The Los Angeles Dodgers won a game in which Andre Ethier struck out his first three times up and made up for it with three Gold Glove-caliber catches in right field. They had a sacrifice fly taken away on an appeal play, then tied the score in the ninth with one that counted — against a closer who hadn’t blown a save all season.
And to top it off, Dee Gordon hit a game-ending single in the 10th after failing to bunt a runner over in a key situation the previous inning. It all added up to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday in the rubber game of an interleague series between division leaders.
”We just grinded it out today and were able to come through in the end,” Tony Gwynn Jr. said. ”It was a bunch of guys who did it. It was good to see Dee come up big like that after he missed the bunt. He was pretty down after that.”
Gwynn lined a one-out triple under the glove of a diving Jordan Danks as he charged the ball in left field. Matt Treanor followed with a hard grounder to second baseman Gordon Beckham with the infield in, forcing Gwynn to stay put. Bobby Abreu was intentionally walked and Gordon lined a single to left against Matt Thornton (2-5), whose wild pitch in the eighth inning of Friday’s series opener let in the decisive run.
Ronald Belisario (3-0) pitched two hitless innings for the victory.
Dodgers left-hander Chris Capuano yielded a run and eight hits over eight innings and had a season-high 12 strikeouts, after going 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his six previous home starts with Los Angeles.
Chicago rookie Jose Quintana scattered five hits over eight scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none in his seventh big league start. The 23-year-old left-hander was removed by first-year manager Robin Ventura with a 1-0 lead after just 77 pitches. Addison Reed absorbed his first blown save in nine chances this season.
”This is what Reed does,” Ventura said in defense of his decision. ”And we have a lot more games to go, even with Q. He pitched great, but right there I wanted to go to the closer.”
Singles by Abreu and Elian Herrera put runners at the corners with one out, and Abreu scored on Juan Rivera’s sac fly to right.
”I made a couple of bad pitches and they hit them,” Reed said. ”The pitch to Abreu was supposed to be a high fastball out of the zone, but I didn’t get it high enough and it got a little too much of the zone. Anytime you lose a game it stinks, especially when the starting pitcher throws as well as Quintana did.”
Treanor led off the sixth with a bunt single and was at third base when Herrera hit what appeared to be a tying sacrifice fly. But Treanor was called out to end the inning after umpire Jerry Meals ruled that he left the bag too soon.
”That’s what he saw,” Treanor said. ”You can’t be 100 percent right all the time, but it fired me up because that would have tied the game — and you don’t know how many you’re going to score. Nothing against Jerry, but I thought it was not the right call.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got into a heated and animated argument with Meals, resulting in his fourth ejection of the season and seventh in less than 1 1/2 years on the job.
It didn’t end there, as Mattingly stood nose-to-nose with Meals for more than a minute before and after third base ump and crew chief Gary Darling joined the fray. When he was done with Meals, Mattingly got into Darling’s face on his way back to the plate and waved his arms up and down like a bird in flight before finally retreating to the clubhouse.
”I didn’t even realize I was that fired up. I was just kind of frustrated over that call,” Mattingly said. ”I knew that he missed it. The video doesn’t lie. It was a situation where, if you’re not 100 percent sure, how can you overturn a run? He kept telling me he got it 100 percent right. That’s about the third time I’ve heard that this year.”
Capuano matched zeros with Quintana until the sixth, when Brent Lillibridge led off with a single and continued to second on Herrera’s error in left field. Lillibridge scored from third on Dayan Viciedo’s single after slugger Adam Dunn struck out for the third straight time.
Viciedo was robbed of a hit in the fourth when Ethier made a diving grab in short right-center. Two innings later, the Gold Glove winner made a sliding catch of Alex Rios’ Texas Leaguer to end the sixth. Ethier stole the show in the eighth when he robbed Lillibridge of extra bases with a leaping grab of his hard-hit ball at the top of the fence.
”It’s not too often that you can get that many balls in a game that you have a chance to make a play like that on. But I had to contribute somehow today,” said Ethier, who hasn’t committed an error since July 9, 2010. ”One thing you learn over time is that you have to play both sides of the ball and keep playing the game hard.”
NOTES: A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by US Marine Corps Corporal Christopher Farias, who was thrown for a loop when he realized the catcher was his father, Lawrence — dressed in a Dodgers uniform and mask when he sprung the surprise. … Dunn, who leads the majors with 23 home runs, also has struck out a major league-leading 104 times.