Adrian Gonzalez finds ninth-inning heroics in Dodgers’ 5-4 win
Since his first at-bat, everything had seemed a struggle for Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodger. That home run was glorious, but then came weak at-bats and unseemly futility.
Prideful, the club’s new first baseman had silently despaired as he thrashed about at the plate. It took a ball lost in the sun Sunday to snap an 0-for-12 skid.
But given one last chance in the bottom of the ninth innning, Gonzalez came up huge, lining a two-run double off J.J. Putz to give the Dodgers a much-needed 5-4 victory over the Diamondbacks before an announced crowd of 31,607.
The Dodgers trailed by one in the bottom of the ninth when Mark Ellis singled and Shane Victorino walked to bring up Gonzalez, who lined an 0-2 pitch into the right-field corner.
That easily scored Ellis, and Victorino was able to beat the relay for the winning run.
The victory kept the Dodgers 4 1/2 games back of the Giants, who also won, in the National League West.
The game started with more of the solo home-run routine the Dodgers used successfully in Saturday’s victory. Matt Kemp hit a solo shot off Wade Miley in the second that bounced off the top of the right-field fence and over. It was Kemp’s 18th home run of the season, but his first since Aug. 8.
The Diamondbacks tied it in the third when John McDonald hit a solo homer off Chris Capuano and then took the lead with a real break in the offensive monotony when Miguel Montero hit a two-run homer.
The Dodgers pulled to within one in the sixth when Kemp walked, took third on a Hanley Ramirez double and scored on an Andre Ethier groundout, but Arizona went back up by two with a run off reliever Shawn Tolleson on three singles in the seventh.
The Dodgers scored in the bottom of the inning, but missed a chance for more damage. Pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis doubled and scored on a Victorino hit. One out later, Gonzalez snapped his 0-for-12 skid when his hard-hit fly to right-center field was apparently lost in the sun.
Victorino had yet to get to second base when it fell, and had to stop at third. Kemp grounded out to end the threat.
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