Braves Rout Dodgers, 11-2, Stop Guerrero
The Atlanta Braves, who were once known as America’s team but lately have caught America’s attention only because late-night TV host David Letterman makes fun of Terry Forster, had a little fun of their own Friday night at the expense of the Dodgers.
The Braves, making their first visit of the season to Dodger Stadium, continued their modest revival by beating on the Dodgers, 11-2, before a crowd of 40,546.
The Braves not only succeeded in keeping Pedro Guerrero off the bases for the first time since June 18, they also scored all of their runs with two outs.
Eight runs came in the final two innings, when Glenn Hubbard and Terry Harper hit three-run home runs, Hubbard in the eighth off Bobby Castillo, Harper in the ninth off Steve Howe.
Two days earlier, Howe had given up a three-run home run to Steve Garvey of the Padres.
The Braves have won five in a row but remain in fifth place, 5 games under .500 and 9 1/2 games behind first-place San Diego in the NL West. It was the most runs scored by the Braves since May 1, when they got 17 against Cincinnati.
The Dodgers, losing their third straight game, remained 6 games behind the Padres in third place.
Despite having only four hits, the Dodgers actually led this one, 2-0, but a rare ground-rule triple by Ken Oberkfell climaxed a three-run rally that started with two out and nobody on in the sixth.
That’s when Rick Honeycutt, working on a one-hitter to that point, gave up a single to Dale Murphy, who had only one hit in his previous 18 trips. Bob Horner, one of the least likely Braves to leg out a hit, beat out a tapper to the left of second baseman Steve Sax.
“Horner was out,” Honeycutt said, casting a dissenting vote to the call made by first base umpire Joe West, “but it didn’t bother me.”
The bothersome part came soon after, when Terry Harper followed with an opposite-field single to right that Ken Landreaux fielded and threw on a fly to the backstop.
Landreaux, playing in right field because Al Oliver was making a rare start in left, said the ball slipped.
“It was wet,” Landreaux said. “There’s a lot of times at night I won’t attempt to throw the ball here. At night in most places, the grass is not that wet. It’s always wet at night here.
“The next time I’m going to dry it off first, then throw it.”
Murphy scored to make it 2-1, and the runners moved up. Oberkfell then hit a ball down the right-field line that was fielded by a couple of trespassing fans after Landreaux missed it with a diving attempt. It was ruled a ground-rule triple.
The pitch before, Oberkfell had missed a home run when it landed two seats to the right of the right-field foul pole.
“Oberkfell hit a slider for the long foul, then hit another slider,” Honeycutt said. "(Catcher Mike) Scioscia asked me what I wanted to throw Oberkfell, a fastball or a slider away. I said a slider because he’s an opposite-field hitter.”
Not this time. Then, after Honeycutt departed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, the Braves teed off on Castillo and Howe, although Castillo was hurt by two infield hits just before Hubbard’s home run.
Castillo, who has allowed 41 hits and 27 walks in 41 innings, is now carrying a 5.93 ERA, highest on the team. Only Fernando Valenzuela has issued more walks.
Howe’s ERA is second highest at 4.91.
“My arm feels great,” Howe said. “Every time I second-guess myself, I get the bleep kicked out of me. I wanted to do something (with Harper) and I did something totally different.”
Honeycutt had as many hits as the Braves did through the first five innings, and his went for extra bases. Honeycutt, who only had one hit in 21 at-bats this season, lined a double to right, a feat he celebrated by clapping his hands over his head.
Honeycutt eventually scored the Dodgers’ second run after a bunt single by Dave Anderson and a sacrifice fly by Mariano Duncan, who pushed Brad Komminsk back to the track in right.
The Dodgers had taken a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Landreaux walked, stole second and came home on Scioscia’s ground single past Braves starter Steve Bedrosian.
Mike Marshall, who underwent an appendectomy June 20, was a visitor to Dodger Stadium. Marshall, unable to eat solid foods for the first three days after surgery, said he’d probably lost “10 pounds overall. They fed me through the IV the first day, the next day was Popsicles and water, then came the big day--mashed potatoes, cream of wheat with nothing on it and a poached egg. But my mom’s here now, and she’s feeding me pretty good.” As for when he’d be able to return, Marshall said: “I imagine I’m a couple of weeks away. I’m pretty sore, but I’m getting stronger every day. I thought I was starting to play pretty good before I was hurt, too. I wasn’t doing anything spectacular, but night in and night out, I was helping the team win some games.” . . . Alejandro Pena, who underwent shoulder surgery in spring training, pitched batting practice for the first time Friday. “He threw all right,” pitching coach Ron Perranoski said. “He went about 10 minutes. Nothing overpowering, just mediocre. But no pain, and that’s the main thing. He’ll go again Tuesday.” . . . Dr. Frank Jobe, who performed the surgery on Pena, said: “I think there is optimism, but it’s premature to make a real prediction on when or whether (Pena will return), but he certainly has done all his rehabilitation very well. He’s progressed as well as we hoped under any circumstance.” . . . Al Oliver, who batted third and played left field, made his first start since May 5. He had made 10 pinch-hit appearances in that time, getting three hits in nine official at-bats and a sacrifice fly. . . . The Dodgers plan to honor Pedro Guerrero for his record-setting month in pregame ceremonies today, which is also his 29th birthday.