Broxton called to slam door on Yanks
Torre sends Dodgers closer in eighth to top former team
LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre wouldn't have thought about bringing Mariano Rivera into an eighth-inning jam with a five-run lead, but instead of managing the Yankees, he's managing against them now, and everything's different.
- 134 wins
- 118 wins
So he took no chances with that explosive opposing lineup on Saturday. With James Loney's four RBIs and Rafael Furcal's three runs helping build the lead, Torre summoned closer Jonathan Broxton to ensure a 9-4 Dodgers Interleague win over New York, Torre's first against his former team."I did it because of who was coming up," Torre said, having brought Broxton in with two outs in the eighth, two on and Derek Jeter coming up. Broxton struck out Jeter (who fanned three times) to end the eighth, then got through the ninth despite a walk to Alex Rodriguez, the game ending with shortstop Furcal robbing Robinson Cano of a hit up the middle that might have made things interesting. "I didn't want to go more than four outs with Broxton, but the game can get cozy in a hurry, especially with that part of the batting order coming up," Torre said. "It was something I just felt I had to do. A three-run homer and it's a two-run game all of a sudden." And the Dodgers had already seen a New York three-run homer, the game opening with Hiroki Kuroda walking the first two Yankees batters and Mark Teixeira going deep. But Kuroda regrouped to take the game into the sixth inning, allowing only one more run. "Maybe he was over-pumped, especially with who we were playing," Torre said of Kuroda (7-5). "That's what they make you do." Torre also went to left-handed setup man Hong-Chih Kuo earlier than usual, with one out and two on in the sixth inning, also to face the top of the Yankees' potent order. Kuo mowed down all five batters he faced. His ERA is 1.16, opposing hitters are batting .114 and opposing left-handed hitters are 0-for-25. "I just thought that part of the batting order, he was the guy," said Torre, who won't use Kuo on consecutive days because of an elbow that has undergone four operations. "He's easy to trust. He's really been lights out. It shows you that I'm not afraid of bringing in a left-hander to pitch to Jeter." "Any time you have two powerhouses like that coming at you, one from the left side and one from the right side, you feel good about any matchup," said catcher Russell Martin. "It makes the manager's job a lot easier." Meanwhile, the Dodgers' offense, held to one run by CC Sabathia a night earlier, scrambled back to chase a wild A.J. Burnett (6-7) in the fourth inning. Burnett issued six of the Dodgers' 10 walks. "It's command," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He's trying to correct it. He's working hard and doing everything he can. It's just not clicking right now. That happens -- it's life." Loney was pretty much in the middle of it all game. He had a sacrifice fly in a two-run first inning and bases-loaded singles in back-to-back innings, the three-run third and the two-run fourth. Loney leads the team with 51 RBIs, on pace for 112, even though he has only five home runs playing a position usually manned by sluggers. "That would be great," Loney said of the 100-RBIs milestone. "I think that would be something real special. I've never done that before." Torre said Loney, who is hitting .296, shouldn't be overlooked because he doesn't hit a lot of home runs. "To me, it's tougher to hit a double with a runner on second base than a home run with nobody on," said Torre. "You can go to war with James. Sometimes the swing is ugly, but it doesn't change his demeanor. He's been productive for us. Matty [Kemp] and Andre [Ethier] started hot and all James did was a little of this and a little of that." Furcal, back less than a week after the death of his father, had his best game, going 3-for-5 with three runs, a stolen base and the defensive gem. "I'm feeling the whole year pretty good, it's just I got hurt for a month and then I lost my father, it took a little bit more concentration for me," said Furcal. "I know he loved baseball. He wanted me to keep playing hard the way I do it every time, and as soon as I get to the field, start to forget [the hurt]."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.