Sox Snatch Win From Dodgers in Last of Ninth

CHICAGO, Illinois-- Day five of what has become the road trip from hell saw the Dodgers leading 3-1 in the last of the ninth. Even after the Sox tied the game 3-3, they were within one strike of getting out of the inning on three different pitches before catcher A.J. Pierzynski slugged a two run homer to sink L.A. one game below .500 and erase a sparkling job by lefty Elmer Dessens, just off a disabled list that contains more recognizable Dodger names than the starting roster.

Dessens allowed a run in the third inning after Jeff Kent booted a ball to open the inning. He allowed only two hits over his six-inning, 77-pitch start and led 2-1 on the strength of Kent's first inning homer when he left the game.

Duaner Sanchez gave up a meaningless single in his two innings and after Kent -- there's that name again -- scored the Dodgers third run on a wild pitch, gave the ball to closer by default Yhency Brazoban to nail down.

And he nearly did that, retiring two Sox hitters after an opening walk but a single cut the lead to 3-2. A stolen base and another single tied the game 3-3 and After going 3-1 on Pierzynski, Brazoban poured four straight strikes across the plate, the last three fouled off.

The ninth pitch of the sequence landed in the left field seats and 38,000 fans -- more than saw all three games in Kansas City -- went home happy.

Kent's first-inning homer followed Antonio Perez's leadoff walk. Perez was the designated hitter this night and Oscar Robles drew the starting shortstop spot.

In the eighth, Kent doubled, moved to third on a ground ball by Hee-Seop Choi, as suddenly cold as he was suddenly hot, then scored on a wild pitch.

Chicago worked a tidy game, leaving only three men on base.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, nearly blew the game open early. They got three straight walks with one out in the first after Kent had put them up 2-0 but Edwards fouled out to end that thought.

They loaded the bases again in the fourth on singes by Jason Phillips and Edwards plus a walk by Robles but Perez fouled out and Werth hit into a force.

Ten of the next hitters were retired before Kent's double in the eighth.

Kent had a single and a double and Robles, hitting ninth, walked three times but was caught stealing twice and forced at second on his third attempt to reach second base.

Los Angeles, on the strength of their fifth loss in succession, dropped to 33-34, under .500 for the first time since the opening day loss, and fell 3 1/2 games behind the Padres, who won. Arizona lost but the Dodgers are a full game behind them and in third place.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Cesar Izturis reported his sore hamstring was feeling better and manager Jim Tracy sounded hopeful he would be able to start todays final game in Chicago. Izturis' hamstring tightened last Sunday and then put him on the shelf Tuesday in Kansas City. …Left-handed rookie pitcher Derek Thompson reported "feelings" in his surgically repaired shoulder but after playing catch said it felt better. …In what came as an unusual Father's Day Present, Chad Tracy and John T. Shelby, sons of the manager and first-base coach, are among 39 invitees to compete for 20 spots on the 2005 USA Baseball National Team. …Jeff Weaver hopes to stop the slide in the series finale in a game televised by ESPN tonight. Weaver has a 5-5 career mark and 3.67 ERA against the White Sox, but has not started against them in nearly four years.