Dodgers Lose 5-1 Lead and Game to Astros

HOUSTON, Texas-- An RBI single by Brad Ausmus snapped a 5-5 tie and Houston rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the sixth to beat the Dodgers 6-5 and sweep the three-game series. All three games were close; all three games were lost by 3-2. 4-2 and 6-5 margins. Odalis Perez imploded in the sixth to allow the tying runs and Duaner Sanchez (2-4) gave up two hits in the eighth inning and took the loss for the Dodgers, who have dropped four straight.

Perez, who came into the game 0-3 with an earned run average over 15 against Houston, had allowed only a leadoff single and an unearned run, with only three walks marring the first five innings. In the first inning, shortstop Oscar Robles had thrown wildly to second on an attempted double play and Taveras scored from first on the error to give Houston a 1-0 lead.

Perez himself singled with one out in the fifth and after Robles lived on an error, Jason Repko doubled into the left field corner to tie the game 1-1. Jeff Kent was given an intentional walk and with two out, Antonio Perez knocked in a pair with a single for a 3-1 Dodger lead.

They added two more in the fifth when Robles walked, was forced by Repko and with two out, Jason Phillips banged his seventh home run and the Dodgers had a four run lead.

But Perez apparently ran out of gas in the sixth, allowing a single, homer, single, triple and was quickly replaced by Franquelis Osoria, who immediately gave up a single to tie the game before retiring the side.

Quote of the Day--"Regardless of the games we lost the last few days, I've definitely seen a change in the way we go about things. For a stretch there, we were waiting for somebody else to do something. I've seen a lot better at-bats, a lot better effort from everybody. Hopefully, because of that, we'll be able to turn the corner." --Jeff Weaver

Los Angeles went into one of its late-innings swoon, recording an even dozen outs before the game ended when Oscar Robles was thrown out by center fielder Willy Taveras as Robles tried to stretch a single into a double.

With Sanchez working in the bottom of the eighth, Morgan Ensberg singled and Jason Lane walked. With one out, right fielder Ricky Ledee took a three-run homer away from pinch-hitter Orlando Palmero but then Ausmus slapped a single to right field to give the Astros their seventh win in eight games and 16 of their last 20.

Robles finished with three more hits and moved his average to .357. Antonio Perez had two and enters the break hitting .319.

The Dodgers pause for a the All-Star classic with a 40-48 record and are 8 1/2 behind the division-leading San Diego Padres. They suffered through an eight-game losing streak and have won only seven of their last 25 games.

Dodger Blue Notes-- First baseman Hee-Seop Choi is looking forward to participating in the Home Run Derby on Monday at 8 p.m. ET at Comerica Park in Detroit, televised by ESPN. Choi will be joined in the contest by players from seven other counties, Philadelphia's Bobby Abreu (Venezuela), Pittsburgh's Jason Bay (Canada), Atlanta's Andruw Jones (the Netherlands), Milwaukee's Carlos Lee (Panama), Boston's David Ortiz (Dominican Republic), Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) and Texas' Mark Teixeira (U.S.). He is hitting .232 for the Dodgers with 13 homers and 32 RBI. Bullpen catcher Rob Flippo will join the Dodgers contingent headed for the All-Star festivities in Detroit. Flippo will be the pitcher for Choi in the home run contest.