Dodgers Enjoy Lima Time

Lima Time came again to Dodger Stadium and the flamboyant pitcher worked into the seventh inning to give Los Angeles a 6-3 win over the Padres. He provided a quality start for a team that had only had four in its previous 12 games this month. The Dodgers (84-60) maintained a 4 1/2 -game lead over second-place San Francisco in the division and trimmed the magic number to 14 while crossing another day off the pennant-race calendar.

The trade for Steve Finley continues to be one of the best in franchise history. The outfielder hit his 34th home run and 11th since joining the team in a July 31 trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jayson Werth also remained hot, hitting his 15th homer and third in as many days as the Dodgers matched the Padres with 11 hits.

Lima (13-5) gave up a pair of homers, the second in the fourth after third baseman Adrian Beltré committed his 10th error while trying to make a basket catch in foul territory. The Dodgers are 16-6 in Lima's starts, have scored only four runs in his five losses and he's the only Dodgers starter with quality starts in his last three appearances. He gave up only two earned runs despite pitching with a stiff right thumb after being hit by a line drive in the fifth.

Lima earned the victory on the strength of home runs by Jayson Werth and Steve Finley to raise his record to 13-5, which is tied for most wins on the club with Kazuhisa Ishii. The Dodgers are 16-6 in Lima's starts, have scored only four runs in his five losses and he's the only Dodgers starter with quality starts in his last three appearances.

The Dodgers turned two double plays behind Lima, who did not issue a walk for the eighth time in 22 starts. The welcome performance was exactly what the Dodgers needed after the rotation had posted a 6.19 earned-run average through the first 12 games of the month.

The Dodgers took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Shawn Green led off with a single and was doubled to third by Milton Bradley. Alex Cora's ground out scored Green with the tying run and Brent Mayne's single brought home Bradley. Lima bunted Mayne to second and he scored on Izturis' single that chased Germano. Finley homered leading off the fifth to put a cap on the scoring.

Three Dodger relievers -- Mike Venafro, Yhency Brazoban and Eric Gagné -- combined to shut out the Padres over the final 2.1 innings. Gagné, who gave up a bloop hit in the ninth, nailed down his 41st save in 43 opportunities and the second victory in as many starts for Lima.

Three former Dodgers, Ricky Stone, Antonio Osuna and Andy Ashby worked 2.1 scoreless innings against their old team.

Minor league awards-- Double-A Jacksonville center fielder Shane Victorino and 18-year-old right-hander Javier Guerra of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Dodgers have been selected as the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August. Victorino, the Suns' leadoff batter, was also named Southern League Topps Player of the Month after batting .404 (40-for-99) in 28 August contests, collecting five home runs, five triples, five doubles, 14 RBIs, 29 runs scored, four stolen bases and 10 walks. In a combined 130 games for Jacksonville and Triple-A Las Vegas this season, Victorino hit .289 (143-for-494) with 19 home runs, eight triples, 22 doubles, 98 runs scored, 63 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.

Dodger Blue Notes--Brad Penny faced hitters for the first time since injuring his arm Aug. 8. He threw 55 pitches without a protective screen in what wasn't much different than a simulated game, with three sets of pitching separated by five-minute breaks. He threw hard with no discomfort or signs of the biceps or nerve problems that have sidelined him more than five weeks. He ended pitching out of the stretch. The word heard most frequently from officials who watched was "encouraging." The Dodgers now believe Penny could be game active by next week if he comes out of this session fine and throws on Friday the way he did Tuesday. ... The Dodgers will be adding a minor league director soon, GM Paul DePodesta said. He is in the process of reorganizing the club's player development and scouting divisions. When a minor league director is hired, Kim Ng will return to her job as assistant general manager. Ng took over the minor league operations when Bill Bavasi was hired as the Seattle general manager. ... The Dodgers-Giants games Sept. 25 in San Francisco and Oct. 2 in Los Angeles will be broadcast nationally by FOX and begin at 1:10 p.m.