Kent's Home in 10th Beats 'Jints 4-2

If a 'Most Valuable Player' award was to be made to a Dodger, Jeff Kent would have won some time in early June. But the second baseman reinforced his worth again Tuesday night, singling in a run in the eighth to tie the game 2-2, then homering in the bottom of the tenth to win 4-2. Yhency Brazoban, fourth Dodger pitcher, took over in the 10th and earned the win, his third and first since May.

Kent increased his home run total to 26, just two away from the franchise record for second baseman (28), set by Davey Lopes in 1979. His RBI totals have reached 96, 17% of the Dodgers total. Kent leads major league second baseman in both home runs and runs batted in. He also leads the league with a .381 average with men in scoring position.

He tops the Dodgers in home runs, runs scored and runs batted in, well in front of the next player. He tops Olmedo Saenz 96-60 in RBI, J.D. Drew 26-15 in home runs and Milton Bradley 85-49 in runs scored.

You have to wonder how long the opposition is going to pitch to him, considering the way he has carried the Los Angeles offense during the entire season and particularly down the stretch.

Brad Penny pitched well in his first start since the suspension. He worked six strong innings but left the game after six with a pain in his hip. For the most part the kept the club in the mix until Kent could perform his heroics.

The Dodger lineup didn't look much like the one they brought to Los Angeles from spring training. Only infielder Jeff Kent was still in action as the season winds down. Jayson Werth was the proposed left fielder going into the spring but he was injured in the second game of the year and didn't return for months. The rest are either on the disabled list or should be.

Jose Cruz powered his first home run since July 2 -- against the Dodgers -- in the second inning to put L.A. on the board. For the next five innings they were held to one hit, a double by Penny in the third inning.

It was Cruz's 13th home run of the season and he's reached base in 14 of his last 22 plate appearances. Since joining the Dodgers in August, he's batting .304 with 11 walks and 10 RBI in 23 games.

San Francisco scored a run in the sixth on a triple by J.T. Snow that might have been a single had Werth not attempted a diving catch on the sinking liner. It skipped by him and Snow ended up on third. Pedro Feliz's double would have probably scored him anyway and the Giants added another run in the seventh on a squeeze bunt by Randy Winn to take a 2-1 lead.

Jayson Werth, who had popped up and fanned twice, doubled to right with one out in the eighth. Oscar Robles singled to left before Kent tied the game with his second single of the game.

Penny worked through six innings, allowing six hits and a single run while fanning a half dozen. He left the game in a 1-1 tie.

Giovanni Carrara gave up the second run but Elmer Dessens, who has become extremely valuable over the last couple of months, worked a perfect eighth and Duaner Sanchez duplicated in the ninth.

Brazoban struggled a bit in the ninth, walking the first Giant and after he was bunted to second, gave up an infield single to Robles, putting runners on first and third.

Then he got Snow on a pop to second and Moises Alou on a ground ball to Kent.

The last of the tenth started ignominiously with Jason Grabowski, just up from Las Vegas, and Jayson Werth striking out.

Robles singled to right just before Kent unloaded his game-winner into the left field seats. It was Robles' second hit of the night and he's hit in 11 of the last 12 games, going .314 over the span.

Minor League All-Stars: Shortstop Joel Guzman and catcher Russell Martin were named to the Double-A Southern League season-end All-Star team. Second baseman Travis Denker was named to the Class A Florida State League All-Star team. First baseman David Sutherland and third baseman Russell Mitchell were named to the Pioneer League All-Star team. Second baseman Tony Abreu won the Florida State League batting title with a .327 average. Shortstop Chin-lung Hu was tied for second at .313, and Matt Kemp was fourth at .306. Kemp also set the Vero Beach single-season home run record with 27, bettering Adrian Beltre's 1996 mark (26).

Dodger Blue Notes-- Cesar Izturis now has a sore elbow to go with his hamstring injury and had an MRI to check the damage. He is eligible to come off he disabled list but that seems unlikely. …Rumors have it that the Dodgers first draft choice D.L. Hochevar nearly reached a contract agreement last week and had considered a change in advisors. He did not attend class last week, an indication that he wanted to continue negotiations and not re-enter the draft next year. Hochevar was seeking a signing bonus of $4 million. The club had offered a reported $2.3 million, but the rumored agreement last week would have been for closer to $3 million. …J.D. Drew has begun taking live batting practice, but he is still experiencing stiffness and soreness. The club should know in the next few days if Drew can return this season or will be shut down entirely. Jeff Weaver starts the series finale for the Dodgers tonight.