Dodgers lose game but not sense of hu­mor

They try to keep things light and not panic in wake of another de­feat.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Dy­lan Her­nan­dez

CHICAGO — Stand­ing along­side re­porters in a club­house at Wrigley Field, Howie Ken­drick ex­tended a hand and pushed an imag­i­nary mi­cro­phone to­ward Zack Greinke.

Ken­drick smiled. Greinke smiled back.

In times like these, the Dodgers have de­cided, it’s bet­ter to smile than to panic.

The most ex­pen­sive team in base­ball lost for the sev­enth time in nine games, this time fall­ing to the Chicago Cubs, 1- 0, in 10 in­nings Tues­day night.

Jason Ham­mel lim­ited the Dodgers to two hits over 72⁄3 in­nings, in­clud­ing a sixth- in­ning triple by Yasiel Puig, which was ba­si­cally a rou­tine fly ball that was lost in the lights by the out­field­ers.

The Dodgers f in­ished with only three hits.

While Adrian Gon­za­lez ad­dressed the team’s of­fen­sive prob­lems — the Dodgers have scored two runs or less in 21 of their last 37 games — he also main­tained enough of his sense of hu­mor to joke about a fan- in­ter­fer­ence call in the sec­ond in­ning.

On the play, Gon­za­lez was pre­vented from catch­ing a popup by Ham­mel by a spec­ta­tor who made a one­handed grab. The man was hold­ing a baby with his other hand.

“It would have been more im­pres­sive if the baby had caught it,” Gon­za­lez cracked.

In a more se­ri­ous mo­ment, Gon­za­lez talked about his frus­tra­tions of ex­tend­ing Greinke’s win­less streak to nine starts. Greinke lim­ited the Cubs to six hits over six in­nings.

Greinke has a 1.79 earne­drun av­er­age dur­ing the streak, dur­ing which the Dodgers have scored a to­tal of 10 runs while he was in the games.

“Not scor­ing runs is al­ways frus­trat­ing, for sure,” Gon­za­lez said. “We want to give ev­ery one of our starters

run sup­port and give them the vic­tory.”

What has hap­pened to the of­fense?

“It we could pin­point it, we would f ix it,” Gon­za­lez said. “I think we’re all work­ing hard, we’re all putting in the work, putting in the ef­fort, it’s just the re­sults aren’t there. We have to keep work­ing.

“I don’t think a team doesn’t go through this at one point or another ev­ery year. Way back to over 100 years of base­ball, you al­ways see team slumps hap­pen.”

Gon­za­lez was cer­tain the Dodgers would even­tu­ally break out of their slump.

“The good teams get out of it,” he said.

The re­frain was re­peated around the club­house, even by Greinke.

“I don’t worry about it,” Greinke said. “I think our team’s good and by the end of the year, ev­ery­one does their job.”

Asked why he be­lieved that, Greinke replied, “Good play­ers.”

Greinke, who low­ered his ERA to 1.70, last won a game May 5.

“He did his job,” Man­ager Don Mat­tingly said. “His job is to give us a chance to win. That’s all he con­trols.”

Mat­tingly also com­pli­mented re­liev­ers Juan Ni­ca­sio, Adam Lib­er­a­tore and Yimi Gar­cia, who each pitched an in­ning to send the game into ex­tra in­nings.

The 10th in­ning was started by Joel Peralta, who had been side­lined since late April be­cause of nerve- re­lated prob­lems.

Peralta loaded the bases with­out record­ing an out, at which point he was re­placed by closer Ken­ley Jansen.

Chris Denor­fia drove in the win­ning run by hit­ting a sac­ri­fice f ly to cen­ter field.

Like Gon­za­lez and Greinke, Mat­tingly in­sisted the of­fen­sive down­turn wouldn’t last for­ever.

Mat­tingly pointed to Gon­za­lez, who is bat­ting .230 over his last 37 games.

“Do you know he’s go­ing to come out of it?” Mat­tingly said. “Yeah, we do. At some point, that’s go­ing to break. I feel the same way about our club.”

Mat­tingly re­peat­edly said he trusted his play­ers.

“If you think I’m go­ing to sit here and think our of­fense is not go­ing to be any good and we’re not go­ing to be good enough to win, I’m not there,” he said.

“It doesn’t mat­ter what’s hap­pened to this point. I trust our guys.” dy­lan. her­nan­dez@ latimes. com Twit­ter: @ dy­lanoh­er­nan­dez

‘ Do you know he’s go­ing to come out of it? Yeah, we do. At some point, that’s go­ing to break. I feel the same way about our club.’

Don Mat­tingly, Dodgers man­ager, on Adrian Gon­za­lez, who is bat­ting .230

over his last 37 games

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