Dodgers Lose Game, Izturis Saturday Night

It was a bummer all the way around. The Dodgers enjoyed home runs by Jason Grabowski, Hee-Seop Choi and Jeff Kent but weren't pleased when their Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Isturis reinjured his right hamstring and had to leave the game in the sixth inning. Derek Lowe gave up a two run single in the first and a two-run homer in the third -- following an Izturis error -- and the 4-0 hole was more than the Dodgers could crawl out of.

Izturis' painful hamstring drove him out of the game in the sixth inning in a precautionary move. He was able to run but he could not set defensively and with a day off Monday, it made sense to set him down. He is listed as day-to-day, but will not play in this afternoon's finale against Minnesota.

Another sellout crowd of 53,354 at Dodger Stadium watched as their club fell to 6-6 on the homestand, a homestand they had hoped would use to make a serious move up in the standings.

Instead they fell three games behind San Diego, who came from behind in the ninth inning to beat the sizzling White Sox. A win today would mark their first winning homestand since their first one of the season.

Lowe (5-6) had a tough first inning when a slow bouncer to third base was ruled a hit. A double into the right field corner scored one run and the third Twin hit of the inning made it 2-0 before an out was recorded.

Lowe's first-inning ERA this year is 5.79, compared to 3.23 from the second inning on. Overall, he has a 3.62 ERA, and is the only Dodger starter with an ERA below 4.00.

In the third, a ground ball headed for center field scooted under Izturis' glove with two out and none on. A home run followed the error and the Dodgers were quickly in a four-run hole.

The error was changed to a hit shortly after the home run, when the official scorers checked the replay and realized that most shortstops wouldn't have even reached the ball.

Lowe also gave up a solo home run with two outs in the sixth to run the Dodgers' total of home runs allowed this season to 73.

The Dodger offense was limited to solo home runs by Jason Grabowski, Hee-Seop Choi and Jeff Kent all went deep. Choi's blast almost cleared the right-field pavilion and was estimated at 458 feet. It was the second homer in three games for Grabowski and the third homer in two games for Choi. Penny agrees to extension--The rumored contract extension for righthander Brad Penny became a reality when he signed a $25.5 million guarantee which includes a $2 million buyout on a club option for 2009 that, if exercised, would make the deal worth $32.25 million overall. It will keep him in Los Angeles through the 2008 season. Penny, who came to the Dodgers last year in a trade from Florida involving Paul Lo Duca, is 3-2 with a 4.04 ERA this season.

Dodger Blue Notes--In a season of injury on top of injury, Milton Bradley has perhaps reversed the bad news with a remarkable improvement. Just a day after manager Jim Tracy said Bradley won't swing a bat for a week, he not only swung one lightly but plans to swing at balls within the next couple of days, predicting he will be back in the lineup by the end of this week. …Elmer Dessens will make another start for Las Vegas tonight with a target of 65-70 pitches, after which he could be activated. Dessens would then be a candidate to start against the Chicago White Sox on Friday or Saturday. Tracy said those games would be started by some combination of Dessens, D.J. Houlton and Derek Thompson. …Catcher Paul Bako continues to make solid progress in his recovery from a sprained knee, and will test the knee catching a bullpen session in Kansas City. Disabled pitcher Wilson Alvarez and outfielder Ricky Ledee will not make the trip to Kansas City.

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