Joe Torre’s legacy as one of the game’s all-time great managers is already secure. His next victory will only provide further proof of that.
The major league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers look to give Torre his 2,195th regular-season win to move him into sole possession of fifth place on the career list Wednesday night when they continue a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.
Matt Kemp’s(notes) RBI single with two out in the 10th inning lifted Los Angeles (43-22) to a 5-4 victory in Tuesday’s series opener. The Dodgers’ third straight win moved Torre into a tie with Sparky Anderson for fifth on the managerial wins list.
Torre, whose loss total is 36 fewer than Anderson’s, has won six pennants and four World Series titles. Anderson won five pennants and three World Series championships. Both were named AL manager of the year twice, Torre with the New York Yankees, Anderson with the Detroit Tigers.
“It means you’ve been around a long time,” Torre said. “It’s a pretty good neighborhood. Sparky’s a friend. I’ve had respect for Sparky Anderson from the first moment I met him, and even before that when I watched him manage in the early days as a 37-year-old kid.”
Kemp finished with three hits for the Dodgers, who improved to 15-5 in one-run games - the best mark in baseball.
“We never lose confidence,” Kemp said. “We always feel like we’re in the game, especially with this offense. And it showed again tonight. We’ve got a lot of fight.”
Oakland (27-36) has opened its nine-game interleague road trip with four straight losses.
The Athletics were swept over the weekend at San Francisco, scoring three runs in those three contests. All four runs scored by Oakland on Tuesday came in the eighth inning on a three-run homer by struggling Jason Giambi(notes) and a solo shot by Bobby Crosby(notes).
The Athletics have scored in just four of their 37 innings on this trip. Their 1-6 interleague record is tied with Toronto for the worst in the AL.
Giambi had two hits for the first time this month, and the A’s are hoping he will get untracked. He is 8 for 44 (.182) with three homers and 15 strikeouts in 15 games in June.
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda(notes) (1-2, 2.86 ERA) will face Oakland for the first time. Since returning after missing nearly two months with a left oblique strain, he is 0-2 with a 3.31 ERA in three outings.
Kuroda allowed eight hits and five runs over 5 1-3 innings Friday in a 6-0 loss at Texas. The right-hander dropped to 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in two career interleague starts.
Rookie Trevor Cahill(notes) (3-5, 4.17) has been very consistent for Oakland in his last five outings, going 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA in that span with 20 strikeouts and six walks. He had a streak of four straight outings in which he gave up two earned runs end Thursday against Minnesota when he allowed three runs over seven innings and did not get a decision in a 4-3 win.
The right-hander’s only interleague start came May 22 against Arizona when he gave up two runs over 7 1-3 innings in a 2-1 loss.