With the reigning American League Cy Young award winner in Max Scherzer on the hill Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers knew runs weren’t going to come easy. But thanks to another strong outing from Dan Haren, the Dodgers were able to outlast the Detroit Tigers by the score of 3-2 in ten innings.
Kenley Jansen was unable to close the door on the Tigers in the ninth with a 2-1 lead despite blowing away Miguel Cabrera on six pitches at 98 mph or higher. With two outs and Ian Kinsler at second base, Victor Martinez flared a single to center to score Kinsler and send the game to extra innings.
After a perfect tenth inning for Dodger lefty J.P. Howell, Chone Figgins worked his third walk in five plate appearances to lead off the home half. Two batter later, Carl Crawford lined a base hit to left field that scooted past Tigers’ outfielder Rajai Davis all the way to the wall. The miscue by Davis allowed Figgins to score and gave the Dodgers the victory.
Dee Gordon hasn’t been wasting opportunities at the plate this year and had another pair of hits from the leadoff spot. In the first inning Gordon connected on a pitch from Scherzer sending it over the wall in right-center field for a solo shot giving his team an early 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers second baseman is now 10-for-28 (.357) on the season with already his third multi-hit game of the season.
Haren has been outstanding in two starts this season surrendering only one earned run in 12 innings. The right-hander has also struck out ten batters while only walking one and giving up just seven hits. The Tigers only managed three hits off Haren and only five overall on Tuesday. Austin Jackson smacked a solo shot out to left field on a splitter low in the strike zone in the top of the second. “That pitch was in a good location,” said Haren after the game. “I tried to keep the ball down as much as possible.”
Manager Don Mattingly spoke afterwards about the intensity of the game so early in the season.
“I hate to say it but that was like a playoff game out there. You go in knowing there’s not going to be many runs,” Mattingly said. When asked about this being a confidence builder for the team Mattingly responded with, “We better know we can win these (games) by now. When we get to the bullpen, we feel we’re going to win.”
WP: J.P. Howell (1-0)
LP: Joba Chamberlain (0-1)
Yasiel Puig is still nursing a sore thumb and unable to start in the field. However, in the right situation Puig remains an option off the bench either pinch-hitting or as a pinch-runner.
Josh Beckett will make his season debut on Wednesday which means he will be activated from the disabled list.