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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kuroda and Dodgers Bump Padres Out of First Place

Dodgers 3 6 0
Padres    1 5 1
WP-Kuroda (11-13)
LP-Latos (14-8)
S-Kuo (10)

The Dodgers finally got enough runs for Kuroda to pick up his 11th win of the season, avoid a three game sweep, and to bump San Diego out of first place in the NL West. The Giants won earlier 13-0 against the Chicago Cubs, but the Padres were shut down by Asian dynamos Hiroki Kuroda and Hong-Chi Kuo who earned his 10th save of the season.

Kuroda allowed only 1 run off 5 hits in his 8 innings while striking out 4 and walking 1. The Padres only run came in the 1st inning and was brought in by Tejada's ground out after Kuroda gave up singles to Venable and Eckstein and intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez. Hiroki was able to get Ludwick to hit into an inning ending double play. The Dodgers came back to tie it at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning when Andre Ethier doubled in Furcal. The Furcal/Ethier two hit punch worked again in the 3rd inning when Furcal stole 2nd base, and then Ethier singled him home on 2 outs. In the 6th inning the Dodgers loaded the bases with reliever Frieri coming in to replace Latos, and Rod Barajas was able to draw the walk and RBI making it 3-1 in favor of the Dodgers. Latos only lasted 5 innings, allowing 3 runs off 6 hits striking out 4 and walking 1.

Kuo came in to pitch the 9th inning and fanned the side, giving the Dodgers their first victory since the exciting walk off win against the Rockies.

This may have been the second to last start for Kuroda in a Dodger uniform. Kuroda faces a tough decision at season end when he becomes a free agent. He could choose to remain with the Dodgers if they offer him ample salary, opt to go to another MLB team, return to Japan to play baseball, or retire. Let's hope the Dodgers make him a reasonable offer allowing him to play next year with the club. He has been great this year, pitching well and healthy.

Birthday boy Matt Kemp had 2 strikeouts.

The Dodgers now will travel to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks Friday night. They will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound. Go Blue:)

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