Stephen Fife Throws Gem, Los Angeles Dodgers Beat Philadelphia Phillies 6-1

The best start of Stephen Fife‘s season propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-0 win on Sunday over the Philadelphia Phillies. With the win, L.A. took three of the four games in the weekend series.

Things were quiet until the fourth, when the Dodgers broke out against Kyle Kendrick for two runs: Yasiel Puig reached on an infield single, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Hanley Ramirez, who continues scalding the ball. Ramirez promptly stole second and advanced to third on a ground out from Andre Ethier, eventually scoring on a two-out RBI single from Matt Kemp. A.J Ellis continued the rally, lining a single to right before Jerry Hairston, Jr. drove in Kemp with an RBI single of his own, putting the Dodgers up 3-0.

Puig tripled leading off the fifth, as his pop to right field fell in fair territory, eluding the efforts of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Delmon Young – allowing Puig to hustle to third and set up a great scoring opportunity for Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzo lined a double to right field, driving in Puig and extending the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0.

Insight on Puig’s afternoon, via Bill Shaikin:

Fife, who didn’t really get into much trouble against the Phillies offense throughout the day, secured the shutdown inning in the sixth, putting Kendrick on base with an HBP but recovering to retire Utley on a double play to end the inning.

In the seventh, Fife allowed a single to Rollins but recovered to strike out Howard on a 2-2 pitch with the Dodgers bullpen warming up. A strike-him-out-throw-him-out double play later, the inning was over – wrapping up Fife’s outing: seven innings of no run, four-hit ball.

The Puig Show continued in the seventh, when “The Wild Horse” (as Vin Scully has taken to calling him now) clubbed a leadoff double to right – giving him four hits on the day, his first career four-hit game.

The latest highlight-reel game from Puig earned another place for him in Dodgers history:

Puig’s exuberance cost him, though – as he was gunned down trying to steal third for the second out of the inning.

The flame-throwing Jose Dominguez, just called up by the Dodgers on Friday, came out for his Major League Debut in the eighth – and struck out Delmon Young with a 101-MPH fastball to begin his career. Dominguez then retired Revere and Carlos Ruiz to end his impressive debut.

Two more runs came in for the Dodgers in the eighth: an A.J. Ellis double plated Matt Kemp and an RBI single from Scott Van Slyke brought in Ellis, giving the Dodgers a pair of insurance runs and a 6-0 lead.

Puig then came up needing a home run to complete the cycle. Despite some gigantic, home-run-worthy swings, he struck out against Justin De Fratus – ending his day at 4-5 with two runs scored. His batting average is now .436.

Chris Withrow, just recalled this morning, quickly got two outs but then gave up singles to Utley and Rollins, the latter putting the Phillies on the board, 6-1. Paco Rodriguez then came in and

With the win, the Dodgers improve to 38-43 – and while they’re still alone in last place in the N.L. West, they’re now just four games behind the front-running Arizona Diamondbacks.

L.A. will now head out for a huge road trip that kicks off with three games against the Rockies in Colorado. On Tuesday night, Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.08 ERA) will take the mound against Roy Oswalt (0-2, 7.36 ERA) as the Dodgers will attempt to make some serious noise against their division opponents over the next week and a half.

Note:

  • Before the game, the Dodgers designated reliever Matt Guerrier for assignment and recalled Chris Withrow from Triple-A Albuquerque. Guerrier had struggled in 2013, amassing a 4.80 ERA and a 1.467 WHIP in 30 innings, and will likely find himself joining a new organization within the next ten days.
  • Outfielder Carl Crawford played for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, and reports indicate that he’s feeling much better with the hamstring injury that put him on the D.L. He’ll play in three more rehab games with Rancho Cucamonga before the team assesses his chances of being activated.