88 Years Later We Still Lose 2-1

Odalis Perez asked to pitch the first game in Boston, on his 27th birthday, and allowed a single run, a home run in the seventh inning. However, that put the Dodgers down 1-0 and only a misplayed fly ball in the top of the ninth allowed them to tie the game. They lost it in the last of the ninth before a sellout crowd in Dodger owner Frank McCourt's home town.

Sandy Koufax and Ron Cey were in the stands, Vin Sculley threw out the first ball and owner Frank McCourt, whose grandfather was part-owner of the Boston Braves, caught it. But the Dodgers would have traded all that for one crucial single at the right time.

The Dodgers first trip to Fenway Park in Boston looked a great deal like their last visit to Beantown -- a tough, 2-1 loss. Babe Ruth beat the Dodgers, then the Brooklyn Robins, on October 9, 1916 in the second game of the World Series. However, the game was played at Braves Field in Boston because of its additional seats. The Dodgers lost for the fourth time in five games and fell into second place in the National League West.

The Dodgers got lucky in the ninth. With the Red Sox one out from a 1-0 victory, Alex Cora singled with two out off the second baseman's glove. Olmedo Saenz hit for Dave Roberts who had two of the Dodgers' seven hits. Saenz hit a routine pop up to shallow left, but fighting the swirling wind, Manny Ramirez circled the ball without catching it, and was charged an error even though never touched it with his glove. Cora, running from first base with two out, scored the tying run.

Tom Martin took over in the bottom of the ninth. He walked the first hitter and then gave up a double. Martin left a curveball — an 0-2 curveball, at that — over the heart of the plate, and David Ortiz, who had homered earlier, smacked it into right field for the game-winning single.

One hittable pitch resulted in another typically undeserved outcome for Perez, who had allowed only four singles the previous six innings and finished with seven strikeouts in eight innings.

Perez's tough luck story reads like this: he is 3-3 with a 3.01 ERA. He has one victory in his last eight starts, although seven of them qualify as "quality starts." The Dodgers scored 10 runs in his win last weekend in Arizona, but they have also been shut out in two of his last six starts and have gone extra innings in five of his 13 starts. Eight of his starts have been one-run games, five have gone extra innings.

The Dodgers chances against but couldn't do anything with them, leaving 10 on base. The got four walks four in the first four innings, and had the bases loaded in the third and had runners on the corners in the sixth and couldn't score.

Shawn Green struck out three times, once with the bases loaded. Juan Encarnacion grounded into a double-play with runners on the corners when Adrian Beltré had to hold up to see if Encarnacion's smash would be caught on the fly.

Dodger Blue Notes--Reliever Paul Shuey continues his recovery from a torn thumb tendon with a bullpen session on Sunday and hopes to face live hitters for the first time Tuesday at home. ... Third base coach Glenn Hoffman and batting coach Tim Wallach flew home to Southern California for the graduations of their daughter and son, respectively, and are expected back for Sunday night's game. Bench coach Jim Riggleman took over third-base duties and senior advisor Joe Amalfitano flew in to assist Tracy on the bench. Amalfitano was Dodger third-base coach from 1983-98. ... Hall of Fame manager and current Dodger Senior Vice President Tommy Lasorda will be at the Dodgers-Red Sox game at Fenway on Saturday, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of his CapCure tour, which raises money for the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, an MLB-sponsored charity. He will appear at eight different ballparks to promote the event from June 10-20, culminating at Dodger Stadium on June 20 for the game against the Yankees. ... Backup catcher David Ross was formally elected team player representative in a clubhouse vote, taking over for Paul Lo Duca, who had the job for two seasons. ... Right fielder Juan Encarnacion took a nine-game hitting streak into Friday night's opener of a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox. More importantly, the streak had raised his overall average from .217 to .252. --