Posted May 27, 2012 on AP on Fox
A.J. Ellis hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. The Dodgers' 11th victory in 15 games improved the best record in the majors to 31-15 and extended their NL West lead over San Francisco to a season-high 7 1-2 games - the largest margin in any division. Wesley Wright (0-1) opened the ninth by hitting Andre Ethier with an 0-2 pitch. Scott Van Slyke batted for reliever Kenley Jansen (4-0) and advanced Ethier with a sacrifice bunt. Wilton Lopez intentionally walked James Loney, and Ellis drove a 1-1 pitch into the left-field pavilion for his fifth homer. Jansen pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory. The right-hander came in with two-out in the eighth, trying to protect a 3-2 lead for Chad Billingsley after Ronald Belisario issued a pair of two-out walks. Brian Bogusevic scored the tying run when Jason Castro slapped a ground single off the glove of third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. and into foul territory, but Jansen retired Jordan Schafer on a flyball with the bases loaded. Billingsley allowed two runs and five hits in five innings, striking out eight and walking three. He is 0-3 with a 5.01 ERA in eight starts since beating San Diego and Pittsburgh in his first two outings this season. Houston's Bud Norris threw 116 pitches over 4 2-3 innings, allowing three runs, eight hits and four walks. The right-hander's early departure snapped a string of 38 consecutive games by the Astros in which their starters lasted at least five innings. Norris ended May 4-0 in five starts with a 1.17 ERA. Billingsley threw 73 of his 99 pitches during the first three innings and retired only eight of his first 16 batters, but all the Astros could scrape across was two runs. The right-hander had three strikeouts in the first, but in between them were Jose Altuve's double and Carlos Lee's run-scoring single. A bases-loaded walk to Schafer forced in another run in the second. But Billingsley came back to strike out Altuve. Ethier, the Dodgers' Gold Glove right fielder, helped minimize the damage with an inning-ending diving catch of J.D. Martinez's sinking line drive. Houston stranded two more in the third when Castro took a called third strike. The missed opportunities eventually came back to haunt the Astros, who squandered a chance to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since April 14, when they were 4-4. They are a major league-worst 0-6 in extra-inning games, and have lost 14 of their last 16 since Aug. 11, 2011. Ethier got the Dodgers on the board in the third with a two-out run-scoring double that raised his NL-leading RBIs total to 41. One inning later, left fielder Martinez robbed Ellis of a potential RBI double with a running catch in the alley before slamming into the fence. Dee Gordon followed with a double that sent Loney to third, and Tony Gwynn Jr. put Los Angeles ahead 3-2 with a two-run, two-out single through the right side. Ethier had a chance to break open the game later that inning, but lined out to center with the bases loaded. NOTES: Los Angeles Kings centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter attended the game in front-row seats adjacent to the owners' box while awaiting Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals next Wednesday at New Jersey. ... The previous time an Astros starter didn't go at least five innings was April 13, when Lucas Harrell was removed after four in a no-decision at Miami. ... Loney had three hits - two of them against Norris, making Loney 7 for 14 career against him.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Kemp, Rivara prepare for return to Dodgers

How long can the Dodgers survive with the kiddie brigade? Since Matt Kemp went on the 15-day disabled list, they have barely missed a beat, going 7-3. Twice theyve started lineups with only one regular. Every minor leaguer called up has had his moment. Still, its not reasonable to expect the young bucks to keep this up indefinitely, which means the news that both Kemp and Juan...

Dodgers' 2012 MLB Draft prospect profile: Corey Seager

Corey Seager, 3B/SS Northwest Cabarrus High School (North Carolina)  College Commitment: South Carolina  3B/SS Corey Seager, NW Cabarrus HS (N.C.) Vitals 6'3, 190 pounds Bats: Left Throws: Right DOB: April 27, 1994 Rankings Baseball America: 19 MLB.com: 44 Minor League Ball: 48 Info Corey Seager, brother of Seattle Mariners' infielder...
VERY GALIFIANAKIAN

A.J. Ellis hosts 'Between Two Palm Trees'

Is the play of A.J. Ellis not enough for you to love him? Okay, how about his sense of humor then? Via Dodger Thoughts Seriously though, if you don’t vote A.J. Ellis to the All-Star Game, I hate you. If you don’t get what A.J. Ellis is doing here, I also hate you, but Google

Dodgers activate Hairston, put Sellers on DL

The Los Angeles Dodgers activated infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and placed infielder Justin Sellers on the 15-day DL with a bulging disc in his lower back. Hairston has appeared in 19 games with the Dodgers and batted .315 with a home run and four RBI before straining his left hamstring on May 6. Sellers is hitting .205 in 19 games...

GIFcap: Aaron Harang sprays A.J. Ellis with water while Dee Gordon gives worst pie face ever

After A.J. Ellis’ game-winning walk-off homer, Dee Gordon attempted to give Ellis the customary post-game interview pie to the face, but failed at epic levels. Since that failed, Aaron Harang took matters into his own hands and sprayed down Ellis with a water gun fro the dugout, taking the interviewer as collateral damage. It would

Jerry Hairston Jr. activated off the disabled list, Justin Sellers added to the disabled list

Jerry Hairston Jr. is in the lineup today, meaning he has been activated off the disabled list. Unfortunately, the corresponding move is Justin Sellers heading to the disabled list. Hairston is batting .315/.403/.463/.866 on the season, which isn’t even the best part, as he was one of the best defenders in the MLB for the

Marcum takes mound vs. Kemp-less Dodgers

The Milwaukee Brewers have two things in their favor in the opener of their four-game series at Chavez Ravine, one of which is the absence of Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup for perhaps the last time. The other is sending Shaun Marcum to a mound that's far away from Miller Park. Marcum looks to continue his solid work on the road Monday at Dodger Stadium...

Happ, Astros no match for Dodgers' Capuano

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jerry Hairston Jr. got a career-high five hits, Chris Capuano won again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 5-1. Matt Treanor put the Dodgers ahead for good with a home run in the fourth inning that deflected off center fielder Justin Maxwell's glove as he made a leaping attempt in left-center field. Capuano (7-1) pitched two-hit ball over...

GIFcap: A.J. Ellis wins it on a walk-off for the Dodgers, Kenley Jansen goes crazy

Vote A.J. Ellis for the All-Star Game, unless you hate America. Also, KENLEY JANSEN JUST KNOWS HOW TO WIN BASEBALL GAMES IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AT THE CLOSER

Hairston gets 5 hits, Dodgers beat Astros

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jerry Hairston Jr. got a career-high five hits, Chris Capuano won again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 5-1. Matt Treanor put the Dodgers ahead for good with a home run in the fourth inning that deflected off center fielder Justin Maxwell's glove as he made a leaping attempt in left-center field. Capuano (7-1) pitched two-hit ball over...

Astros solve Kershaw, take win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lucas Harrell took a shutout into the eighth inning, J.D. Martinez homered and the Houston Astros used four relievers in the eighth to get out of a bases-loaded jam and help secure a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Harrell (4-3) scattered five singles, walked three and did not strike out a batter during the longest of his 15 big league...

Matt Kemp’s Iconic Photo

MLB hotshot Matt Kemp  went to Instagram and Twitter to flaunt his iconic photo with NBA Legends Kareem Abdul jabber and Magic Johnson ( who is now part owner of the L.A. Dodgers). All three Gentlemen looked quite dapper don’t you think? Magic and Kareem sported solid tailored suits as Matt showed sophistication in his fashionable frames he balanced with khaki blazer, V-neck tee...

Brewers-Dodgers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers have two things in their favor in the opener of their four-game series at Chavez Ravine, one of which is the absence of Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup for perhaps the last time. The other is sending Shaun Marcum to a mound that's far away from Miller Park. Marcum looks to continue his solid work on the road Monday at Dodger Stadium...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.