LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chad Billingsley won his third straight start with seven solid innings, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-1 victory over Dontrelle Willis and the Detroit Tigers on Friday night in the first interleague game for both teams.
Billingsley (5-2) allowed a run and four hits, struck out five and walked two. Ronald Belisario pitched a hitless eighth and Jonathan Broxton struck out the side in the ninth for his ninth save.
Tigers cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera, the only batter on Detroit's roster with any substantive experience against the right-hander, was 0 for 3 against Billingsley and is hitless in 12 career at-bats against him.
The victory was the Dodgers' 11th in 12 games, and their 100th during interleague play against 110 losses.
Willis (2-1) was charged with four runs and six hits over 5 1-3 innings, and is 1-6 with a 6.91 ERA in eight career starts against the Dodgers. His only win against them came in August 2005 while he was with the Florida Marlins.
Los Angeles' Manny Ramirez returned after missing two games after injuring the small toe on his left foot in a freak accident in the trainer's room.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre sent out a lineup with only three regulars in it: Ramirez, center fielder Matt Kemp and third baseman Casey Blake. Catcher Russell Martin, riding a career-best 15-game hitting streak, got the night off after starting the previous 22 games.
The Dodgers snapped a 1-all tie with a pair of runs in the fifth. Jamey Carroll drew a walk, took third on Ronnie Belliard's double and scored on a wild pitch as Willis' next delivery nearly hit Ramirez in the knee before going to the backstop. Ramirez drove in Belliard with a scorching single that ricocheted off third baseman Brandon Inge's right leg with the infield playing in.
Willis was pulled after giving up one-out singles by Reed Johnson and Nick Green in the sixth, and A.J. Ellis greeted Eddie Bonine with an RBI single that increased the Dodgers' lead to 4-1. Johnson was 3 for 3 with a walk.
Tigers rookie Austin Jackson opened the game with a 10-pitch at-bat, legging out a bloop double that fell in front of Ramirez after a long run. Jackson scored on a sacrifice fly by Magglio Ordonez.
Willis retired his first two batters in the fourth before the Dodgers loaded the bases on a single by Kemp and two walks. The left-hander then hit Green on the back foot with a pitch to force in the tying run, but minimized the damage by retiring A.J. Ellis on a liner to second.
The teams met in the regular season for the first time since June 2008.
NOTES: The Tigers' only victory at Dodger Stadium was June 7, 2005, when Tony Giarratano hit a go-ahead solo homer off Duaner Sanchez in the seventh inning of an 8-4 win. It was the only home run in 47 big-league plate appearances for Giarratano. ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio — about 50 miles from Billingsley's birthplace of Defiance, Ohio. Leyland's twin nephews, Tom and Mike Leyland, batted against Billingsley in high school. "They said it wasn't very much fun hitting off him," Leyland said. "I talked to Billingsley in spring training. He said he didn't really remember my nephews — but they remembered him." ... While the Tigers were taking batting practice, the Dodgers' video crew ran a 5-minute tribute on the Diamond Vision screen in honor of Tigers and Brooklyn Dodgers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who died on May 4 at age 92.