All three games of the Oakland-LA series ended with one-run margins of victory, and the Dodgers managed to take two of them. Chalk this one up to clutch hitting and clutch pitching, as Mark Loretta knocked a big single to left in the seventh to score James Loney from first — his first hit in his last 15 pinch-hit at-bats — and Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso were near-perfect in the eighth and ninth to clinch the 3-2 win.
So despite an awful decision by Rafael Furcal to direct a Juan Pierre throw to second in the top half of the seventh — it allowed Rajai Davis to score from first on a single by Nomar — the Dodgers managed to record their 44th W of the season.
Despite pitching six one-run innings, Randy Wolf got his 10th no decision of 2009. The Dodgers are still 10-5 in his 15 starts this year.
Russell Martin broke out a bit, going 1-for-2 and reaching base twice, and Orlando Hudson — hitting .220 in June coming into Thursday’s game — hit a solo home run in the third.
With the win, Joe Torre breaks a tie with Sparky Anderson and moves into sole possession of fifth place for the most managerial wins in history, with 2,195.
Ace vs. Ace tomorrow, as Chad Billingsley and Joe Saunders square off in the Freeway Series in Anaheim.