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(Saturday, May 26th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 6, Houston 3
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - A.J. Ellis belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers squandered a one-run lead in the eighth, but Ellis' first career walk-off homer evened this three-game series.
Wesley Wright (0-1) hit Andre Ethier with an 0-2 pitch to start the ninth. Pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke dropped down a sacrifice bunt before Wilton Lopez intentionally walked James Loney. Ellis then crushed a 1-1 offering over the left-field wall, snapping Los Angeles' two-game losing streak.
"A great team effort tonight," Ellis said. "We picked each other up. I'm glad I got a chance in the ninth."
The Dodgers, who have won seven of their last nine, are the only team in the majors yet to lose three consecutive games this season.
Houston had its winning streak snapped at four games.
Down a run, the Astros tied the game after Ronald Belisario retired the first two batters in the eighth. Brian Bogusevic and Chris Johnson drew back-to-back walks before Belisario was replaced by Kenley Jansen (4-0).
Jason Castro then hit a chopper down the line that deflected off the glove of third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. for an RBI double. Marwin Gonzalez followed with a walk, but Jordan Schafer flied out to center with the bases full.
Both starting pitchers labored on the mound. Chad Billingsley threw 99 pitches while giving up two runs to the Astros on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over five innings.
Bud Norris, the hottest hurler in baseball entering Saturday, couldn't make it out of the fifth, surrendering three runs on eight hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. The Houston right-hander, who threw 116 pitches, had won each of his last four starts with a 0.35 ERA (one earned run in 26 innings).
Carlos Lee's two-out single plated Jose Altuve in the first, and the Astros were looking to expand their lead in the second after loading the bases with nobody out.
Billingsley fanned his counterpart before walking Schafer to force in a run. But the LA righty struck out Altuve swinging and Ethier made a sliding catch to rob J.D. Martinez and bail out his pitcher.
"We missed opportunities early," said Houston manager Brad Mills.
The Dodgers got on the board in the third when Elian Herrera worked a one-out walk and scored on Ethier's two-out double.
Los Angeles moved ahead with a pair of runs in the next frame. Loney led off the home fourth with a single and Dee Gordon doubled after Martinez made a nifty catch on the run before crashing into the wall in left. Two batters later, Tony Gwynn Jr. plated Loney and Gordon by slapping a grounder through a hole on the right side of the infield.
Norris walked Herrera and Bobby Abreu to load the bases, but Ethier lined out to center to end the frame.
The Dodgers improved to 20-5 at home and 8-0 on Saturdays this season...Houston fell to 6-14 on the road and has won two straight games as the visitor just once this year...Astros starters had gone at least five innings in each of the previous 38 games.
05/27 02:52:05 ET
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