LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal made two errors on the same play and three in the same inning on Wednesday, allowing two unearned runs to score and helping push his team ever closer to the brink of elimination.
With men on first and second and one out in the fifth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, Pat Burrell sent a ground ball toward the hole at shortstop, where it bounced off Furcal and into shallow right field. The runner on second base, Chase Utley, attempted to score on the play -- and did, when Furcal's throw home sailed to the backstop.
Three batters later, Ryan Howard scored on a routine ground ball when Furcal's throw to first base bounced roughly a foot short of the bag. It was Furcal's third error of the inning and his fourth of the series, after he had committed a similar throwing error in Game 1.
Furcal missed more than four and a half months of the regular season after undergoing lower back surgery in June. Yet he had been a key postseason offensive contributor in the playoffs, batting .296 with six walks and a home run entering Wednesday's play.
Furcal committed four errors in 36 games this summer, after committing 46 of them over his first two seasons with the Dodgers.
After the fifth inning of Game 5, television cameras caught an exchange between Furcal and Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, who told him to "keep your head up." Victorino had become something of a Dodger Stadium villain in recent days, sparking a benches-clearing incident in Game 3 and hitting a critical game-tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 4.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.