Dodgers Have Giveaway Night

There they were, cruising along in their new 2006 Dodgermobile, when out of nowhere came this truck and … well, when the wreckage was cleared away, the 4-2 eighth inning lead they had that seemed to safe had turned into a 5-4 game and yet another loss on the team record much to the disgust of 41,288 at Dodger Stadium Wednesday night.

With a rested Danys Baez on the mound and a two-run lead with two out in the eighth inning, life was good. The new closer usually works just a single inning but with a day off on Thursday, he could certainly handle both the eighth and ninth.

Not so.

A soft fly ball just arched over the stretching glove of shortstop Rafael Furcal and an even softer broken-bat tap to the mound that couldn't be handled started the nightmare.

A single to left field scored the first run and Jason Repko's throw to the plate sailed over catcher Dioner Navarro's glove to put the runners on second and third -- still with two out, mind you.

Then came a sinking line drive to left field, that Jose Cruz dived for but could only catch on one hop allowing both runs to score and the Chicago truck had crashed directly into the side of the Dodgermobile and the damage had been done.

All three runs were unearned, but that hardly mattered.

Out the window went a strong effort by starter Brad Penny, along with his third win of the season, as well as a .500 record and their embryonic two-game winning streak.

In an instant, a two-game winning streak had vanished. So too had Brad Penny's third win of the season and the Dodgers' hopes of pulling even in the won-loss column on the young year. Penny left after the sixth inning leading 4-2.

Penny, who gave up nine hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in six innings barely missed his third win for the second straight game.

Repko's two-run homer gave the Dodgers an early 2-1 lead and RBI singles by Jose Cruz Jr. and Ricky Ledee made it 4-2 in the sixth.

On Ledee's single Sandy Alomar pulled up with a cramps in his hamstring and was thrown out at the plate. Alomar was batting a sizzling .478, was making his first start in a week because of cramps in his 38-year-old legs then.

In the top of the sixth inning, Alomar had thrown out a baserunner attempting to steal second, breaking an embarrassing 0-fo-17 string of successful steals by the Dodger catching corps. That coupled with Navarro's miniscule .195 batting average, makes many wonder how long it will be before Russell Martin and his superb throwing arm makes his Los Angeles debut.

The Dodgers nearly bounced back from the ugly eighth when in the bottom of the inning Repko reached second on a throwing error, and had one more chance in the ninth when Kenny Lofton singled to center with one out but all three runners were left on base when Jeff Kent slammed a bullet to left that was shoestringed for the out.

The Dodgers slid to 7-9 and are 2-6 at home. After a day off, they will host Arizona before hitting the road.
Chicago100 100 030-5
Dodgers020 002 000-4

  Dodgers    ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS    4 0 1 0 .230
Lofton, CF    4 0 1 0 .158
Cruz, RF      3 1 1 0 .296
Kent, 2B      4 1 0 0 .231
Saenz, 1B     4 0 0 0 .312
 Baez, P      0 0 0 0 .000
Mueller, 3B   4 0 0 0 .327
Alomar, C     3 1 2 1 .478
 Loney, 1B    1 0 0 0 .194
Repko, LF     3 1 1 2 .326
Penny, P      2 0 0 0 .111
 Ledee, PH    1 0 1 1 .222
 Kuo, P       0 0 0 0 .000
 Navarro, C   1 0 0 01 .195
    Totals   34 4 7 4
    Chicago  38 5 13 5

  Errors- Baez, Repko. HR- Repko (2). 
RBI- Repko 2 (9), Alomar (4), Ledee 
(3). LOB- Chicago 8, Los Angeles 9. 
SB- Cruz (2), Furcal (4). DP- 3 
(Kent, Furcal and Saenz; Furcal, 
Kent and Saenz; Alomar and Furcal).

  Dodgers          in h r-er bb so era
Penny             6.0 9  2-2  1 7 1.88
Kuo (H, 2)        1.0 0  0-0  1 1 4.66
Baez (BS, L, 0-1) 2.0 4  3-0  0 1 0.00
  T- 3-19. Att- 41,288.