Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Jay Gibbons’ two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Houston Astros, 4-2, in the second test of a four-game series at Minute Maid Park.
After Houston wasted a one-out triple from Michael Bourn in the 10th, the Dodgers went ahead in the 11th. Fernando Abad (0-1), who recorded the final out in the 10th, stayed on the hill and gave up a single to Matt Kemp. Gibbons then cleared the wall in right to make it a 4-2 game.
Gibbons drove in a total of three runs for the Dodgers, who snapped a six-game skid. Hiroki Kuroda went six innings in the start, allowing one run on four hits. Octavio Dotel (3-3) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.
“It’s hard, it’s been a rough stretch for us, and momentum has definitely not gone our way,” Gibbons said. “Our bullpen pitched great tonight and kept us in it, and fortunately we got the win.”
Bourn went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in for the Astros, who saw a three- game win streak come to an end. J.A. Happ lasted five frames, giving up one run on seven hits.
“He is having really good quality at-bats, and that’s sure nice to see,” Astros manager Brad Mills said of Bourn. “Especially from a guy like that, your leadoff man. Get him on and a lot of things can happen.”
The Dodgers squandered an opportunity with men on the corners in the third. Rod Barajas singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and advanced to third on Rafael Furcal’s base hit. Jamey Carroll, though, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Houston was held without a hit until the fourth. With two outs, Carlos Lee singled. He went to second on a wild pitch, but Chris Johnson struck out.
Each team scored a run in the fifth. Barajas got the top half of the inning started with a single. He moved to second on a sac bunt and crossed the plate on Carroll’s single.
Angel Sanchez and Brett Wallace hit consecutive one-out singles in the home fifth. After pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic popped out, Bourn hit an RBI single.
Los Angeles took the lead back in the sixth. Kemp led off with a triple off Wilton Lopez. Pinch-hitter Gibbons followed with a run-scoring base hit to right for a 2-1 margin.
The Astros tied the game in the seventh. Wallace hit a one-out double to center off Ronald Belisario, who was removed in favor of George Sherrill. Pinch-hitter Jason Michaels flied out before Bourn hit an RBI single to right. Bourn was thrown out at second on the play.
Los Angeles put men on first and second with two outs in the ninth, but Furcal grounded out. Houston left a man on first in the home ninth to send the contest into extras.
The Dodgers lead the season series with the Astros, 3-1…Los Angeles hasn’t lost seven in a row since an eight-game skid from August 22-29, 2008…Barajas had three hits.