Home Runs, Maddux Dump Dodgers 5-3

They say the ball is hard to see in Dodger Stadium late in the afternoon when shadows start to creep across the diamond. Perhaps, but the Cubbies, used to bright sunshine, had little trouble in the twilight opener of the longest Dodger homestand of the season, smashing three home runs that accounted for four of the five runs in a 5-3 win. Wilson Alvarez (1-3) was touched for 10 hits and all five runs as Greg Maddux spun his usual magic to earn the win.

Jerry Harriston slammed the second pitch of the game into the seats for a quick 1-0 Chicago lead and gave a foretaste of what was to come. A walk and a double accounted for another run in the first.

Michael Barrett followed a Cory Patterson double in the fourth to boost the tally to 4-0 but Olmedo Sanenz, who knocked in all three Dodger runs, cut the margin in half after Maddux threw a tapper to the mound away and Jeff Kent singled in the bottom of the inning. Sanenz double made to 4-2.

That was pretty much the end of the Dodger offense until the ninth inning when, trailing 5-3, Saenz drilled a shot over the center field fence (#5) to make the final score 5-3 and boost his average to .345.

Alvarez left after five having allowed nine hits, three home runs and all five Chicago runs. Scott Erickson, in his first relief job for the Dodgers, gave up a two-out single during his two-innings of work and perhaps made a bid to regain his starting slot.

Duaner Sanchez and D.J. Houlton each pitched a scoreless inning to close the game out.

The Dodgers looked like they would battle back in the eighth inning when Cub pitcher Todd Wellmeyer threw eight straight balls to pinch-hitter Oscar Robles and Cesar Izturis. He made it nine in a row with Jayson Werth at the plate and that brought a necessary visit to the mound by the pitching coach.

Whatever he told Wellmeyer it worked.

He followed with six strikes to Werth before coaxing a double play ball and J.D. Drew went quitely to end the inning and the only real threat of the game.

Along with Sanenz's stout work with the bat, Izturis singled twice, walked and stole a base but was left stranded each time. Kent added a pair of singles.

Antonio Perez cooled off, taking an 0-for-4 and "dropping" his batting average from .529 to .474.

Brad Penny, 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA lifetime against Chicago, starts Tuesday night against the Cubs.

Dodger Blue Notes--Most of the Dodger notes reads like an episode of *M*A*S*H* without the humor of Hawkeye Pierce. Milton Bradley was sidelined with a sprained finger and Hee-Seop Choi's had a stiff forearm required a makeshift lineup Monday that had Olmedo Saenz facing right-hander Greg Maddux and playing first base, with Ricky Ledee in left field, J.D. Drew in center and Jayson Werth in right field. Bradley injured the fourth finger on his right hand on a swing in the ninth inning Sunday, and will have an MRI Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. … Catcher Paul Bako is on the disabled list with a mild sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee, and a second MRI will be taken. … Odalis Perez did not travel with the team on the recent roadtrip and threw a 46-pitch bullpen session Monday and reported no pain, but mild stiffness. He will throw again Wednesday and Friday. Manage Jim Tracy is planning on starting rookie Derek Thompson on Thursday, but remains undecided for Saturday, the next time Wilson Alvarez's slot comes up. … Elmer Dessens is at least two weeks away from returning.