Dodgers Turn the Tables; Dump Angels 6-2

The Dodgers, losers of six of their last seven games, barged back into the race Sunday, using solid pitching (Derek Lowe, Yhency Brazoban, Eric Gagne) and timely hitting (JD Drew, Oscar Robles, Ricky Ledee, Jason Phillips) to craft a neat 6-2 win over the Angeles in the final game of a nine-game homestand.

Lowe (4-4) worked seven innings and although he allowed nine hits, he was in control all the way. After a leadoff homer in the second inning, Lowe pitched six shutout frames. He finished width 79 pitches, a remarkable 65 of them for strikes.

Brazoban, back from the giddy heights of the life of a closer, knocked off all three Angels he faced in the eighth and Gagne, used even though it was not a save situation, duplicated in the ninth.

In fact, the final dozen Angels went out in order from the fifth inning on and the game tied 2-2.

The Dodgers got offensive help from unexpected sources Sunday. JD Drew was moved up into the second spot in the lineup and knocked in a pair of runs with singles. Oscar Robles, pinch-hitting for Drew in the bottom of the seventh, singled and scored, then had an RBI single in the eighth. Cesar Izturis singled home Ledee who had doubled to put the Dodgers ahead for good in the fifth.

And Ledee banged his third homer and Phillips his second, both solo shots.

Anaheim scored first when Chone Figgins singled and stole season, a single by Adam Kennedy moved him to third on another single and he scored a ground ball by Darren Ersted. Jason Phillips threw out Kennedy attempting to steal second and Lowe nailed the third out with a grounder to Antonio Perez at third.

Ricky Ledee tied the game with a homer in the bottom of the second, the Angels quickly took a 2-1 lead on a homer by Juan Rivera in the top of the second and it looked for all the world like a slugfest was in the marking.

Perez walked in the third, was bunted to second by Lowe and JD Drew, batting second, singled to right to tie the game 2-2.

The Dodgers lost a run in the fourth inning. Milton Bradley walked with one out and promptly was picked off first. Ledee added a double to go his previous homer but Phillips flew to center to end the inning.

Los Angeles took the lead for the first time in the fifth when Perez doubled, was again bunted over by Lowe and scored on Cesar Izturis's single.

Darren Erstad and Garret Anderson opened the six with singles but Lowe got the first out on a pop to Jeff Kent, got a called third strike and an easy fly to Bradley in center. The Angels didn't get another baserunner.

L.A. put up a crooked number for the first time in the series in the seventh to move ahead 5-2. Phillips banged a long homer and with one out, Robles pinch-hit for Lowe and singled. Izturis singled and Drew knocked in the fifth run of the game with his second one base hit.

Bradley singled in the eighth, stole second and rode home on a two-out single by Robles to end the scoring.

With the win, the Dodgers moved to within 2 1/2 games of the Padres and Diamondbacks, who are tied for the lead in the National League West.

The club is off tomorrow, then opens a six-game western swing, playing three in San Francisco and three in Arizona. Jeff Weaver will start the first game of the Giants series. Dodger Blue Notes--The Dodgers, staggering under injury alerts and medical bulletins, have placed Odalis Perez on the disabled list when he was diagnosed with an inflamed shoulder that not respond to treatment or rest. Wilson Alvarez, who has had a sparkling season so far, draws his spot against the Giants on Wednesday. Jim Tracy was noncommittal as to a] who would replace Perez on the roster and b] who will move into the starting rotation on a regular basis. Speculation on a fifth starter could range from DL Houlton, who is on the roster, to Buddy Carlyle, who is in Las Vegas. Tracy said that Scott Erickson, who has been roughed up in recent starts, will move into the bullpen. … Tracy switched Hee-Seop Choi, who came into the game hitting .308, and JD Drew in the batting lineup and Drew. hitting .246, responded with a pair of singles and two RBI. Choi, however, was 0-for-4 in the third slot. … Elmer Dessens threw bullpen session but is some time away from being activated. He is expected to throw a couple more bullpens before moving into a rehab assignment.