Kent Delivers as Dodgers Tame the Tigers

Jeff Kent doesn't like interleague play. But he shook off his distaste long enough Monday night to knock in four runs in a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers to help Derek Lowe earn his fifth victory against five defeats. It was the fourth Los Angeles win in five games and pulled the Dodgers to within a half game behind Arizona. After one of the worst months of May in Los Angeles history, the Dodgers (30-27) have won three in a row for the first time since sweeping Colorado April 29-May 1.

After an ugly month of May, when he hit .200 and had only seven extra-base hits, Kent has been sizzling, hitting safely in 12 of his past 19 at-bats (.632), with three homers and 10 RBI. He has reached base in 15 of his past 21 plate appearances, including 10 of 11 leading up to his game-winning homer Monday night.

But he talked about interleague play after the game, telling the media he would rather play the teams in the other National League divisions instead of the American League. When asked how many interleague games should a team play, he said "Well, I don't know, so why not just draw the line at not doing it at all?"

Derek Lowe (5-5, 3.35) struggled through the second and third innings, getting tagged with a pair of unearned runs and trailing 3-0 by the third inning

But he settled down and worked eight innings, collecting 15 groundball outs before handing the ball to Eric Gagne who put Detroit away with a neat, 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save, his fastballs clocking at 92-93 mph.

Lowe allowed only one hit from the fourth through the eighth inning, at one point retiring 12 consecutive batters.

Jason Repko smacked his fifth home run and J/D/ Drew tripled in the fourth inning. Kent knocked in his first run with an infield single. Repko and Drew walked in the sixth before Kent smacked his 12th homer and knocked in his 48th run. He now has 314 homers in his career.

His current pace would give him 136 ribbies, second only in Los Angeles history to Tommy Davis' 153 in 1962.

Dodger Blue Notes--Left-hander Wilson Alvarez was placed on the disabled list on Monday and became [a] the 13th Dodger (topping the entire 2004 total) to go into drydock during the season and [b] the second Dodger to make the list twice. He has been battling shoulder tendinitis since his last start eight days ago and felt discomfort two pitches into his side session Monday, leading to the decision. Rookie right-handed reliever Franquelis Osoria, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Alvarez's roster spot, has no major-league experience. Osoria, a hard-throwing right-hander from the Dominican Republic, was 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 27 games with Las Vegas. During Spring Training, he pitched in four games and allowed one earned run in five innings over four appearances. …The move puts eight rookies on the major league roster, including pitchers Yhency Brazoban, D.J. Houlton, Osoria and Derek Thompson; catcher Mike Rose; infielders Mike Edwards and Oscar Robles, and outfielder Jason Repko. …Dodger GM Paul DePodesta said talks have begun on a multiyear contract extension for right-hander Brad Penny, a potential free agent in the fall. …*M*A*S*H* Report: Elmer Dessens starts tonight for Las Vegas on his injury rehabilitation assignment, with 45 pitches the target. Odalis Perez played catch, and said his shoulder felt better than it had in a long time. Paul Bako's attempt to run was canceled because of swelling in his injured left knee. Milton Bradley continued therapy on his injured hand. Ricky Ledee was out of the lineup again because of inflammation behind his left knee and will undergo an MRI Tuesday. …Derek Thompson will make his third Major League start tonight night against the Tigers.

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