Dodgers Begin to Hear September Song

Maurice Chevalier made "September Song" popular some years ago and might have been singing about the Dodgers because as he noted "the days grow short when you reach September." And "as the days dwindle down to a precious few" Los Angeles can ill afford a misstep. They made a big one Tuesday night, losing to the last place Colorado Rockies yet again and although they didn't lose any ground in the race, they lost a "precious" day.

Edwin Jackson certainly didn't have a Kodak Moment, giving up six runs in the second inning on three hits, three walks, a hit batsman, a wild pitch and an error by each of the Dodger outfielders. He left the game before he could get side out in the second inning, using

Jackson (1-2) saw his earned-run average balloon to 9.37 and he threw 48 pitches before leaving after 1.1 innings. Not helping the matter was the fact the outfield imploded, making painful mistakes, with left fielder Ricky Ledee (throwing error), right fielder Jose Cruz Jr. (a dropped line drive) and center fielder Jayson Werth (misplayed ball) contributing to the Dodgers' loss.

The Dodgers remained five games behind the Padres with 18 games remaining, but find themselves in a second-place tie with the surging Giants who have taken heart by the return of Barry Bonds..

"It was tough to lose that game," Dodger Manager Jim Tracy said. "We had a hole to climb out of early. We tried hard to do so. We lost a day on the calendar…. It wasn't pitched well and it was poor defense."

Colorado starter Sunny Kim (5-2) gave up four runs and five hits in five innings for the Rockies who have won six of the last seven meetings with the Dodgers.

Trailing 6-0, the Dodgers scored four times in the fourth against Kim. Cruz's double down the first-base line scored Jeff Kent and moved Ledee to third. Kim's wild pitch allowed Ledee to score before Brian Myrow walked to put runners at first and third. Werth's one-out single brought home Cruz and moved Myrow to third. Hee-Seop Choi, pinch-hitting for reliever Elmer Dessens, followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right, allowing Myrow to come home and give the Dodgers hope.

The bullpen did as much as they could, short of knocking in some runs of their own.

Elmer Dessens was the first of four Dodger relievers with 2.2 scoreless innings. Giovanni Carrara went 2.1 innings and Franquelis Osoria inherited a runner on third base with one out, then retired the side in the seventh inning. Yhency Brazoban pitched the final two innings.

Not all the blame could be laid at Jackson's door.

The Dodgers had the leadoff hitter on base in the seventh inning, runners on second and third in the eighth inning and a runner on second in the ninth without scoring.

Jason Phillips, who had as tough a night as Jackson, left six runners on base. He was playing because rookie catcher Dioner Navarro was with his wife who gave birth earlier in the day,

Now the Dodgers have only 18 games remaining to erase a five-game deficit.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Wilson Alvarez threw batting practice before the game, but insisted his decision to retire after the season is final. Alvarez threw 17 warmup tosses, followed by 23 pitches to rookies Mike Rose and Brian Myrow, using his entire repertoire of pitches. …Odalis Perez, disabled with a strained oblique muscle, had his first bullpen session, which went off without a hitch, according to pitching coach Jim Colborn. Manager Jim Tracy indicated it's unlikely that Perez could build his pitch count high enough to start a game, but the lefty is reluctant to pitch out of the bullpen. …Ricky Ledee's hamstring improved enough to allow his return to the starting lineup Tuesday. …Reliever Kelly Wunsch, who earlier underwent surgery to repair an ankle injury, had a cleanup procedure performed on his hip Tuesday. … Rookie D.J. Houlton (5-9, 5.30 ERA) take the ball tonight against the Rockies' Byung-Hyun Kim (5-11, 4.73 ERA) in the series finale.