Dodgers Win in 11th, 5-4, for Sweep of Reds
Perhaps, it could be argued, the Dodgers merely ran into a team with a greater proclivity for self-destructing than they have shown in the first nine weeks of the season.
But after completing a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-4, 11-inning win before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 39,389 Wednesday night, the Dodgers would like to believe that their fortunes have taken a long-overdue turn for the better.
And who could argue with them, when the winning run was driven in by Franklin Stubbs, who wouldn’t even have been at the plate in the same situation a week ago?
A week ago, Stubbs was being platooned with Cesar Cedeno and didn’t play against left-handers. But Cedeno was released last Thursday, and Stubbs was on his own against left-hander John Franco, the Reds’ relief ace who had blown his cool in Tuesday night’s controversial 1-0 loss.
Wednesday night, Franco kept his composure but lost the game as Stubbs hit a sidearm curveball up the middle for the hit that scored Mariano Duncan, who had singled with two out and taken second when Red left fielder Eric Davis bobbled the ball for an error.
“The ball took a bad hop,” Davis said. “It just rolled up my arm.”
Stubbs shouldn’t have been in the No. 3 spot in the order. But Ken Landreaux was a late scratch because of a sprained left knee, and Stubbs was moved up from the sixth spot to third. All he did was hit his 11th home run and fifth in a dozen games, a two-run shot that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
He also singled twice and was walked twice intentionally.
“I’m starting to find myself,” said Stubbs, who is finally living up to the rave notices given him by Dodger Vice President Al Campanis from the time he was drafted No. 1 in 1982.
“It felt good to start against a left-hander (Chris Welsh) in this series and show I can play with these guys. I’m very happy I hit well in those situations.”
That’s not all that turned out happily for the Dodgers, who were three outs away from winning in regulation until reliever Ken Howell opened the ninth with a walk to Buddy Bell, then threw wildly after deflecting and retrieving Dave Concepcion’s high hopper.
Ed Vande Berg survived a three-hit 11th inning for his first win as a Dodger, and catcher Alex Trevino, playing only because Mike Scioscia was out with a sprained right ankle, hit his first home run, singled, threw out Davis trying to steal in the 10th and ran all the way out to the infield in the 11th to tag out Bell, hung up between first and second on a botched hit-and-run play.
Duncan, who had singled home the winning run Monday night and scored the game-winner Tuesday night, hadn’t gotten the ball out of the infield in five at-bats before lining his hit in the 11th.
With first base open, Rose elected to have Steve Sax walked, bringing up Stubbs.
“I’d rather take a chance with him than with Sax,” Rose said.
That chance, like almost everything else the last-place Reds tried here, blew up in their faces, leading to the Dodgers’ first sweep of the Reds here since April, 1975.
Bob Welch, winless in six weeks, held the Reds to five hits and three runs, one unearned, before leaving after the seventh, when Dave Parker hit his 13th home run to make it 4-3.
But Parker, who had only two hits in the series, tapped out against Howell in the eighth, when the Reds had two on and two out.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on Dave Anderson’s double and two walks. But Franco retired pinch-hitter Bill Russell on a sharp ground ball to Bell.
Dodger Notes Enos Cabell, one of the most unnoticed participants in Tuesday night’s controversial game-ending play, injured himself sliding into second to break up the Reds’ double play attempt. Cabell strained a muscle in the right groin area and was unavailable to play Wednesday. “I can’t even sit; how I can hit?” said Cabell, who is hopeful of playing this weekend in San Diego. Cabell said he was injured taking out Red second baseman Ron Oester on Bill Madlock’s grounder. “I knew I had to get down there to bust it (the double play) up,” Cabell said. “Oester is one of the best second basemen in the league, so I knew I had to create havoc. Doggie (Madlock) ran quicker than he’s ever run since he’s been here, and Mariano (Duncan) was flying.” . . . The Reds were no less adamant that plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt was wrong in ruling Duncan was safe at the plate, sliding in under the tag of catcher Bo Diaz. Looking at a photo of the play, Red reliever John Franco said: “Print that picture and call it, ‘Believe it or not.’ ” Franco was ejected after Wendelstedt said he was bumped by the player. A report has been filed with the league office, which will decide whether to take further action against the Red pitcher. . . . Madlock, asked if Diaz had done an adequate job of blocking the plate, said: “You’re used to judging (Mike) Scioscia. Diaz has got bad knees. Let’s see how Scioscia is next time. It’s different after you’ve been smoked one time. It’s one thing to be hit up high, but the legs are a whole different story.” Scioscia has not played since spraining his right ankle when Red pitcher Tom Browning cut his legs out from under him with a hard slide Monday night. . . . Boxer Roberto Duran, scheduled to fight Robbie Sims June 23 in Las Vegas, mugged with Fernando Valenzuela before the game. Duran gave Valenzuela a blue robe that said K.O. Fernando on the back and posed for pictures holding a bat while Valenzuela put up a pair of boxing gloves. . . . Cincinnati Post reporter Bruce Schoenfeld met briefly with Red pitcher John Denny, whom he has accused of assaulting him in Philadelphia last month, but the meeting ended when Denny said he refused to discuss the incident. The meeting had been arranged by Red Executive Vice President Bill Bergesch.