Dodgers six-run first scuttles PadresSep 24, 2008 - 5:45 AM By John Reger PA SporstTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers made quick work of the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, posting six runs in the first inning en route to a 10-1 victory.
The win bumped the Dodgers' lead in the National League West to three games over the Arizona Diamondbacks (79-78), who lost earlier to the St. Louis Cardinals. Los Angeles (82-75) has a magic number of three to clinch the division.
"We're not comfortable at all," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We are confident, but not comfortable. We want to win our next three games and put this to sleep."
The Dodgers hope to wrap up the title before heading on the road to San Francisco for the final three games of the season.
Los Angeles got to losing pitcher, Wade LeBlanc (1-2) immediately. Leadoff batter Matt Kemp walked before Russell Martin doubled and Manny Ramirez hit the first pitch from LeBlanc into left-center field for a double that drove in Kemp and Martin.
They added three more runs when Nomar Garciaparra hit his seventh home run, scoring Ramirez and Andre Ethier.
"It was nice that we could go out there and jump on them early," Garciaparra said. "We need to win some ballgames to achieve our goal and to jump on them early was huge.
"The key is you want to get in the situation where it is in your hands. You don't want to have to be looking at the scoreboard hoping another team has to knock off the team for you. As long as we win, we're where we want to be."
Starting pitcher Chad Billingsley (16-10) capped the big inning with a sacrifice bunt that plated Casey Blake to make it 6-0.
Billingsley added an RBI single in the third to make it 7-1.
Blake DeWitt belted his eighth home run in the fifth, a three-run shot to make it 10-1. Los Angeles pounded out 14 hits.
"It would be nice to wrap this up before we leave," DeWitt said. "We have to focus on what we are doing and finish it off. Everybody is just concentrating on winning. If it happens here, it happens here, if it doesn't, it doesn't. The main goal is to get there."
Billingsley pitched six innings, allowing one run and nine hits. He struck out five and walked two.
"Coming out and scoring six runs allowed me to relax and work on things," Billingsley said. "I was able to work on my fastball and try and get my rhythm back. I wanted to stay relaxed out there."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
- - - - - - - - -
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
LA DODGERS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 11 R H E
-- -- - - -
SAN FRANCISCO 0 1 1 9 0
LA DODGERS 0 0 0 5 0 (FINAL 11)
Sep 21 7:38 PM
AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY RICH AURILIA SCORED BRAD HENNESSEY.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R AURILIA ON FIRST, E VELEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: SAN FRANCISCO 1
LA DODGERS 0 TOP, 11TH
DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R WINN (.308, 0-FOR-4, BB)
Giants 1, Dodgers 0 Top 11, 0 OutsSep 21 7:25 PM
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