After an unprecedented and disastrous second inning from Clayton Kershaw that resulted in the Arizona Diamondbacks take a 7-0 lead, the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to battle back and pulled within two runs of the D-Backs by the sixth inning.
Since entering the game in the second, Jamey Wright held the D-Backs to just two runs before he turned the ball over to Brandon League in the fifth as the Dodgers continued to chip away at their deficit. Following the Dodgers five-run sixth inning, Chris Withrow was called on to pitch in the bottom half of the inning.
The hard-throwing right-hander was charged with five runs in 1.2 innings as the Diamondbacks began to pull away once more. Chris Perez relieved Withrow and allowed two more runs on 26 pitches in 0.2 of an inning.
Facing a nine-run deficit, manager Don Mattingly called on backup catcher Drew Butera to take the mound for the second time in four days. Butera surrendered a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt, his second home run of the game, and the Diamondbacks lead swelled to 18-7.
Following the game, Mattingly offered his reasoning for once again turning to Butera, via Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com:
We are just trying to manage that game and keep guys available for [Sunday], as many guys as possible, so Drew is in the game keeping someone else from coming in and keeping Chris [Perez] from throwing too many at that point,” Mattingly said. “We don’t want to give up runs right there, but in a game like this, they don’t happen very often.”
Prior to pitching one inning of relief for the Dodgers in their home loss to the Miami Marlins Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, Butera catcher previously pitched a scoreless inning for the Minnesota Twins in 2012.
Although the 30-year-old’s brief outing against the Diamondbacks didn’t go as well as Wednesday’s appearance, he accomplished exactly what Mattingly was hoping for by getting the Dodgers through the game without having to pitch any of the other relievers — J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen and Brian Wilson.
Butera starts at catcher in Sunday’s games as the Dodgers look to take the rubber match of the three-game series. The team has an off day Monday before beginning a series with the New York Mets as they continue with their road trip.
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