Rookie Lefty and Three Home Runs Stop Brewers 6-4

LOS ANGELES, California--One night after the Dodgers saw their ace trumped by a rookie, they turned the tables and helped Derek Thompson top Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets, 6-4, powered by three home runs, two from J.D. Drew and one from Jeff Kent. It was the second start for Thompson and the second time he has started against the ace of the other team's staff. He again pitched well enough to win against Arizona's Javier Vazquez but didn't for the second time.

Thompson, promoted from Jacksonville a week ago, worked five innings and left things tied 3-3. The first two runs he allowed were definitely on the cheap side. He walked two, struck out five and kept the ball in the park, something Dodger fans haven't seen for a while.

He has the knack to be able to keep the ball in the park, having allowed only 14 home runs in 400 innings. In the previous eight games, Dodger pitching has allowed exactly the same number.

Thompson got his chance due to injuries to Odalis Perez, Elmer Dessens and Wilson Alvarez, and it looks like he will be around for some time.

Trailing 3-0, Thompson was finally given some run support when the Dodgers' offense got to Sheets in fourth when Drew slugged his first home run of the game to straightaway-center field. Kent made it back-to-back homers with a long blast to left.

Jason Phillips singled home Jayson Werth after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth with a game-tying single, and Drew put the Dodgers ahead for the first time in four games with his ninth home run of the year after Antonio Perez's leadoff double in the sixth inning.

Giovanni Carrara (5-2) and Yhency Brazoban worked three scoreless innings and Eric Gagne again struggled but nailed the game down for his fourth save. His fastball was clocked at "just" 92 mph and he needed 27 pitches in a wild ninth inning that included three strikeouts, but also two walks and a single that scored a run.

Dodger Blue Notes--Wilson Alvarez, scratched from his scheduled start Saturday night, has shoulder tendinitis, the same problem that had him on the disabled list for the first four weeks of the season. His rotation spot will be taken by D.J. Houlton, at least for Saturday night, but manager Jim Tracy said he will probably not use Alvarez again in a starting role. Houlton, a Rule V selection from Houston, has a 7.41 ERA but has worked only 17 innings. Saturday will be his first major league start. Houlton was 12-5 with a 2.94 ERA last year at Double-A, but he was left unprotected by the Astros. The Dodgers felt he was a bargain with upside potential, but they must keep him in the Major Leagues the entire season or risk losing him back. …Milton Bradley reported his torn finger ligament has not improved and he well may be placed on the disabled list today. …Odalis Perez can play catch with no pain but still cannot throw off a mound without discomfort. , and a decision on whether he will be disabled could come on Friday or Saturday. He is expected to try to grip a bat on Friday. …Jeff Weaver will start for the Dodgers on tonight. His most recent start in Arizona was much more like what he gave the Dodgers last year. He has made some mechanical adjustments that allowed him to keep the ball down and is working through a dead-arm period. …Elmer Dessens (shoulder) will begin his rehabilitation with a start for Las Vegas. …Infielder Jose Valentin, who has been out the past month with three torn ligaments in his right knee, said he plans to play again this season. Valentin is scheduled for a second MRI in the next few days. If it shows sufficient progress, he will step up his program beyond its current regimen of cardiovascular exercise.