It’s a relief for Dodgers to get back home

The Dodgers had a rough trip last week, dropping four of six games in Colorado and Chicago, thanks in part to poor relief pitching.

The bullpen on the six-game trip allowed 36 baserunners while recording only 43 outs, and had a 6.91 ERA for the week. But since returning home, Dodgers relievers have righted the ship.

In three games against the Giants, the Dodgers’ bullpen pitched nine scoreless innings and the Dodgers won two of three games against their National League West division rivals.

The bullpen was at its best on Wednesday, when starter Chad Billingsley was pinch hit for in the fourth inning of a 2-1 game.

The Dodgers took the lead on a pinch three-run triple by Tony Gwynn Jr., then four relievers combined to pitch five scoreless innings, with eight strikeouts, to close out the game.

“We were able to grab that momentum there, and Jamey Wright was able to shut the door,” manager Don Mattingly said. “His two innings were huge. “That’s the key right there, those two innings, to be able to set up the bullpen the way we wanted.”

Wright picked up the victory for his two perfect innings, and in three games at Dodger Stadium this season, Wright has pitched four scoreless, hitless innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

NOTES, QUOTES
After huge April, Kemp has yet to flower in May
   –CF Matt Kemp set a Dodgers’ franchise record with 12 home runs in April, but he had no home runs in eight games in May through Thursday. Kemp went 0-for-5 Wednesday night against the Giants to see his batting average drop to .385, only the fourth time in 31 games that Kemp has had an average below .400 at the end of a game.
   –SS Dee Gordon went 0-for-5 Wednesday to snap his season high eight-game hitting streak. The leadoff hitter was hitting .227 with a .268 on-base percentage on the season through Thursday. “It seems like it’s going fast for him right now,” manager Don Mattingly said. “The off day (Thursday) comes at a good time for him to relax a little bit.”
   –RHP Kenley Jansen struck out two Giants on Wednesday night and led all major league relievers through Wednesday with 29 strikeouts. Jansen was also tied for second in MLB with 17 appearances.
   –RHP Chad Billingsley pitched only four innings Wednesday night, as he was pulled for a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and the Dodgers trailing, 2-1. It snapped a streak of four consecutive quality starts for Dodgers’ pitchers.
   –OF Bobby Abreu had two hits, including a double Wednesday night, and is 5-for-14 (.385) with three doubles in six games since signing with the Dodgers on May 4. This season, with both the Angels and Dodgers, Abreu has more doubles (six) than singles (four).
   BY THE NUMBERS: 9 — Scoreless innings pitched by the Dodgers’ bullpen in their three-game series against the Giants.
   QUOTE TO NOTE: “We were able to grab that momentum there, and Jamey Wright was able to shut the door. His two innings were huge.” — Manager Don Mattingly, on RHP Jamey Wright, part of five scoreless innings by the Dodgers’ bullpen Wednesday against the Giants.