Dodgers Lose Game and Gagne

SAN DIEGO, California--Even extra batting practice didn't help. The Dodgers took four hours of bp hours before the game in San Diego Tuesday night but the results were pretty much the same, six singles, one run, a 2-1 loss and an eighth straight loss. Woody Williams was dominant, allowing only a run in the seventh inning on a Jason Grabowski pinch-hit single that scored Antonio Perez. Add the fact Eric Gagne will be lost for 18 months it made for a gloomy Dodger clubhouse.

Derek Lowe, as have most of the starters during the Dodgers' freefall, left the game deserving to get a win but instead taking a difficult loss that reduced his record to 5-8.

The Dodgers went 1-for-8 with men in scoring position, stranded seven baserunners and scored their only run in two days on a broken-bat single by Grabowski that fell in shallow center field in the seventh inning.

It came in the inning when the Dodgers got half of their hits. Antonio Perez and Jason Phillips singled before Grabowski's RBI.

During the horrendous streak, the Dodgers have averaged 1.88 runs per game. Over the same eight games, their starting rotation has posted a 3.08 ERA and their pitching staff as a whole is at 3.06. In the past two games, the Dodgers are 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

The loss came at the same time it was announced that superstopper Eric Gagne would be lost for the rest of the season as well as half of 2006 with a torn ligament in his elbow that will require a second Tommy John surgery.

The Dodgers troubles were magnified in the second inning when Olmedo Saenz and Jayson Werth singled. Antonio Perez, with a sparkling .337 batting average and a seemingly unable to bunt, came to the plate. Hitting away he bounced into a force play at third that was nearly a double play. A drive by Jason Phillips resulted in a diving catch in right field instead of a probable sacrifice fly had the runners been advanced.

In the ninth, Saenz reached first on interference by the catcher and Werth walked. This time Perez was asked to bunt but the results were the same -- a force at third. Edwards hit a fly to right that could have scored a runner from third/

For the 11th consecutive game, a Dodgers starter took the game into the sixth inning. Lowe allowed two runs and was saved from a third when Werth threw out a runner at the plate trying to score from second base. Although he lowered his ERA to 3.65, Lowe has only one win in the last month.

The third-place Dodgers (33-37), slipped a 6 1/2 games behind the division-leading Padres in the National League West and hopes for a surge to cut San Diego's lead slipped even further away.

Dodger Blue Notes--Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta is contemplating cutting back to 11 pitchers on the staff and adding another bat from the minor leagues. DePodesta said he had a couple of players in mind, but he declined to name them. He might have been thinking of outfielder Cody Ross who has gone on a recent home-run tear and leads Las Vegas with 13, seven in the last 19 games. Ross might provide the power and run production the club has not been getting from Jayson Werth, who continues to struggle after missing the first two months of the season with a broken wrist, or Jason Repko. Werth has not hit a home run in 99 plate appearances and Repko has one RBI (a home run) since the end of April. … Cutting the pitching staff by one probably would mean rookie left-hander Derek Thompson being optioned to the minors. Thompson isn't in the rotation and hasn't made any appearances out of the bullpen since June 7. …Dodgers officials have until the weekend to decide whether to send utility infielder Oscar Robles back to the Mexico City Red Devils. If the Dodgers keep him, they will owe the Red Devils an additional $200,000, the same amount they originally paid for Robles on May 9. Robles is hitting just .194 with one RBI and a .275 on-base percentage. …Odalis Perez felt good after his Monday night rehabilitation start at Las Vegas, and will make another Saturday night in Tucson. Perez made 46 pitches in three scoreless innings, with two hits, three strikeouts and one walk. …D.J. Houlton took the loss in Chicago, but Tracy said he pitched well enough to remain the fifth starter. He starts Wednesday night for the Dodgers against the Padres in the third game of four against the league leaders.