Dodgers’ role players are worthy of attention in 8-3 victory over the Nationals – LA Times

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Jim Peltz
Los Angeles Times

August 8, 2010

Jamey Carroll, Reed Johnson, A.J. Ellis, Ronnie Belliard and Jay Gibbons weren’t the headline grabbers the Dodgers had in mind when the club opened the 2010 season.

But for one Sunday afternoon, those reserves combined to give Ted Lilly all the support he needed to win his second consecutive game since being traded to the Dodgers on July 31.

Led by Carroll’s three hits, including a two-run single, and a two-run single by the pinch-hitting Johnson, the Dodgers defeated the Nationals, 8-3, at Dodger Stadium to win their second game against Washington in less than 24 hours.

Lilly (5-8), meanwhile, held the Nationals to the three runs along with five hits in his six innings of work.

The Dodgers remained seven games behind the first-place San Diego Padres, who also won, but the Dodgers’ victory did give them a smidge of momentum ahead of a seven-game trip that opens Tuesday in Philadelphia against the Phillies.

But Manager Joe Torre was quick to note that although he applauded the strong play by his bench Sunday, “you can’t count on that for a steady diet, because we need the 3-4-5 guys” in the lineup “to play and produce like we know they’re capable of.”

Indeed, the 3-4-5 hitters Sunday