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ON THE DODGERS 2009-04-26


ON THE DODGERS 2009-04-26
Moments after reaching a personal milestone with his first major league win, Dodgers rookie pitcher James McDonald wanted to talk about someone else.

quot;Hats off to Troncoso,quot; McDonald said.

Indeed, Ramon Troncoso pitched four innings of one-hit shutout relief to preserve McDonald's victory as the Dodgers edged the Colorado Rockies, 6-5, on a cold night at Coors Field.

Troncoso, in turn, earned his first big league save as the Dodgers (13-5) extended their winning streak to three games.

Russell Martin led the Dodgers' offense, driving in four runs with a pair of singles.

Not even Troncoso expected to go four innings, and the right-hander said he was surprised when Dodgers Manager Joe Torre didn't pull him for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

quot;That's as good a job as anybody could do in this ballpark against this ballclub,quot; Torre said of Troncoso's showing.

McDonald (1-1) got his victory the hard way, giving up five earned runs and four walks to the Rockies (5-11) in five innings of work.

quot;He battled to stay in there,quot; Torre said of the 24-year-old Long Beach native. quot;That's growing pains you have to deal with. It was a tremendous win.quot;

The Dodgers pounded out eight hits for six runs off Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez in the first four innings in front of 31,476.

Jimenez (1-3) had given up seven runs in the Dodgers' 14-2 thrashing of the Rockies at Dodger Stadium six days earlier.

This time the Dodgers scored four runs in the first inning in a rally that even brought McDonald to the plate before he had thrown his first pitch.

After Rafael Furcal bunted safely and stole second, he scored on Andre Ethier's two-out single. James Loney doubled, and Martin singled home Ethier and Loney.

Matt Kemp then singled Martin to second, and Martin scored on a single by Casey Blake.

McDonald protected the lead through two innings, but then his control problems surfaced.

With one out in the third, he walked Jimenez and Dexter Fowler, and Seth Smith singled to drive in Jimenez. Brad Hawpe also singled to score Fowler and Smith.

quot;I felt pretty good, my change and curveball today were a lot better,quot; McDonald said. But he acknowledged quot;getting myself in jams more than the other teams, getting behind in counts, walking guys.quot;

The Dodgers widened their lead to 6-3 in the fourth inning when Orlando Hudson doubled, Ethier drew an intentional walk and Martin singled them both home.

But in the fifth inning, McDonald walked Todd Helton and then surrendered a home run to Garrett Atkins to narrow the score to 6-5.

Troncoso, though, closed the door after that, and McDonald had his win.

Would McDonald celebrate Saturday night?

quot;Probably not,quot; he said, noting the Dodgers had an early game today. quot;I'll probably go [back to the hotel] and get some rest. But it feels good to get the first one out of the way.quot;

Hudson's double extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

But slugger Manny Ramirez went 0 for 5, and failed to reach base for the first time this season.

quot;He looked like he was dragging the bat a little bit,quot; said Torre, who plans to rest Ramirez, 36, in today's afternoon game against the Rockies and have Juan Pierre play left field.

Torre also plans to rest Rafael Furcal, with Juan Castro playing shortstop, and third baseman Casey Blake, who will be replaced by Blake DeWitt.

--

james.peltz@latimes.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 26, 2009

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