Garciaparra Collects Two Hits in His Debut

Even his critics admit Nomar Garciaparra's debut with the Dodgers and at first base was a solid hit. He slammed a double and a triple, played flawlessly around the bag and tuned out a certain amount of nervousness but he couldn't get the club over the hump and the Dodgers, in their maddening on-again, off-again manner, lost a 5-4 decision to Arizona. James Loney sent to Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Garciaparra.

The Dodgers put another frustrating, one-run loss in the book with 51,878 fans looking on at Dodger Stadium.

Finally playing his first game for the team he grew up rooting for as a kid, Garciaparra lined a pitch back through the box in his first at-bat for what could have been an RBI single. But the ball caught just a bit of Batista's hip and bounced to first base for an easy out.

He doubled three innings later and moved to third on a sharp single to left by Bill Mueller, then scored on Jose Cruz's sacrifice fly. With J.D. Drew on second in the fifth, Garciaparra flied to the track in right field. And after his two-out single in the seventh, the final seven Dodgers hitters went down in order.

That was about all the good things that happened to the Dodgers who fell to 8-10 while they lost the sixth of eight one-run games, wasted scoring opportunities and got another sub-par performances from fifth starter Jae Seo.

Seo (0-2) couldn't get out of the fourth inning while allowing a Diamondback to score in his of the innings he worked. The finished his evening by allowing all five runs on nine hits and left with an ugly 7.64 earned run average.

Arizona got a run in the first and added two in the second. They scored in the third and made it 5-0 in the fourth. Four pitchers came out of the bullpen to stop the Snakes the rest of the way but it turned out it didn't matter.

This is not the pitcher the Dodgers suspected they were getting after his glittering performance for Korea in the World Baseball Classic.

Back in the Pacific Coast League, Las Vegas uberrookie Chad Billingsley smothered Sacramento on three hits over five innings. However the Dodgers are not ready to give up on Seo this early in the game.

The Dodgers got only one hit through Kenny Lofton tripled with one out in the first. But Drew made the second out, and after Batista hit Jeff Kent, Garciaparra's apparent RBI single disappeared.

The Dodgers got the tying and go-ahead runs to second and third with two outs in the sixth, but after Lofton hit a soft liner to the second baseman it was all over and the Dodgers never threatened the final three innings.

The Dodgers got their first run in the fourth when Garciaparra scored on Jose Cruz Jr.'s sacrifice fly. Two-runs in the fifth got the Dodgers back to 5-3 on an RBI single by J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent's grounder that scored Lofton from third. The final run crossed in the sixth when pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee looped double to center that scored Cruz.

Franquelis Osoria, Hong-Chih Kuo, Tim Hamulack and Takashi Saito provided shutout relief;

Almost lost in the return of Garciaparra was the scene of James Loney, first baseman in waiting, packing his gear for a trip back to Las Vegas. He had been given an unexpected three week shot in The Show and started 10 of the 14 games he played, hitting ,225 (9-for-40) with a double, triple and three runs bated in.

Manager Grady Little said he felt Loney was going to be a good major league player and has a long future in the game. "We look forward to him coming back" he said" As he was leaving, J.D. Drew said, "Hey, Loney, good luck down there, man."
  Score by innings
Arizona  121 100 000-5
Dodgers  000 121 000-4

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 0 2 0 .243
Lofton, CF      5 1 1 1 .214
Drew, RF        5 0 1 0 .328
Kent, 2B        3 0 0 1 .220
Garciaparra, 1B 4 1 2 0 .500
Mueller, 3B     4 0 1 0 .322
Cruz, LF        2 1 0 1 .271
Navarro, C      3 0 0 0 .191
Seo, P          1 0 0 0 .333
  Osoria, P     0 0 0 0 .000
  Robles, PH    0 1 0 0 .000
  Kuo, P        0 0 0 0 .000
  Ledee, PH     1 0 1 1 .263
  Hamulack, P   0 0 0 0 .000
  Saenz, PH     1 0 0 0 .303
  Saito, P      0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals     34 4 8 4  
    Arizona    36 5 13 5  

  Errors- none. 2B hits- Garciaparra (1), 
Ledee (2). 3B- Lofton (2). RBI- Cruz (3),
Lofton (2), Kent (8), Ledee (4). SF- Cruz. 
DP- 2 (Mueller, Kent and Garciaparra, 
Garciaparra, Furcal and Saito). LOB- 
Arizona 12, Los Angeles 8. SB- Furcal 
(5), Cruz (3).

  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Seo (L,0-2) 3.2 9 5-5  1  2 7.64
Osoria      1.1 1 0-0  2  1 5.62
Kuo         1.0 1 0-0  1  1 4.22
Hamulack    2.0 1 0-0  1  0 1.35
Saito       1.0 1 0-0  0  0 0.00
 HBP- Kent, 1 by Hamulack. T- 3-10. 
Att- 51,878.