Between Raindrops Dodgers Win 5-4

The Dodgers jumped into an 4-1 lead but then the persistent rain stopped the game for 25 minutes in the second inning while Manager Grady Little sweated out the possibility that the game could be cancelled and the early lead lost. But after having nearly everything go wrong in the opener, this night went right and Los Angles held on to win 5-4, their first victory of the new season.

Derek Lowe, who had a strong spring was mauled on opening day and Brad Penny, who struggled during spring training worked five strong innings, although it took him 92 pitches to do it.

Penny (1-0) allowed five hits and one run while walking none and striking out eight before being relieved by Jae Seo to start the sixth. Penny didn't allow a hit after the second, retiring 10 of his last 11 batters to earn the win.

Seo retired the first eight batters he faced before back-to-back doubles scored one and Adam LaRoche hit his second homer of the season, a two-run shot, cutting the Dodger lead to one.

Seo struck out pinch-hitter Brian Jordan to end the eighth, and Danys Baez worked a perfect 1-2-3 ninth for his first save in place of Eric Gagne who dropped his appeal and is serving a two-day suspension for a violation during the 2005 season.

The Dodgers came out swinging in the bottom of the first. After Rafael Furcal bounced out, Jose Cruz drew a walk and immediately came around to score on JD Drew's shot into the right field seats on a 2-1 count.

Jeff Kent singled, rookie first baseman James Loney drew a walk in his first major league appearance and Bill Mueller singled Kent across. Moments later Jason Repko singled to score Loney.

Atlanta countered with a home run in the second before the rains hit. After sitting around for 25 minutes, Drew beat out an infield hit in the bottom of the third, Loney's first hit -- a single to right -- moved Drew to third and he scored the final Dodger run on Mueller's long fly.

That pretty much ended the Dodger offense for the evening and the Braves cut the margin to 5-4 but could get no closer.

Drew, who reminds older fans of Stan Musial (the highest of compliments), opened last season by going hitless in his first 25 at-bats. When everything finally fell into place, an inside pitch broke his left wrist on July 3, ending his season.

Over his first two games in 2006, Drew has four hits, including his first homer in more than nine months, four runs batted in and an even .400 batting average.

Repko boosted his average to an eye-popping .625 with a pair of singles and a double. Drew and Kent had a pair of hits and Drew (#4) and Mueller (#3) each had a pair of RBI.

With Nomar Garciaparra on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained muscle in his right side, James Loney went 1-for-3 with a walk in his major league debut.

As a team, the Dodgers are hitting .338.
  Dodgers     a b r h bi ave
R. Furcal ss   5 0 0 0 .300
J. Cruz Jr. lf 3 1 1 0 .556
J.D. Drew rf   4 2 2 2 .400
J. Kent 2b     4 1 2 0 .500
J. Loney 1b    3 1 1 0 .000
B. Mueller 3b  3 0 1 2 .429
J. Repko cf    3 0 3 1 .625
D. Navarro c   2 0 0 0 .000
B. Penny p     2 0 0 0 .000
   J. Seo p    1 0 0 0 .000
   R. Ledee ph 1 0 0 0 .000
   D. Baez p   0 0 0 0 .000
 Totals       31 4 9 5 
 Atlanta      37 4 9 4

Score by innings:
Atlanta   010 000 030-4
Dodgers   401 000 00x-5

  Error-Mueller (1)- 2B- J Cruz Jr (2); 
J Repko (2). HR - J Drew (1). SF - 
B Mueller. RBI - J Drew 2 (4), 
B Mueller 2 (3), J Repko (2). 
DP - Atlanta 2.LOB - Atlanta 6, Dodgers 8.

  Dodgers        in  h r-er bb so era
B. Penny (W,1-0) 5.0 5 1-1  0  8 1.80
J. Seo           3.0 3 3-3  0  4 9.00
D. Baez (S, 1)   1.0 1 0-0  0  1 0.00
  Time: 2:46. Attendance: 36,249.


Dodger Blue Notes-- Manager Grady Little said he would mix and match left-handed Loney and right-handed Olmedo Saenz based on the opposition. Saenz will get the start today against Braves left-hander Horacio Ramirez. …Eric Gagne had an MRI on his elbow to monitor the healing from his surgery in June. Gagne and Little emphasized that the MRI was "pre-scheduled" for the first available opportunity after the regular season started and was not prompted by any new development with Gagne's elbow. The MRI was clean, Little said. ... Anyone who had a ticket to Tuesday's game (used or unused) can redeem it for a free ticket to one of two future games - May 10 or May 22. …There have been only 17 rainouts in the 44-year history of Dodger Stadium, and none since April 17, 2000. …The paid attendance was 36,249 was composed mostly of season tickets, but a great many of the ticket's owners thought the game would be washed out by the day-long rain and failed to attend the game so the number of bodies in attendance was much less than the announced number.

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