On-Again, Off-Again Dodgers Lose 8-3 to Padres

It wasn't just the batting order, or the pitching, or even the hitting that had trouble getting in sync Tuesday night, it was a complete team effort that misfired often enough to negate the momentum generated by a win the evening before and the results were predictable -- an 8-3 loss to the league-leading Padres that dropped the Dodgers 6 1/2 games behind in the N.L. West before another big crowd -- 47,695 -- at Dodger Stadium.

The two teams will be back at each other this afternoon and the Dodgers will be rid of the Padres, at least for a time. June had not been kind, and after a record of 10-15 Los Angeles is in about the same situation in the standings they were when the month began.

Offensively the Dodgers scored three runs when Hee-Seop Choi walked with the bases loaded, and later two scored when former Dodger Rudy Seanez's wild pitch rolled to the screen behind home plate. They had scoring opportunities in five different innings but nothing much came of them.

The Dodgers stranded eight baserunners and hit into three double plays, two by shortstop Cesar Izturis, who is in a horrendous slump, going 6-for-78 and seeing his average slide from .342 at the start of June to .276 after Tuesday's game.

Jayson Werth collected two of the Dodgers' seven hits and had their only run batted in during the game. Hee-Seop Choi, locked in nearly as deep a slump as Izturis, collected a double but then was doubled off second base. The other hits came from J.D. Drew, Jeff Kent, Jason Phillips and a pinch-hit by Mike Rose.

Starter Elmer Dessens (0-1) had control problems and allowed three runs -- only one earned -- in five innings, on six hits with two walks. But the bullpen had trouble with Giovanni Carrara allowing two runs in two innings and with San Diego leading 5-3 entering the ninth, Duaner Sanchez gave up three to put any thoughts of a rally out of mind quickly.

Odalis Perez may move back into the starting rotation sooner than expected after six weeks on the disabled list. Although Dessens allowed one earned run over five innings and has a 3.00 ERA in five starts, he couldn't get past the fifth inning.

Kent misplayed a ball in the third inning and it glanced off him and into right field for an error. A double and a single quickly made it 2-0. San Diego added a run in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Jeff Weaver pitches today in the series finale against the Padres. He pitched a shutout against San Diego on April 17. The right-hander is 1-3 in five June starts with a 2.91 ERA. He is 2-4 lifetime against the Padres.

Dodger Blue Notes--Odalis Perez was expected to make a fourth rehabilitation start this week for Las Vegas but might start Sunday's game against Arizona. If that decision holds, Dessens will probably move into the bullpen. In any event, rookie D.J. Houlton had earned a spot in the Dodger rotation. He is 4-1 as a starter. …J.D. Drew was again in the lineup but reported some swelling in his sore knee. …Sometimes you forget that players have a life away from the field. Giovanni Carrara's two-year-old son got into a family member's medication and had to be rushed by ambulance to a local hospital. He is fine and at home but Carrara spent five hours at the hospital and arrived at the park just before the opening pitch. Giving up a couple runs later in the game were just not that important in the great scheme of things. …Wilson Alvarez will probably undergo offseason arthroscopic surgery to clean up a frayed labrum that has complicated his recovery from shoulder tendinitis. Wilson is on the DL for the second time this year and said the injury had messed up his mechanics. …Milton Bradley, out since May 30 with a torn finger ligament, remained out of action, but there are no plans for further examinations or tests.