Dodger Battery Works in All-Star Game

The Dodgers All-Star battery got into the 75th annual game in the ninth inning, well after things were over and done with. Eric Gagné and Paul Lo Duca worked a scoreless inning, allowing an opening walk but the American League collected yet another victory, their seventh in succession, riding home on a six-run first to win 9-4.

Lo Duca said Gagné laughingly told him, "I want to try to lower my ERA." Gagné gave up a two-run homer in 2003 and was tagged for a run in 2002, giving him a blown save and an earned run average of 12.00.

The blown save was the only one -- which obviously didn't count against his streak -- in a consecutive saves record that lasted through 84 chances, from Aug. 26, 2002 all the way until July 5, when it ended against Arizona at Dodger Stadium.

Gagné walked David Ortiz, got the Rangers' Hank Blalock (who tagged him for a game-losing homer last year), on a pop to left, then struck out Hideki Matsui of the Yankees and Matt Lawton of Cleveland to drop his ERA to 9.00. He has four strikeouts in four innings and has allowed four hits in All-Star play.

Lo Duca didn't get a time at bat and maintained his .500 batting average after going 1-for-2 in 2003.

Former Dodgers Ted Lilly, now pitching for Toronto, worked a scoreless inning; Mike Piazza (NY Mets) started behind the plate and was 0-for-2 and Gary Sheffield (NY Yankees) was 0-for-1.

An indication that the National League West is the weakest of the divisions, or at least the perception they are the weakest, was evident when only seven players were chosen (Gagné, Lo Duca, Randy Johnson (Arizona), Barry Bonds and Jason Schmidt (San Francisco), Todd Hilton (Colorado) and Mark Loretta (SD).

The NL Central boasted 17 players in the game and the NL East had 10.

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