Kent Drives in five Runs in 10-Run First

While it wasn't the best start ever for a Dodger team, but the 10-run first inning tied the Los Angeles record and gladdened the hearts of the Dodger staff after they had suffered through a scoring drought during the last home stand. The last time an L.A. team had scored 10 in the first was September 13, 1977 while thumping the Padres 18-4. The franchise record is a 15-run extravaganza on May 21, 1952 that smothered the Reds 19-1 and set numerous major league records.

The first half of the first inning took nearly a half hour as 14 batters came to the plate, 11 reached base and six of the seven hits were for extra bases, including home runs by Hee-Seop Choi and Jeff Kent.

Kent smacked a homer and two doubles in his first three at-bats, knocking in five runs -- all in the first inning -- running his season total to 26. Choi added his second homer of the game, #7, in the seventh inning.

Seven Cincinnati pitchers worked during the long evening.

The big inning started with Cesar Izturis being hit by a pitch. Then:
Choi homered [2 rbi
JD Drew walked
Kent homered [2 rbi
Milton Bradley walked
Olmedo Saenz was hit by a pitch
Ricky Ledee doubles [2 rbi
Jason Phillips doubled [one rbi
Brad Penny bunted Phillips to third
Izturis bounced out to short
Choi walked
Kent doubled [3 rbi
Bradley struck out

Nearly lost in the offensive explosion was a brilliant performance by Penny who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, retiring the first eight in a row, and finished his evening's work with a seven-inning one hitter while running his record to 2-0. He threw 89 pitches with 54 strikes. Houlton, in 1.2 innings, threw 50 pitches.

Kent's five RBI in the first tied a franchise record set by Dusty Baker in the same Sept. 13, 1977 runaway against San Diego.

Los Angeles took a 13-0 lead into the eighth and D.J. Houlton took over for Penny. The Reds were obviously delighted with Penny's departure and took it out on the new kid, smacking him for five hits and four runs in the eighth and adding three more hits and a pair of runs in the ninth before Wilson Alvarez came in to get the final out of the game.

Izturis, playing on a tender ankle, left the game in the top of the fourth and was replaced at short by Norihiro Nakamura. Kent left the game in the eighth and Nakamura moved to second with Mike Edwards taking over at short. That gave the Dodgers an infield of Saenz, 3b; Edwards ss; Nakamura 2b and Choi 1b -- not the sort of thing anyone expected earlier in the season.

Dodger Blue Notes--Cesar Izturis was back in the Dodgers lineup on and batting leadoff after fouling a pitch off his right ankle in the fifth inning of Wednesday's game. … Jayson Werth will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night. He started the season on the disabled list after suffering a broken bone in his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch in the Dodgers' Spring Training opener. … The sleepy Dodgers, who arrived in Cincinnati at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday and sparkled at bat despite short sleep, may induce the club to bring the players in early every morning on road trips. They swing back into action again Saturday afternoon and will hopefully be tired enough to score in double figures again.