Improbable Power Source Keys Dodger win

It's something out of central casting: rookie out of options and ready to be designated for assignment gets one last chance to make good and hits a pair of homers and drives in seven runs to power a 13-5 win and a split with the Pirates. Hard luck Cody Ross had Friday the 13th come on Thursday and just may have saved himself a place on the Dodger roster with his spectacular performance.

Manager Grady Little gave J.D. Drew the day off after a night game, and while this isn't a Wally Pip-Lou Gehrig sort of thing, Ross slugged a grand slam and a three-run homer for seven RBI, outshining Olmedo Saenz's home run and four RBI, as the Dodgers got their act together in time to split the four game series with the Pirates.

Bill Mueller added a two-run double in the five-run sixth, and Olmedo Saenz had a two-run homer among his three hits and drove in four runs. Saenz went 8-for-14 with two homers and seven RBI as the teams split the four-game series, combining for 18 homers -- nine by the Dodgers -- in what was billed to be a pitchers' park.

Ross made the Opening Day roster simply because Kenny Lofton came up with a stiff muscle in his calf. Now Lofton's nearly ready to return to active duty and it was the consensus of opinion that Ross, the 25th man on the roster, would be traded, claimed by another club outrighted back to Triple-A.

Little allowed that perhaps the Dodgers might cut back to 11 pitchers so that they could keep the young outfielder. Little said that perhaps more work for the bullpen would sort things out for the club and that could mean someone catching the bus to Las Vegas. Like Franquelis Osoria with a 12.27 ERA or Yhency Brazoban whose sore shoulder hasn't allowed him to be effective.

"I want to stay here forever. I want to play for this organization and for the city. But I have no control over that. Normally, you're day-to-day. I'm minute-to-minute. I'm just trying to help my team win and figure everything else will take care of itself. And I just want to make it tough on whoever is making the decision." -- Cody Ross to MLB.com

Saenz, who seems to become Jimmy Foxx when he plays in PCN park, went 3-for-4 with four RBI, running his series total 8-for-14 with two homers and seven RBI and his career record to 19-for-34 with six home runs and 19 RBI.

If the two homers gives him his lucky break, he has some coming.

His first home run was a grand slam for Detroit and doubled in his next time at bat but he blew his knee beating out a bunt the same day. Tigers because they traded him to the Dodgers toward the end of spring training 2004 for reliever Steve Colyer.

Then he was injured in a freak play at the plate during 2005 spring training and suffered a gash on his knee. After he made his way back into the lineup he suffered a broken bone in his arm that sidelined him for a second time. At the end of he season got hot again and was hitting well but he was hit by a pitch and spent he last month of the season rehabbing.

Ross' seven RBI runs batted in matched Shawn Green's bid day in Milwaukee in 2002 when he had six hits and four home runs. had seven while hitting four home runs in Milwaukee May 23, 2002.

Starter Derek Lowe (1-1) was pitching on three days' rest and gave up four runs, although only were two earned, and six hits in six innings, but enjoyed his first win courtesy of the new power source. Tim Hamulak and Takashi Saito worked scoreless innings but Osoria allowed three hits and a run.

Los Angeles returned to meet the Giants Friday (tonight) with Brad Penny taking the ball in the long-lived rivalry.
  Dodgers   ab r h bi ave
Furcal SS    4 1 1 0 .244
 Martinez SS 1 0 0 0 .312
Repko CF     4 1 2 0 .333
Cruz, LF     4 2 2 0 .385
Kent 2B      5 2 1 0 .229
Saenz 1B     4 3 3 4 .455
 Hamulack P  0 0 0 0 .000
 Osoria P    0 0 0 0 .000
 *Ledee PH   1 0 0 0 .167
 Saito P     0 0 0 0 .000
Mueller 3B   4 2 1 2 .444
Ross RF      5 2 3 7 .500
Navarro C    5 0 2 0 .217
Lowe P       3 0 0 0 .000
 Loney 1B    1 0 0 0 .240
  Totals    41 13 15 13
  Pitts.    35  5  9  4

 Score by innings
Dodgers       002 045 200-13
Pittsburgh    000 220 010-  5

  Error- Furcal. 2B- Saenz (2), Mueller (3), 
Navarro (2). HR- Ross 2 (2), Saenz (2). RBI- 
Saenz 4 (11), Ross 7 (9), Mueller 2 (10). 
LOB Dodgers 10, Pittsburgh. SB- Repko (3), 
Pittsburgh 1. CS: Repko (1).  DP- Dodgers 2 
(Furcal, Kent and Saenz; Martinez, Kent 
and Loney).

  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so era
Lowe (W,1-1)  6.0  6 4-2  3  5  5.82
Hamulack      1.0  0 0-0  1  2  0.00
Osoria        1.0  3 1-1  0  0 12.27
Saito         1.0  0 0-0  0  0  0.00
 WP-Lowe. HBP-Saenz. T-3:10. Att-18,134.

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