Baltimore, MD – Matt Kemp went 3-for-5 and Mark Ellis knocked in three runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a series sweep from the Baltimore Orioles with a 7-4 win on Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 4-1 in the fourth inning, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had faith that his team would turn things around.
"We gotta keep fighting, we're going to get that big hit," said Mattingly on the air during the fourth inning. "We have to believe that."
The Dodgers then made their manager look good next time they came to the plate. After Orioles starter Jake Arrieta walked the bases loaded in the fifth, Ellis came through with a two-run single to left. T.J. McFarland replaced Arrieta, but LA's big inning continued with an RBI double by Adrian Gonzalez and a run-scoring single by Kemp.
Kemp added a run scored and his third steal of the season for the Dodgers, who snapped a six-game losing skid. Gonzalez had two hits and J.P. Howell (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief of Stephen Fife.
"We've lost six straight games, so any win is good for us at the moment," said Kemp. "We have to continue to grind it out."
Fife, who replaced Chad Billingsley in the rotation after the latter was placed on the disabled list earlier Sunday with right elbow pain, earned a no- decision in his first start of 2013. He allowed four runs and seven hits while striking out five over 4 2/3 innings.
Adam Jones ripped his third home run of the season, a solo shot, for Baltimore. Chris Davis had three hits to increase his batting average to .403 on the season.
Arrieta (1-1) looked unhittable early on, but struggled with his command in the decisive fifth inning before being pulled without recording an out. Arrieta went just four innings and allowed five runs while walking five, though he did register six strikeouts.
"It's bad, it's just bad," said Arrieta. "I had a few walks in the first couple innings, ya know, there's no reason I'm not pitching in the eighth today. That's frustrating."
The O's took an early 3-0 lead with first-inning RBI singles from Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy, with the last knocking in a pair of runs.
Each team tacked on a run in the third inning before the Dodgers erupted for four in the fifth to move ahead.
A.J. Ellis plated Kemp with an RBI single in the seventh inning and Jerry Hairston's sacrifice fly gave Los Angeles some insurance for Brandon League, who closed the door in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Five Dodgers relievers allowed just three hits and no runs in 4 1/3 innings of work ... Dodgers leadoff hitter Carl Crawford drew three walks.