HOUSTON (AP) - Kenley Jansen couldn't get the last strike he needed.
Jansen, who hadn't allowed a run in his last 10 appearances, needed one more strike on Angel Sanchez to pick up his second save of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sanchez wouldn't give up and battled Jansen to an 11-pitch walk.
A double steal put Bill Hall, who had singled with one out, on third and Sanchez on second and paved the way for an RBI double down the right field line by Michael Bourn.
Hunter Pence's RBI single to left completed the rally as the Astros came from behind in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Dodgers 4-3 on Monday night.
With two-time All-Star Jonathan Broxton and veteran Vincente Padilla on the disabled list, the Dodgers have been trying to find someone close games. On Monday they turned to Jansen, a hard-throwing rookie who has been dominating hitters lately.
``That was his inning,' Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. ``We got the guys we wanted in there. It was his pretty much his game. We couldn't let him go much farther as far as pitches go.'
Jansen (1-1) said the Sanchez at-bat was a tough at-bat and exhausted him.
After the Sanchez at bat, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt visited the mound to try to settle down Jansen and warn him about the possibility of a double steal, but Mattingly said if Jansen checked the runners back, he didn't check them enough.
``We talked about it when Rick went out,' Mattingly said. ``We talked about that we had to watch those guys. Obviously, it didn't happen. I don't think we got caught napping. At that point, it was the tying run, and we needed to watch him. We have to pay better attention to that. That was too easy.'
Jansen, who gave up three runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2-3 of an inning, said he was checking the runners back, but he was more focused on getting the last out. Despite throwing 38 pitches in the ninth, Jansen said he was fine.
``If I'm still out there, I give it everything I got,' he said. ``One more out and one more pitch. I had to focus to get that out.'
Jansen entered the game after allowing just three hits and holding batters to a .086 batting average with 18 strikeouts over his last 10 appearances.
Mattingly said he still has confidence in Jansen.
``He threw the ball good tonight,' Mattingly said. ``It was Sanchez that had a good at-bat against him. He kept on throwing strikes, but he kept fouling balls off. He walks him and gets Bourn up there. The biggest thing today is that he didn't get ahead in the count.'
The loss spoiled a good outing by Clayton Kershaw, who gave up one run on four hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
``Tough one to lose,' Kershaw said. ``When things aren't going right for your team, it seems to have a tumbling effect. I felt all right. I felt fine. It was just tough we couldn't win the game. I would have liked to pitch longer, but I understand the situation.'
Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Matt Kemp home run, but Houston tied it at 1-1 in the third on an RBI single by Humberto Quintero.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the seventh with a two-out hit off Astros starter Bud Norris. Dioner Navarro doubled, and Russell Mitchell walked. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier delivered an RBI single to center scoring Navarro, and Mitchell scored on an error by Bourn to make it 3-1.
``Certain games you battle to get back in,' Mattingly said. ``This is one you ... battled to get the lead. You have people rested, and you have people you know you want to be a part of that game in the game. If that doesn't go well, then it gets frustrating.'
Jeff Fulchino (1-2) pitched an 1 2-3 hitless innings to get the win for Houston.
NOTES: Dodgers 1B James Loney extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. ... Jose Lima, Jr., the son of former Astros and Dodgers pitcher Jose Lima, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to mark the one-year anniversary of his father's death. Lima, who won 21 games for the Astros in 1999 and spent 13 years in the majors, was 37.
The Associated Press News Service
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