|L.A. Dodgers (22-28) «||0||1||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||6||0|
HOUSTON -- With eight players on the disabled list the Los Angeles Dodgers have needed some of their young talent to step up.
On Tuesday night the rookies came through.
Rookie Jerry Sands hit a grand slam in the third inning and Jay Gibbons also homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros. Two rookie relievers shut down Houston in the last two innings to secure the victory.
"It feels good to get kids being a part of it," manager Don Mattingly said. "We've had to call them up out of necessity with injuries and things that have happened and you don't really want it for that reason. But one of the benefits is that these guys get a shot probably earlier than they would in another case and that experience can be valuable for them."
|More on Dodgers at Astros|
Houston starter J.A. Happ (3-6) walked Jamey Carroll with two outs in the third inning before a single by James Loney. Matt Kemp reached on an error by second baseman Bill Hall to set up Sands' slam to left-center.
"That was real tough," Hall said of the error. "On the second hop it kind of took off and if I'd tried to step back and catch it from the side and missed it they score a run. I did my best to keep it in front of me."
The home run by Gibbons to right field in the second inning put Los Angeles up 1-0.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley (3-4) yielded five hits and four runs with nine strikeouts to get his first win this month.
Carlos Lee drove in two runs in Houston's three-run third inning.
Rubby De La Rosa, who was called up from Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday, pitched a 1-2/3 eighth inning for the Dodgers in his major league debut. Javy Guerra, who was called up May 15, pitched a perfect ninth for his first major league save.
"Rubby threw the ball really well [with] a lot of confidence and went right after guys," Mattingly said. "Then Javy's got great stuff. That's basically what he was doing before he came up -- closing. We've see a lot of confidence in his stuff, it's electric."
Billingsley pitched a perfect fourth and fifth before Hunter Pence doubled to start Houston's sixth inning. He walked Lee and Brett Wallace to load the bases. Chris Johnson's sacrifice fly to center scored Pence and cut the lead to 5-4. Billingsley was able to limit the damage by retiring the next two Astros to end the inning.
"I was just trying to get ahead and (Pence) jumped on it for that double in the gap and then walking the next two guys, I just really had to bear down," Billingsley said of escaping the inning with the lead.
Lee drove in two with a single to center to get the Astros within 5-3 before Wallace struck out to end the inning.
Happ allowed three hits and five runs -- one earned - in five innings.
"Happ had that third inning that elevated his pitch count and got it up to 93 or 94," Houston manager Brad Mills said of why he pulled Happ after five innings. "All five of their runs came with two outs and no one on and then we gave them that extra out. That always hurts."
The grand slam by Sands was the first by the Dodgers this season and the second home run of his career after he was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque on April 18.
He has 16 RBIs since joining the team.
"Getting a few hits here and there and a couple of home runs here and there definitely help your feet settle down in the box a little bit," he said. "It's all about confidence up there."
Happ retired the next seven batters after the grand slam.
Loney extended his hitting streak to a season-best 10 games with his single in the third inning.
|Jerry Sands celebrates his third-inning grand slam that helps power the Dodgers over the Astros. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.150|
|Jamey Carroll, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.311|
|James Loney, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.242|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||1||0||0||0||2||1||.308|
|Jerry Sands, RF||4||1||1||4||0||2||0||.239|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.147|
|Jay Gibbons, LF||3||1||1||1||0||2||0||.216|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.197|
|Aaron Miles, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.284|
|Chad Billingsley, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.222|
|a- Russ Mitchell, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.115|
|Mike MacDougal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rubby De La Rosa, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Andre Ethier, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.311|
|Javy Guerra, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for Billingsley in the 7th|
|b-was walked intentionally for De La Rosa in the 9th|
|2B - Russ Mitchell (1, Del Rosario)|
|HR - Jerry Sands (2, Happ), Jay Gibbons (1, Happ)|
|RBI - Jerry Sands 4 (16), Jay Gibbons (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jerry Sands 4 (12), Jay Gibbons (1)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Chad Billingsley (W,3-4)||6||5||4||4||3||9||0||3.69|
|Mike MacDougal (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.59|
|Rubby De La Rosa (H,1)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|Javy Guerra (S,1)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.60|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 100-68, Mike MacDougal 10-9, Rubby De La Rosa 13-8, Javy Guerra 8-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 3-6, Mike MacDougal 1-0, Rubby De La Rosa 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 26, Mike MacDougal 3, Rubby De La Rosa 3, Javy Guerra 3|
|Michael Bourn, CF||3||1||0||0||1||2||0||.266|
|Clint Barmes, SS||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.218|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||2||2||1||0||2||0||.302|
|Carlos Lee, LF||3||0||1||2||1||0||0||.242|
|Brett Wallace, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.316|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||3||0||0||1||0||1||1||.216|
|Bill Hall, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.237|
|Humberto Quintero, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.245|
|a- Angel Sanchez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.268|
|J.A. Happ, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.375|
|b- Matt Downs, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Enerio Del Rosario, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Brian Bogusevic, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Sergio Escalona, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Wilton Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Quintero in the 9th|
|b-grounded out for Happ in the 5th|
|c-grounded out for Del Rosario in the 7th|
|2B - Hunter Pence 2 (15, Billingsley, Billingsley), Brett Wallace (13, Billingsley)|
|SF - Chris Johnson (2)|
|RBI - Hunter Pence (37), Carlos Lee 2 (25), Chris Johnson (23)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence (11), Carlos Lee 2 (11)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Bill Hall (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|J.A. Happ (L,3-6)||5||3||5||1||2||4||2||4.99|
|Enerio Del Rosario||2||1||0||0||0||2||0||3.60|
|IBB - Ethier by Wilton Lopez|
|Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 93-58, Enerio Del Rosario 25-16, Sergio Escalona 10-7, Wilton Lopez 29-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 5-7, Enerio Del Rosario 3-1, Wilton Lopez 1-0|
|Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 21, Enerio Del Rosario 7, Sergio Escalona 2, Wilton Lopez 7|
|Attendance - 28713|
|Game Time - 2:39|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Bill Welke|