Mark Ellis has been on nearly as big of a roll as the Los Angeles Dodgers since the All-Star break.
The second baseman has hit safely in all 11 of his team’s games, batting .415 with a homer and eight RBIs since the second half began July 19.
Ellis delivered the winning single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Dodgers a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. He lofted a slider over the head of leaping shortstop Derek Jeter to score Andre Ethier, who singled and stole second.
”He threw me quite a few (sliders) in that at-bat,” Ellis said of Shawn Kelley. ”When I hit the ball, I had a pretty good idea it was going over Jeter’s head. The big play was Andre stealing second.”
The Dodgers improved to 27-6 since June 22, their best stretch since going 29-5 during a 34-game run from Aug. 7-Sept. 9, 1953. They are 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Arizona in the NL West.
”We like where we’re at,” said Ellis, who went 2 for 4 while helping the Dodgers win their eighth consecutive one-run game.
Kenley Jansen (4-3) pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn the win. The Dodgers’ bullpen hasn’t allowed a hit in 9 1-3 scoreless innings in its last four games.
”They’re playing real well and we knew that coming in,” Yankees starter Andy Pettitte said. ”So they’ve got a lot to be excited about right now. It would have been nice to come in here and be able to get this first game. But they’re hot.”
Kelley (3-1) took the loss in relief in the Yankees’ third-ever series at Dodger Stadium and first since June 2010. They lost for the third time in four games, and fell to 26-26 on the road.
”I’ve got to find a way to get that last out,” Kelley said. ”Ellis got the bat on it and it cost us the game. That was the pitch I wanted to throw – a slider down in the zone. I wanted to attack him with my best pitch to the end from 3-1, and I did. I threw him slider-slider. I got him out in front a little bit, but he got enough to get it in the outfield.”
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked none while being denied his 100th career victory for a third straight start.
”I was more pumped up, I don’t know why,” Greinke said. ”Usually I’ll take more energy drink stuff before games but today I didn’t. I wanted to calm down. It wasn’t easy to do.”
Pettitte gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked none in his longest outing since June 14 in Anaheim.
New York tied the game 2-all in the fourth on Lyle Overbay’s RBI groundout to shortstop that scored Alfonso Soriano, who doubled to lead off and took third on Greinke’s wild pitch.
The Dodgers went up 2-1 on Juan Uribe’s homer in the second.
The Yankees tied the game 1-all on Overbay’s home run leading off the top of the second.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead on Hanley Ramirez’s RBI single in the first that scored Yasiel Puig, who doubled.
NOTES: The Yankees are 18-12 in one-run games this season. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he expects to have 3B Alex Rodriguez back on the roster in the near future. Girardi said A-Rod is scheduled for a rehab game on Thursday. A-Rod has been rehabbing a strained left quadriceps at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla., amid reports that he will soon be disciplined by MLB as a result of the Biogenesis case. … Girardi said Jeter will have a mix of starts as DH and off days as he works up to everyday playing shape after his DL stint. … Celebrities were out in force including Jay-Z sitting four seats away from fellow agent Scott Boras; NBA stars Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden; Jack Nicholson; Mel Brooks; Ice Cube; George Lopez; and Luc Robitaille of the L.A. Kings next to Magic Johnson. … The crowd of 52,447 was the 15th sellout of the season.