybody but former Dodgers bust Andruw Jones until Nelson Cruz had a leadoff single in the seventh.

"Chad has been throwing really well," Casey Blake said. "He's a workhorse, and it was just nice to score some runs for him."

Blake drove in four runs, his most RBI in 117 games since being traded to Los Angeles last July 26. It was his best game since matching a career high with seven RBI in his previous visit to Texas with Cleveland last June.

Blake had a sacrifice fly in the first and put the Dodgers ahead to stay with his 10th homer, a three-run shot in the third off rookie left-hander Derek Holland (1-4).

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Jones, who had only three home runs in 75 games during an injury plagued season for the Dodgers last year, homered for the second day in a row against them leading off the fourth.

Texas didn't have another runner against Billingsley until Cruz, but he was quickly erased on a double-play grounder with Furcal successfully making that relay throw.

"He keeps you off balance," Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "He's got a pretty good cutter, his fastball is good enough where you have to think about it. ... His goal is to keep you off balance, and he did a good job of that today."

Billingsley, lifted after Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to start the eighth, moved within one victory of injured Toronto starter Roy Halladay for the major league lead. Saltalamacchia was caught stealing right after Billingsley came out of the game.

The Dodgers ace, whose 24 victories since April 30, 2008, are second only to Halladay's 28 in that span, scattered five hits and allowed three runs. Only once in his 14 starts this season has he allowed more than three runs.

"Today was trying to get contact fairly early," Billingsley said. "They were putting the ball in play. I was getting a lot of ground balls early."

Jonathan Broxton worked the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances. The right-hander struck out three consecutive batters after yielding a leadoff single to Michael Young.

Texas lost an interleague series at home for the first time since 2006, after winning the opener 6-0. Los Angeles, which has the best record in the majors this season, is 7-28 in American League parks the past five seasons.

"It means a lot, especially when you lose the first game in their home ballpark," Torre said. "It does a lot for our confidence."

Holland, whose only major league victory came in relief, yielded four runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.

"That's not good at all. That says I didn't go right after hitters," Holland said. "My location was way off."

James Loney and Brad Ausmus had run-scoring singles in the seventh, after Blake had a leadoff double.

The Dodgers manufactured a quick run after Juan Pierre led off the game with a walk. Furcal attempted a sacrifice bunt, but ended up with a single when he placed it perfectly between the fielders. Orlando Hudson then had a sacrifice bunt before Blake's sacrifice fly.

Notes

  • Torre recorded his 2,193th career victory, within one of Sparky Anderson for fifth on the career list.
  • Pierre, among the NL leaders with a .343 batting average, was the only Dodgers batter without a hit. He was 0 for 3, but walked and scored twice.
  • Rangers 1B Chris Davis, the left-hander who leads the majors with 92 strikeouts in his 59 games, was out of the starting lineup even though Texas was facing a right-handed pitcher. Manager Ron Washington said Davis needed a "mental break."
  • Texas played its last scheduled day game at home until Aug. 16.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Chad Billingsley retires 16 of 17 during one stretch and yields two earned runs on five hits in seven innings.  (AP)
Chad Billingsley retires 16 of 17 during one stretch and yields two earned runs on five hits in seven innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Billingsley
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 1
K 3
Texas

A. Jones
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Pierre, LF3200205 .343
Rafael Furcal, SS3010110 .248
Orlando Hudson, 2B4110013 .310
Casey Blake, 3B4224001 .299
Andre Ethier, RF5010022 .270
Matt Kemp, CF4010113 .308
James Loney, 1B4111121 .285
Russell Martin, DH4010102 .244
Brad Ausmus, C2021100 .317
Totals33610677  
Batting
2B - Orlando Hudson (19, Holland), Casey Blake (16, Guardado), Brad Ausmus (2, Holland)
HR - Casey Blake (10, Holland)
SF - Casey Blake (6)
SH - Rafael Furcal (1), Orlando Hudson (2)
RBI - Casey Blake 4 (39), James Loney (43), Brad Ausmus (4)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake 3 (16), Brad Ausmus (3)
SB - Andre Ethier (4, 2nd base off Holland/Saltalamacchia), Matt Kemp (14, 2nd base off Wilson/Saltalamacchia), James Loney (5, 2nd base off Holland/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Furcal-Loney
E - Rafael Furcal (8, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley (W,9-3) 7532131 2.72
Ramon Troncoso (H,6) 1000010 1.51
Jonathan Broxton (S,16) 1100030 1.41
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 97-63, Ramon Troncoso 7-6, Jonathan Broxton 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 12-5, Ramon Troncoso 1-0
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 26, Ramon Troncoso 2, Jonathan Broxton 4
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000000 .260
Michael Young, 3B3110110 .316
Hank Blalock, 1B4110011 .251
Andruw Jones, DH4121011 .257
Nelson Cruz, RF4011021 .278
David Murphy, LF3000002 .252
Marlon Byrd, CF3000010 .288
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3010000 .251
Elvis Andrus, SS3000010 .262
Totals3136217  
Batting
HR - Andruw Jones (7, Billingsley)
RBI - Andruw Jones (17), Nelson Cruz (43)
CS - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2, 2nd base by Troncoso/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Blalock
E - Hank Blalock (2, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Derek Holland (L,1-4) 5544421 6.63
Doug Mathis 1000210 5.14
Eddie Guardado 0.2322110 5.82
Darren O'Day 1.1100010 0.82
C.J. Wilson 1100020 3.12
HBP - Ausmus (by Doug Mathis)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 89-48, Doug Mathis 31-15, Eddie Guardado 26-17, Darren O'Day 21-14, C.J. Wilson 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 7-6, Darren O'Day 2-1
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 24, Doug Mathis 6, Eddie Guardado 5, Darren O'Day 5, C.J. Wilson 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36343
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 92
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Adrian Johnson