Tigers Turn on Dodgers Late, win 8-4

As Siegfried and Roy know very well, Tigers are an unpredictable beast and will turn on friend or foe in a moments notice. Detroit did just that Tuesday night, erasing a 4-2 Dodger lead and rolling on to win 8-4. Derek Thompson worked five strong innings but the tired bullpen couldn't hold on and the frazzled Dodger bullpen let the game slip through their fingers.

Thompson had a pair of back-to-back 20+ pitch innings and lasted only five innings, dropping the burden on the bullpen, a burden they just couldn't handle.

Seldom used Scott Erickson, who hadn't pitched in eight days, took over in the sixth but Pudge Rodriguez, who has hit Erickson hard (20-for-54, .370) in the past, pulled Detroit within one with a home run.

A walk and a single followed and Erickson was gone. His ERA swelled to 7.17, despite the fact that in his two previous relief outings, he had retired 12 of 15 batters, allowing only one run and two hits.

quickly and Duaner Sanchez (1-2), making his fourth appearance in the last five days, took over but the usually reliable reliever was pounded (five hits, four runs) and the game got out of hand quickly.

Erickson, who may be on the bubble, was thumped by the Angeles on May 20 and has only had three appearances on the mound since that time.

It was the third non-decision start for Thompson since being recalled from Jacksonville. He has pitched well but is generous with his pitch count -- at least 86 pitches per game -- and that has limited him to five innings each start.

The Dodgers' winning streak was snapped at three and they remained four games behind division-leading San Diego and a half-game behind second-place Arizona on a night the entire National League West again lost at home.

The Dodgers' rotation is averaging a little less than six innings per game for the season, which is one reason even the most liable of relievers, such as Sanchez, are starting to show some wear. In six of the first nine games of this homestand, Dodgers starters have failed to complete six innings.

The Major League debut of Franquelis Osoria was pleasing. Just up from Las Vegas, he retired all three batters he faced.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 first inning lead when Jeff Kent singled home Jason Repko. Detroit evened it in the third and took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. The Dodgers tied it again in the bottom half on Jason Phillips' leadoff home run.

Olmedo Saenz's two-out double scored Repko and Antonio Perez to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead in the fifth and the Dodgers were held hitless over the final four innings

Dodger Blue Notes--The Dodgers and Brad Penny have reached a tentative agreement on a contract extension. Sources say he will receive a deal for three years plus a fourth year option/buyout that could push the total value of the deal from $26 million to around $33 million. Penny was acquired with Hee-Seop Choi and Minor League pitcher Bill Murphy last July 31 from Florida in a deal for Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota and Juan Encarnacion. He is earning $5.1 million this year and would be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.