Dodgers get inventive, beat Rangers 1-0 on walk-off balk

Dodgers can't manufacture runs of their own, but get win over Texas Rangers with walk-off balk

When you're absolutely desperate to score, there's no concern over how the runs happen. Beg, borrow, steal ... or given like an unqualified gift from the baseball heavens.

The Dodgers' feeble offense had gone eight innings Thursday without scoring, the only saving grace being the Rangers had been unable to push a run across either.

So in the ninth inning after Texas reliever Keone Kela walked a pair of runners but Alberto Callaspo had bounced into a double play to leave pinch-runner Enrique Hernandez at third with two outs, there was absolutely no complaining when Kela was called for a balk by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson.

Hernandez happily trotted home and the Dodgers had a 1-0 victory over the Rangers before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 46,977 to snap their three-game losing streak.

The Dodgers have not lost more than three consecutive games all season.

They held a pregame meeting prior to Thursday's game, presumably to discuss their recent offensive ineptitude. Hey, there was nothing to lose, even if they still managed only five hits.

Zeroes littered the scoreboard all night. Inning after inning, neither team could put up a run.

That the Rangers could not scratch out anything against Zack Greinke was hardly a surprise. In eight of his last nine starts he has allowed two or fewer runs.

And apparently no one should be surprised the Dodgers cannot score against any pitcher. Even someone who entered the game with a 32.40 ERA. Of course, Anthony Ranaudo had thrown only one other game this season, that back on April 15 when the Angels roughed him up for six runs in 1 2/3 innings.

This time out, though, Ranaudo was looking like a prospect taken in the first round by the Red Sox in 2010 (10 picks after the Dodgers took Zach Lee). The Dodgers barely made him work. They got only two runners as far as second through the first six innings.

Then in the seventh Andre Ethier led off with a single. One out later the Dodgers utilized a rare run-and-hit play, Jimmy Rollins knocking a single through the vacated infield hole into right, with Ethier advancing to third.

Which is where the rally ended. Justin Turner pinch hit for Greinke and flied out to shallow center. Left-hander Ross Detwiler relieved Ranaudo and induced Joc Pederson to fly out to right.

Ranaudo went 6 2/3 innings, holding the Dodgers scoreless on five hits and two walks. He struck out four.

Greinke was even more impressive, not that he had anything to show for it. Again.

This was Greinke's eighth consecutive start in search of his sixth victory this season. He has a 1.99 ERA over that stretch and is 0-3.

He was particularly effective Thursday, shutting out the Rangers for his seven innings on four hits. He did not walk a batter, struck out eight and lowered his overall ERA to 1.81.

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn the win, striking out two.

Follow Steve Dilbeck on Twitter @SteveDilbeck

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