|L.A. Dodgers (36-42) «||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||x||6||7||0|
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig is just 22 years old, and already has established himself as one of the most dangerous hitters in the major leagues -- as well as a role model for his teammates who enjoy his gung-ho style in the outfield and on the base paths.
Puig singled home the tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh inning, Andre Ethier had a two-run double, and the Los Angeles Dodgers opened a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 6-4 victory on Thursday night.
"He kind of reminds me of myself," Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp said of the Cuban rookie sensation. "Sometimes he plays too hard, and sometimes you have to tell him: 'Man, calm down. You can't make every play.' But he's done an amazing job in his first month in the big leagues. He's gotten big hits and made big plays on defense. He's doing a lot, and I think we're just feeding off the kid."
Zack Greinke (4-3) struck out five over seven innings and allowed four runs on 12 hits, including solo homers by Domonic Brown and Chase Utley, to help the Dodgers get their season-best sixth straight win.
Puig was shaken up crashing into the right field auxiliary scoreboard while trying to track Utley's ninth homer in the top of the seventh that put Philadelphia ahead 4-3. However, Puig was none the worse for wear -- as he proved moments later.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the bottom half against rookie reliever Justin De Fratus (2-2) without the benefit of a hit. A.J. Ellis walked and Juan Uribe reached on a bunt that first baseman Ryan Howard tried to field before slipping and falling on the play. Nick Punto advanced the runners with another bunt, and Hanley Ramirez drew an intentional walk while batting for Greinke.
Skip Schumaker was called out on strikes for the second time, but Puig slapped an 0-2 pitch to left field to put the Dodgers ahead 5-4.
"He was ready to hit, so my plan there was to slow him down and try to use his aggressiveness against him," De Fratus said. "It worked on the first two pitches. I didn't think I threw a bad pitch on the next one, but it wasn't where I was trying to get it and he burned me."
Puig is batting a robust .427 with seven homers and 16 RBI in just 23 big league games.
"His energy just feeds into all of us," Ellis said. "We all dream and wish we could play the way he's playing, and it makes us want to play better. It's an energy and a way to play the game that you don't see too much. When he crashed into the fence, I just wanted to see him pop back up. I love his aggressiveness and love him trying to make a play right there."
Kemp, playing in his third game after missing a month with an injured right hamstring, was 2 for 4 with an RBI double. He led off the eighth with a single, then stole second and third base and scored on Ellis' sacrifice fly.
"I've got to test it out. I can't play timid. I've got to play aggressive," Kemp said of the hamstring. "That's the way I've always been and the way I have to play. He wasn't paying too much attention when I was on second base, so I tried to take a chance right there. I'm tired of not making the playoffs, so my biggest thing is trying to help my team get there in any way. I feel good. I guess I've got them young Puig legs."
Phillies rookie Jonathan Pettibone threw 96 pitches through six innings and was lifted for a pinch-hitter after giving up three runs and four hits. The right-hander retired his final 15 batters.
Pettibone found himself trailing 3-0 after just 17 pitches. Kemp hit an RBI double inside third base, and two more runs came in on Ethier's double. Right fielder Delmon Young prevented another run, sprinting toward the corner and stretching out to grab Ellis' extra-base bid.
Young tied a career high with four hits -- all singles -- and put himself within seven of 1,000 for his career.
Brown, in his first career at-bat against Greinke, put Philadelphia on the board in the second when he drove a 3-2 fastball to center for his 21st homer and tied Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez for the NL lead. Greinke then gave up a single to Young and a walk to Kevin Frandsen before picking off Young at second base.
The Phillies tied it 3-all in the fifth with four consecutive one-out hits, including run-scoring singles by Utley and Jimmy Rollins -- only his second RBI in 10 games.
"Zack probably didn't have his best stuff, but he just competed," Ellis said. "That's a tough lineup. I mean, they match up all those tough lefties at the top and they have a good mix of players with a lot of professional hitters. But Zack held on and gave us a chance."
|Dodgers' rookie Yasiel Puig can't be stopped. He hits a two-run single in the seventh inning to beat the Phillies. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ben Revere, CF||5||1||3||0||0||1||0||.278|
|Chase Utley, 2B||5||1||3||2||0||1||1||.275|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.257|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.268|
|Domonic Brown, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.276|
|Delmon Young, RF||4||0||4||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Kevin Frandsen, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||1||2||.277|
|Humberto Quintero, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||.218|
|Carlos Ruiz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.269|
|Jonathan Pettibone, P||2||1||1||0||0||1||1||.136|
|Laynce Nix, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
|Michael Young, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.280|
|a-fouled out for Quintero in the 9th|
|b-popped out for Pettibone in the 7th|
|c-flied out for Bastardo in the 9th|
|2B - Chase Utley (9, Greinke)|
|HR - Chase Utley (9, Greinke), Domonic Brown (21, Greinke)|
|RBI - Chase Utley 2 (28), Jimmy Rollins (26), Domonic Brown (55)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chase Utley (8)|
|CS - Ben Revere (6, 2nd base by Greinke/Ellis)|
|PK - Delmon Young (1, Greinke)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Justin De Fratus (L,2-2; BS,1)||0.2||2||2||2||2||1||0||4.20|
|IBB - H. Ramirez by Justin De Fratus|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Pettibone 96-58, Justin De Fratus 20-11, Antonio Bastardo 17-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Pettibone 7-7, Justin De Fratus 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jonathan Pettibone 23, Justin De Fratus 6, Antonio Bastardo 5|
|Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||2||4||.249|
|Yasiel Puig, RF||4||1||1||2||0||0||2||.427|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.298|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||2||2||1||0||2||0||.256|
|Andre Ethier, LF||4||0||1||2||0||0||1||.256|
|A.J. Ellis, C||2||1||0||1||1||0||1||.246|
|Juan Uribe, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.274|
|Nick Punto, SS-2B||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.264|
|Zack Greinke, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|a-was walked intentionally for Greinke in the 7th|
|2B - Matt Kemp (11, Pettibone), Andre Ethier (15, Pettibone)|
|SF - A.J. Ellis (3)|
|SH - Nick Punto (4), Zack Greinke (1)|
|RBI - Yasiel Puig 2 (16), Matt Kemp (18), Andre Ethier 2 (24), A.J. Ellis (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Yasiel Puig 2 (5)|
|SB - Matt Kemp 2 (9, 2nd base off Bastardo/Quintero), Nick Punto (3, 2nd base off Pettibone/Quintero)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Ellis-Punto, Ellis-Punto-Greinke-Punto-Gonzalez, Ellis-Punto-Greinke-Punto-Gonzalez-Punto-Schumaker-Gonzalez|
|Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers|
|Zack Greinke (W,5-2)||7||12||4||4||1||5||2||3.94|
|J.P. Howell (H,5)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.73|
|Ronald Belisario (H,7)||0.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4.37|
|Kenley Jansen (S,7)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.25|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 102-63, J.P. Howell 9-5, Ronald Belisario 5-4, Kenley Jansen 19-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 4-8, J.P. Howell 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 30, J.P. Howell 2, Ronald Belisario 2, Kenley Jansen 4|
|Attendance - 51037|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Bill Miller|