Hero of the Day: Jose Valentin

The Dodgers continued their remarkable streak with another dramatic, come-from-behind win, this time 3-1 over the Padres in 10 innings. Trailing 1-0, J.D. Drew tied the score with a one-out, solo home run in the eighth. Jose Valentin won it with a two-out, two-run triple off the out-of-town scoreboard. LA improved its major league-best record to 12-2, its best start the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, who went on to win the franchise's first World Series. The 1940 club matched the remarkable start.

With that, the Dodgers had their eighth consecutive win, matching last season's longest streak. They also had run baseball's best record to 12-2, their best 14-game mark since 1955, when the Brooklyn Dodgers rode that shotgun start to the franchise's first World Series title.

Drew, who came into the game hitting .159. He tied it with an opposite-field homer, his second home run of the season en route to his first four-hit game as a Dodger, and Valentin won it with a two-run triple, making up for a throwing error in the first inning that led to San Diego's unearned run.

Derek Lowe kept the Padres in check for seven innings, then came out to work one more inning after Drew tied the score.

Lowe, who is becoming a Gold Glove candidate out of self-defense, catching a shot back at him in the fourth and short-hopping what looked like a hit up the middle in the six and turning it into an inning-ending double play.

He held the Padres to five hits and an unearned run over eight innings, after blanking them with three-hit shutout last Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

And he got some help. Milton Bradley pulled down a long shot in front of the 411-foot sign in right-center to end the seventh inning with two runners on base.

Duaner Sanchez (1-1) relieved Lowe in the ninth and pitched around a one-out single. Yhency Brazoban, who has been nearly flawless subbing for injured closer Eric Gagne, worked around another one-out hit in the 10th to nail down his fourth save.

The winning run came in the 10th when the Padres' pitcher fielded Drew's infield single and threw the ball up the right-field line, then walked Jeff Kent to set up Valentin's game-winning hit.

Dodger Blue *M*A*S*H* Notes--Right-hander Elmer Dessens left after 3 innings of the Dodgers' 8-6, 10-inning win Tuesday over the Milwaukee Brewers with a muscle spasm behind his right shoulder. He threw three shutout innings, then walked the leadoff hitter in the fourth. After a single and a flyout, Dessens waved to the dugout for the trainer. The preliminary diagnosis is muscle spasms in the back of the rotator cuff. Dodger trainers list him as day-to-day but he will probably not be able to take his regular turn on Sunday in Colorado and thought to be headed for the disabled list but that is not so certain now. … With that in mind, manager Jim Tracy met with Penny, pitching coach Jim Colborn, general manager Paul DePodesta and physical therapist Pat Screnar and determined Penny will come off the disabled list and make his 2005 debut this weekend in Colorado. But that could change if Denver's notoriously unpredictable spring weather takes a turn for the worse. If it gets freezing cold, into the 30s or the low 40s, the Dodgers backup plan is for Elmer Dessens to make that start if he is healthy enough to do so, with D.J. Houlton going if Dessens can't. Tracy said Penny will be limited to 80-85 pitches. Penny threw 79 in his final minor-league rehabilitation tune-up Monday night at Las Vegas, enough to get him through six innings. Odalis Perez's regular turn would be Saturday, but Tracy said the Dodgers would consider giving Perez an extra day between starts. … Nearly three weeks after being diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow, closer Eric Gagne was cleared to begin light throwing and played catch for about eight minutes before Tuesday's game. Gagne threw from about 60 feet with bench coach Jim Lett at about 50 percent effort. Afterward he reported his elbow felt good. He isn't expected to be activated for at least a few weeks, and he has no set goal for when he hopes to throw off a mound for the first time. Gagne threw from a distance of 60 feet at about 50 percent of his normal intensity. … Left fielder Jayson Werth, who has been out since he suffered a broken bone in his right wrist March 2, has traveled to Atlanta for a second opinion from Dr. Hank Sloan, a homeopathic specialist he is familiar with. … infielder Antonio Perez began a light running program and took batting practice, but Tracy said he does not expect Perez to be ready to return from his left hamstring injury at the end of the 15-day DL period. ... Left-hander Wilson Alvarez (shoulder tendinitis) was scheduled to pitch two innings in an intrasquad game among minor-leaguers at the Dodgers' extended spring-training camp Tuesday.

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