Friday, April 13, 2012

Harang's histroic night and late-inning magic lead Dodgers to win, plus minor-league news

Despite a bad ninth inning by reliever Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers still won their seventh in eight games 9-8 via the walk-off walk.

Andre Ethier came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and coaxed a four-pitch walk from Padres' reliever Joe Thatcher.

But the story of the game tonight's Dodgers' 8-6 win was Aaron Harang (right), who struck out 13 Padres in 6 1/3 innings at Dodger Stadium. He also set a Dodgers' record with those strikeouts.

After allowing a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin, Harang went onto strike out nine consecutive hitters (including Maybin for No. 9) in the first three innings.

The nine in a row broke Johnny Podres Dodgers' record of eight. Tom Seaver still holds the Major League record with 10.

The wheels came off -- briefly -- in the fourth as Will Venable hit a home run to break up the strikeout parade. Harang would give up two more runs in the inning. He also gave up a run in the seventh. Harang finished with this line: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R (all earned), 2 BB, 13 K.

In the fourth inning, Matt Kemp hit his third home run of the season over the right field wall. He hit one out to right in San Diego last week and one to center field. He's yet to hit a home run to his pull field. He went 1-for-2 with the homer, two RBI, two runs and three walks -- his first three walks of the season. No longer will he have a better batting average than on-base percentage.

The bullpen tried to give away the game, as Todd Coffey and Scott Elbert were ineffective, but the combination of the soon-to-be-demoted Josh Lindblom put out the fire in the eighth before Jansen totally shat the bed in the ninth. He gave up a 2-out, 2-run home run to Chase Headley with two strikes, which tied the game. He ended up with the all important "W," though.

Minor league update

Triple-A - Isotopes won 7-4
The Isotopes won their home-opener in front of 10,000-plus fans. Josh Fields hit the first home run (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) in Albuquerque. Jerry Sands chipped in with a home run of his own, going 2-for-3. Alex Castellanos continued his improved plate discipline, walking once and getting a hit. Tim Federowicz went 1-for-2 with two runs and two walks. Josh Wall picked up his second save for the 'Topes.

Double-A - Lookouts won 7-3
Matt Magill got the start for Chattanooga and struck out eight batters. That's the good news. The bad news is he lasted just four innings (98 pitches, 61 strikes), four hits, three runs (all earned) and three walks. He boasts a 14.0 K/9 through his first two starts. The bullpen picked him up, though, by not allowing a hit, just one walk while striking out five. Steve Ames finished the game by recording two Ks.

The offense came to play, led by J.T. Wise, who went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two walks. Gorman Erickson (right) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. The offense did strike out 14 times, which is a concern.

High-A - Quakes rained out

Low-A - Loons won 5-4
As much griping as I've done about the Loons' offense this year, one guy continues to perform: Jesus Alberto Arredondo. Hitting leadoff, he went 3-for-5 with a double, triple, stolen base and two runs scored. The Loons' second baseman is off to a fast start in the Midwest League, posting a .462 average in eight games.

Matthew Laney got the start and went four decent innings: five hits, three runs (all earned), three walks and six strikeouts. Juan Noriega and Eric Eadington both threw two scoreless innings, giving up five hits, one walk while striking out seven. Yimi Garcia blew the save by giving up an unearned run in the ninth, but he was picked up Joseph Winker's game-winning RBI single.

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I promise I'm trying to find out more information about Arredondo. This is what I have right now, via MLive.com:
"The Dodgers signed Arredondo as a free agent out of the Mexican League. Arredondo, who can play both second and shortstop, hit .320 last season in 53 games. He scored 31 runs and knocked in 14. He was just 4 of 14 in stolen base attempts."
Hope to have some more information in the coming days.

Photo credits
Harang: Blevine37, Wikimedia Commons
Erickson: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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