Dodger Bullpen Can't Hold On Against Astros

For the second night in a row, the Dodgers scored five runs and lost. That was a rarity last year with a more experienced pitching staff, but put this year’s staff in hitter-friendly Minute Made Park and you end up with losses.

Especially when you throw a wild pitch while trying to give an intentional walk.

The Dodger bullpen gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and they have dropped two games in a row to the Astros, this one 6-5.

The Dodgers had the kind of inning that fans have been hoping for in the sixth. Down 2-0 they got back-to-back home runs from Manny Ramirez and Andre Eithier that tied the games. After that Russell Martin walked and two batters latter Casey Blake crushed the ball down the left field line and it just stayed fair and gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.

But the Astros tied the game in the bottom of the inning off Dodger starter Randy Wolf. He ended up giving up four runs through seven innings, and got a couple key double plays to keep himself out of more trouble and avoid the loss.

Los Angeles took the lead in the top half of the eighth when James Loney doubled home Eithier for his second run of the game.

Ronald Belisario came in for the bottom of the eighth and promptly gave up a solo home run to Lance Berkman that again tied the game. Then things got worse, Hunter Pence doubled to put the winning run in scoring position.

With first base open, Belisario intentionally walks pinch hitter Geoff Blum, but in doing so has a wild pitch that allows Pence to move to third. He then scores on a single by Ivan Rodriguez that gave the Astros the win.

It was a tough way to lose, with a starting pitching performance good enough to win getting wasted for failing to execute an intentional walk. The good news is the Dodger bats remain alive and kicking, which should make for an entertaining summer.

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