Angels Hand Dodgers Fifth Straight Loss

You know things are bad when your third baseman is pitching in the ninth inning. Not that Robin Ventura did so badly -- he didn't allow a run -- but by then the Angels were up 13-0 and when Ventura finished his stint and left the mound to a round of applause by those who stuck around for the burial. The Angels got four home runs and 22 hits, four shy of the franchise record. The Dodgers lost their fifth consecutive game and dropped into third place in the National League West.

The Angels pounded Dodger starter Jose Lima all evening long and the Los Angeles offense managed but four scattered hits. Lima is now 6-3, his ERA jumping from 3.75 to 4.64.

"Everybody's down, the whole team's down. Don't give up now. People are putting us down, that we won't win. It's 3 1/2 games ... there's still the second half. We can't give up. We've got to do our jobs and stick together."--Jose Lima.

Their fifth consecutive loss dropped the Dodgers into third place, 3 1/2 games back. It was the worst loss of the season, worst loss ever to the Angels in an Interleague Series game, as well as the most runs allowed to the Angels.

The Angels thumped four Dodger pitchers (and Ventura) for 22 hits -- the most Los Angeles has allowed in nine years -- seven for extra bases including four homers. Lima didn't retire a batter in the fifth inning and Ventura became the first Dodgers position player forced into relief since Chris Donnels in 2001.

As badly as the recent four-game sweep by the Giants went, the Angels series started even worse for the Dodgers, as they led 3-0 before the Dodgers came to bat.

Despite the ugly loss, Los Angeles is not that far out of first place with three months to go. Like Lima said, it's not the time to quit.

Dodger Blue Notes--Eric Gagné was apparently attempting to send a message when he buzzed Michael Tucker in San Francisco. He told a radio station that what Tucker did to Weaver (bumped and shoved him) was not respectful and while the pitch wasn't planned, he thought it the right moment to fire one high and tight. His actions -- and the foolish confession -- may cost him a suspension. However, what he did was done to protect his teammate and somewhere Don Drysdale must be smiling. ... Milton Bradley served the second game of his four-game suspension, and an MRI of his right shoulder revealed swelling but no structural damage. ... Tracy said Hideo Nomo will not be removed from the rotation despite another tough day in San Francisco. Nomo was charged with seven runs in Thursday's 9-3 loss to the Giants. He's 3-9 with a 7.65 ERA. ... The Dodgers apparently dropped out of the bidding for Kansas City outfielder Carlos Beltran when they refused to surrender setup man Guillermo Mota in what would have been a three-way trade with Oakland Athletics and Kansas City. Beltran was traded to Houston. ... Kim Ng, vice president and assistant general manager, was ranked No. 37 on the Sports Illustrated rankings of key minority executives and players in the world of sports. ... Free-agent third baseman Aaron Boone agreed to terms with the Cleveland Indians on a one-year contract with an option for a second year. Some felt the Dodgers had been interested in signing him.