Ishii in Control

After scoring one run in 16 innings the previous two games against Blue Jays, three of the Dodger vowels were in action Thursday night, as <b>A</b>drian Beltré slugged a homer, Juan <b>E</b>ncarnaction added another (back-to-back) and Kaz <b>I</b>shii worked into the eighth inning, allowing a single run. <b>O</b>dalis Perez opens in Boston tonight and that result is <b>U</b>nknown, to complete the set.

With the win the Dodgers (31-26) moved back into the NL West lead, holding a .544-.542 percentage point margin. The Giants are three back.

Ishii (8-3) pitched eight solid innings as the Dodgers ended a three-game losing skid with a 6-1 victory over Toronto. It was Ishii's third consecutive win. He was given a 6-0 lead in the third and allowed one run on six hits while striking out four and allowing a season-low one walk. He had averaged 4.4 free passes over his first 11 starts.

Just to keep sharp, Eric Gagné pitched the ninth in a non-save situation, giving up a walk and striking out one. He hadn't pitched since June 2.

The Dodgers had 14 hits in the series finale after getting a total of 12 in the first two games. Beltré and Encarnacion homered in the third, giving the Dodgers a 6-0 lead. Beltré's 15th homer of the season, a two-run shot, went to deep right-center.

Dave Roberts scored in the first inning, leading off with a bunt single and stealing second base (one of two for the night) before moving to third on an wild pickoff attempt and scoring on Cesar Izturis' single. Shawn Green then doubled for a 2-0 lead. Encarnacion doubled and scored on a Robin Ventura single in the second.

"He's not tall enough to bring one back." -- Jim Tracy on whether he plans to start 5-10 Dave Roberts in left field when the Dodgers visit Fenway Park.

In the third inning, the Dodgers sent nine batters and Encarnacion.

Boston Series--Pitching match-ups for the Boston series include a homecoming of sorts for Hideo Nomo, who pitched in Boston, and Pedro Martinez, who pitched for the Dodgers.

Today -- Odalis Perez (3-3, 3.20 ERA) vs. Derek Lowe (5-5, 6.55).
Saturday-- Jeff Weaver (3-7, 4.24) vs. Tim Wakefield (4-4, 3.71).
Sunday-- Hideo Nomo (3-6, 7.33) vs. Pedro Martinez (6-3, 3.98).

Dodger Blue Notes--Los Angeles is 61-52...Ishii is 2-0 lifetime against Toronto. ... Blake DeWitt, the second of the Dodgers' three first-round selections in this week's draft, has agreed in principle to a signing bonus, scouting director Logan White said. DeWitt, the 28th overall selection, is a third baseman out of Sikeston (Mo.) High. White also hopes to quickly sign his two other first rounders -- No. 17 overall pick Scott Elbert, a right-hander out of Seneca (Mo.) High, and No. 33 Justin Orenduff, a right-hander out of Virginia Commonwealth.