for this game

Kuroda impressive as Dodgers defeat Astros

Jul 3, 2008 - 4:21 AM By Jeremy Rakes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven scoreless innings in his first start back from the disabled list as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Houston Astros, 4-1, on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

Jeff Kent collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs and Andre Ethier had three hits - including a solo home run - for the Dodgers, who have won four of their last six games.

Kuroda (4-6), who had been sidelined since June 13 with right shoulder tendinitis, gave up five hits and a walk with one strikeout in his 81-pitch outing.

"I'm surprised that it turned out really well, but it was nice for the team and for myself," Kuroda said. "I don't think I was 100 percent, but I was helped by getting a lead and our great defense."

"I expected him to have a good outing, but to give us seven innings like that and for his pitch count to be down around where it was (was great)," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "To be as sharp as he was, I didn't expect him to be that good. It was great. He changed speeds and worked both sides of the plate. That stuff we saw in the little simulated thing a few days ago, for him to do it for seven innings was amazing."

Kent gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead in the first with a two-out double into the left field corner that scored Ethier, who had doubled to right two batters earlier.

Kent hit another two-out RBI double in the third to extend the lead to 2-0. Matt Kemp began the inning with a triple to center field and scored on Kent's two-base hit into the left field gap.

"The thing I like about what we're doing right now is, we are scoring more than a run," Torre said. "We are manufacturing runs and doing the little things. We're playing heads-up baseball right now. We need to do more of that for our own confidence, and so we come to the ballpark with more good feelings instead of just wondering."

The Dodgers made it 3-0 in the fourth on a squeeze play by Luis Maza that plated Blake DeWitt, who led off the inning with a single through the right side, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher J.R. Towles.

Ethier extended the advantage to 4-0 by crushing Runelvys Hernandez's 3-1 offering into the upper deck in right field for his eighth home run of the season.

Houston had a chance to cut into the deficit in the bottom half of the inning, when David Newhan and Towles hit back-to-back, one-out singles off Kuroda, but Newhan was picked off second base. Pinch hitter Darin Erstad doubled into the left field corner, but Towles was held at third, and Michael Bourn grounded out to first to end the threat.

"I thought Runelvys competed, but he had command issues and he was missing his spots," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "I thought we had a chance, but we couldn't come through."

Carlos Lee ended the Dodgers' shutout bid with a solo home run in the ninth. It was Lee's 19th blast of the campaign.

Hernandez (0-2) lasted five innings, giving up four runs - three earned - six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

"I felt really good and healthy, but I missed my spots a couple of times against Kent," Hernandez said. "I missed my two-seamer, and with those pitches, games change. He is a good hitter, but if I hit my spots, I do OK."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 8 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LOS - HIROKI KURODA, CORY WADE (8TH) AND RUSSELL MARTIN
    HOU - RUNELVYS HERNANDEZ, DAVE BORKOWSKI (6TH), TIM
    BYRDAK (8TH), CHRIS SAMPSON (9TH) AND J.R. TOWLES

    HOME

    Jul 2 10:45 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (19) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF CORY WADE.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.287, 0-FOR-3)

    Dodgers 4, Astros 1  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 2 10:45 PM
  • 21
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 16 roots

    Dodgers 4, Astros 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 2 9:25 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ANDRE ETHIER (8) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF RUNELVYS HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R MARTIN (.310, 0-FOR-2)

    Dodgers 4, Astros 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 2 9:22 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE BY LUIS MAZA SCORED BLAKE DEWITT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 3
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: H KURODA (.083, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 3, Astros 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 2 9:03 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Dodgers 2, Astros 0  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 2 8:49 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JEFF KENT SCORED MATT KEMP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KENT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 2
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J LONEY (.303, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Dodgers 2, Astros 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 2 8:44 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 1 1 2 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LOS - HIROKI KURODA
    HOU - RUNELVYS HERNANDEZ

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.228, 4 HR, 15 RBI)
    H PENCE (.269, 10 HR, 41 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.361, 22 HR, 68

    Dodgers 1, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 2 8:17 PM