Manny homers, but Dodgers fall in Boston
Padilla pitches well; Broxton gives up winner after LA rally
BOSTON -- It's usually Jonathan Broxton's job as closer to make sure the Dodgers win. Saturday he was asked to make sure they didn't lose, and the difference turned out to be more than subtle.
"You've still got to get outs," Broxton said after he didn't.
The one batter he faced, Dustin Pedroia, singled home the winning run with two out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 5-4 walk-off win over the Dodgers in Interleague Play.
- 134 wins
- 118 wins
The Dodgers wasted a home run, single and first stolen base since 2008 from Manny Ramirez; three hits from Garret Anderson; four errors by the Red Sox; and a healthy return from the disabled list by Opening Day starting pitcher Vicente Padilla.
Considering the depleted shape of their rotation, the Dodgers needed Padilla's rebound most of all. After missing nearly two months (he hadn't started since April 22) with an inflamed radial nerve in his pitching arm, he made it into the sixth, charged with four runs, three scoring on homers by Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis.
But Padilla was healthy enough to deliver 89 pitches, his fastball still hitting 95 mph in his last inning. He struck out four and walked one.
"What he gave us, we couldn't ask for better in his first outing in a long time," said manager Joe Torre. "His stuff was quality, he was consistently hitting his spots. It was the 3-0 pitch to Martinez for the two-run home run, that was the difference. Overall, he pitched well."
Padilla said his arm felt fine and he was pleased he could maintain his velocity. But he also admitted he was surprised that Martinez (7-for-15 lifetime against Padilla) was swinging 3-0.
"Yes, but you've got to throw strikes in that situation," said Padilla, who walked Martinez his previous at-bat, leading to Boston's first run. "It's part of the game. It could have been a ground ball. If I hadn't given up the home runs, we would have won. That's a bit of a disappointment. The main thing is my arm feels fine."
Padilla said he didn't throw as hard in his three rehab starts as he did Saturday, but he encountered no discomfort between those starts and didn't anticipate any after this one.
"I could wake up with pain, but for the moment, I feel fine," he said.
The Dodgers were able to overcome a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the seventh, only for the bullpen to lose it in the ninth. Broxton inherited runners on first and second from loser Ronald Belisario, who allowed a leadoff single to Bill Hall and a two-out walk to Marco Scutaro.
"A runner in scoring position is the only time I'd bring him in like that," Torre said, explaining why he used Broxton in a non-save situation on the road.
Broxton had followed ball one to Pedroia with swinging strikes on a 99-mph fastball up and in and a slider away, then he tried to place a 98-mph fastball away and Pedroia punched it to right field, as the scouting report said he would.
"Haven't seen it [on video]," Broxton said when asked if the pitch was where he wanted it. "Can't tell you."
The throw from Andre Ethier, Pedroia's former Arizona State teammate, sailed wide of catcher Russell Martin as Daniel Nava scored the winning run.
"I know how good Broxton is, but any time Pedey has something to do with the outcome of a game, we feel good," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "You know he's going to give you everything he has and he kind of wills himself to do something good. The two breaking balls Broxton threw were filthy."
Pedroia agreed with his manager's appraisal of Broxton:
"It was survival. He threw me some pretty tough pitches. It's not fun. I've never faced a guy like that before and he's throwing 100 with that second pitch. Honestly, when I got two strikes, I was just trying to put the ball in play and I got it on the barrel."
Earlier, Jeff Weaver and Hong-Chih Kuo pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings each, the overpowering Kuo striking out three.
The Dodgers struck first off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Ramirez singled leading off the second and was credited with a steal when James Loney took a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch. Anderson brought home Ramirez with a sinking line single that right fielder Bill Hall booted.
Ramirez homered in the sixth, his eighth of the year and third of the week. Doubles by Anderson and Blake DeWitt chased Wakefield in the seventh. Matt Kemp greeted reliever Manny Delcarmen with a sacrifice fly that scored DeWitt and tied the game.
"They made four errors, but we really didn't take advantage of them," said Torre. "Three guys got all our hits. That's frustrating in this park, a good park to hit in."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.