|L.A. Dodgers (42-22) «||1||0||3||0||0||0||2||0||0||6||10||1|
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.
"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).
• Rangers: Closer Francisco placed on DL
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."
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."
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.
|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 Dodgers|
|Juan Pierre, LF||3||2||0||0||2||0||5||.343|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.248|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.310|
|Casey Blake, 3B||4||2||2||4||0||0||1||.299|
|Andre Ethier, RF||5||0||1||0||0||2||2||.270|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||0||1||0||1||1||3||.308|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||1||1||1||2||1||.285|
|Russell Martin, DH||4||0||1||0||1||0||2||.244|
|Brad Ausmus, C||2||0||2||1||1||0||0||.317|
|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|
|DP - Hudson-Furcal-Loney|
|E - Rafael Furcal (8, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Chad Billingsley (W,9-3)||7||5||3||2||1||3||1||2.72|
|Ramon Troncoso (H,6)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.51|
|Jonathan Broxton (S,16)||1||1||0||0||0||3||0||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|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.260|
|Michael Young, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.316|
|Hank Blalock, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.251|
|Andruw Jones, DH||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.257|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||1||1||0||2||1||.278|
|David Murphy, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.252|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.288|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.251|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.262|
|HR - Andruw Jones (7, Billingsley)|
|RBI - Andruw Jones (17), Nelson Cruz (43)|
|CS - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2, 2nd base by Troncoso/Ausmus)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1|
|DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Blalock|
|E - Hank Blalock (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Derek Holland (L,1-4)||5||5||4||4||4||2||1||6.63|
|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|
|Attendance - 36343|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 92|
|Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|