Los Angeles-The Los Angeles Dodgers snapped out of whatever funk they had been in the previous three games and got back on the winning track, bouncing the visiting Chicago Cubs with a 6-1 win Friday night at Dodgers Stadium. The win snapped a three-game homestand skid the Dodgers put themselves in after falling to the Arizona Diamondbacks in as many games.
In their fourth game of a long nine-game homestand the Dodgers’ bats cracked with the crisp of a wooden log simmering in an open fire. The pitching of Chad Billingsley, who won his third straight outing on the mound, was even sharper in the twilight game. In securing his first three-game win streak since a May-June stretch last year, Billingsley
The way Billingsley has pitched his last three games will probably be what the Dodgers need down the regular season stretch as they try to overtake division rival San Francisco Giants for the Western Conference title and look for postseason play.
Billingsley, who picked up his seventh win of the season, has been a different pitcher since coming off the disabled list for inflammation in his right elbow, giving up just two runs in nearly 21 innings of pitching.
It was a good thing the big right-hander took some time off because the five starts he had before going on the DL list turned into losses and put him the negative in the won-loss(4-9) department. Against the Cubs, Billingsley was in complete command from the start, pitching seven solid innings while just allowing one run.
Maybe it was the presence of Star Trek icon William “Captain James T. Kirk” Shatner, who threw out the game’s ceremonial pitch that got Billingsley going. Maybe it was the two home run performance by A. J. Ellis that helped sparked his strong outing. Or maybe he set out to avenge the 5-4 defeat Chicago handed him and the Dodgers back in May when he surrendered four earned runs.
Either way, Billingsley was on all night. But it certainly helped that he some offense behind him. Ellis, who connected for his ninth and 10th home runs of the season, provided Billingsley with enough offense to give the Dodgers their 57th win of the season. Ellis’ first home run in the third inning put the Dodgers on top with a 1-0. He finished the game’s scoring with his second long shot of the game, belting a home run in the seventh inning.
Newly acquired Hanley Ramirez got in on the scoring act, driving in two runs in the sixth inning on an infield hit. The Dodger s will need more of the same effort in hopes of overtaking the Giants, if not during their current homestand, but sometime before the season ends.