Nomo Injured, Dodgers Thumped

2004 is just not working out well for Hideo Nomo. Plagued with a decrease in velocity, resulting in numerous home runs, he now had another problem. Nomo (3-5) left the game Wednesday night with one out in the second inning, having faced just six hitters, when his fingernail split and began cutting into the skin underneath, causing the finger to bleed. From there, things tumbled down hill for the Dodgers, who lost a 9-4 decision to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Dodgers, who as recently as a week ago had gone a month without losing consecutive games, have dropped six in a row.

The second inning started with a double down the left-field line and the runner tagged and went to third on a fly to right. Then Nomo informed the Dodgers bench that something was wrong. After a brief conference on the mound, Nomo was replaced by Brian Falkenborg.

The first batter he faced singled between first and second to drive in the first run of the game. Things went south in the third inning when Falkenborg walked three, including the pitcher, hit a batter and gave up a pair of two-run singles.

It marked the second consecutive start in which Nomo has lasted just one inning. He was chased in the second inning of last Thursday's loss to the Chicago Cubs after giving up six earned runs, a rally that was fueled by three consecutive walks.

"The unfortunate thing is I thought in the early stages it looked like this was going to be his best performance of the year. Right from the start, his velocity was up where it has been the past couple of years. He had a terrific splitter, and he threw strikes with it. But then he broke the nail. He was bleeding by the time we got to the mound, and he obviously couldn't continue." --Dodgers manager Jim Tracy.

The Dodgers will wait a couple of days before officially determining whether Nomo can make his next start. If he can't, either Falkenborg or Jose Lima probably will go instead, with Lima the favorite.

Cesar Izturis slugged a three-run homer in the top of the fourth. Izturis had three hits, raising his right-handed batting average to .450, nearly double his left-handed average of .231 (.291 overall).

The Dodgers scored their final run in the seventh on doubles by Shawn Green and Juan Encarnacion, the latter returning to the lineup after missing four starts with a sore shoulder. His average dropped to .228, lowest among the regulars.

The Dodgers collected 12 hits but stranded 11 baserunners.

The Dodgers (22-16), who had a three-game lead May 12, and the San Diego Padres are tied for first place in the National League West after sweeping Pittsburgh in a doubleheader.

Dodger Blue Notes--Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia appears to be Coors Field-East. Pitcher Wilson Alvarez hit an off-balance single off the left-field wall and that surprised him. "Me? Opposite field and almost a home run? That's funny," he said. "At Dodger Stadium, that's a routine fly ball to the left fielder." ... Dave Roberts is "very unlikely" to be activated today when he is eligible to come off the disabled list from a strained right hamstring, Tracy said, though the left fielder could return before the end of this nine-game, three-city trip. Roberts has resumed running straight ahead at about 80%, but still must run at an angle before rejoining the lineup…. Reserve outfielder Jayson Werth was three for six in his first two games with triple-A Las Vegas while recovering from a strained abdominal muscle. ... Derrick Hall, former Dodger senior vice president of communications, has joined KB Home as vice president of communications. Hall, who resigned from the Dodgers in March, will oversee all public relations and media efforts for KB Home, one of the nation's largest homebuilders. .. The Pirates released former Dodger Raul Mondesi, who had been having financial troubles and had gone back to the Dominican Republic.

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