Dodgers 6, Mariners 5: Thank you, Howie Kendrick

The last time Fernando Rodney pitched in Dodger Stadium, it was one of the more amazing Dodger comebacks I have ever witnessed. David Price was staked to a 6-0 lead and gave up one run in seven innings.

Tonight’s Dodger comeback — they won 6-5, by the way — wasn’t nearly as dramatic, but Rodney was, again, at the center of it. The Mariners led 5-4 going into the ninth inning with Justin Turner leading off. He singled, and Jimmy Rollins followed with a single of his own. Carl Crawford hit next and hit a sharp grounder to third base. Turner, for some reason, was running on contact and was cut down on the bases. Adrian Gonzalez walked, which set the stage for Howie Kendrick.

Kendrick has been solid this season thus far hitting behind Gonzalez, and there was really no other hitter I’d have liked to see at the dish. Like clockwork, Kendrick lined a single to right field that plated the tying- and game-winning runs.

He and the offense helped to bail out David Huff, who was added to the roster earlier in the day to make a spot start. This was the first time this season the Dodgers have needed a fifth starter. The next time the need arises, I’m assuming someone other than Huff will get the call. He gave up two first-inning home runs — one to Robinson Cano (a no-doubter) and one to Nelson Cruz (a cheapy, but it still counted). He would allow one more run before exiting after the fourth inning. He allowed seven hits, four runs, walked two and struck out two in those innings. About as much could be expected from a replacement-level pitcher going up against one of the American League’s best teams.

The Dodgers got on the board with an RBI double from Gonzalez. He still hasn’t homered in almost a week, so something is obviously wrong. Then, everyone’s favorite Cuban — no, not Yasiel Puig, who sat with a sore hamstring — Alex Guerrero, continued to make his case for more playing time.

It was his second home run in three games, and his biggest hit since hitting the walk-off single last night. This is also timely seeing as I wrote on Tuesday morning he was best-suited for a part-time role. This falls in line perfectly, so I am a genius. Of course, Twitter was ablaze over the homer and have basically already buried Juan Uribe (who didn’t help matters by going 0-for-4 in his return tot he lineup).

Of note: Andre Ethier hit his first home run of the season. Seeing as he hit four, there might need to be a stand-alone post about it tomorrow. Also of note, Juan Nicasio was terrible, then great, in relief. J.P. Howell was shaky and good, while Chris Hatcher got four outs without incident. Finally, Yimi Garcia continued to amaze, as he recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning.

The Dodgers (5-3) host the Mariners (3-5) on Wednesday in the final game of a 3-game series. Brett Anderson (0-0, 4.50 ERA) goes up against one of the best young pitchers in the game (despite the ridiculous ERA) in Taijuan Walker (0-1, 24.30 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.