Dodgers Protect Fast Start, Top DBacks

The Dodgers, fleet of foot in the early innings of 2006, hung onto a four-run first and beat off a late Arizona surge to win 6-4. Bill Mueller cracked a two-run double in the opening inning and J.D. Drew added his third home run later in the game to key the offense. Danys Baez smothered the Snakes in the final inning and a third to earn his fifth save.

Tomko gave up a run in the first inning when Olmedo Saenz made a throwing error with two out and the bases loaded but the Dodgers roared back in the last of the inning when seven of the first nine batters reached base.

With one out, Jason Repko and J. D. Drew singled but then Drew was thrown out attempting to steal second. With two out, Jeff Kent walked and Saenz made up for his error with an RBI double to left. Bill Mueller also doubled for two more runs and Rickey Ledee singled him in for a 4-1 lead after one.

An error by Kent in the second inning helped Arizona narrow the margin to 4-2 but Tomko then retired 13 of 14 batters with a lone single marring the streak.

Tomko was helped by a strange double play in the fifth. After an inning-opening single, the runner broke for second as the next hitter fanned. Catcher Dioner Navarro's throw to second hit the hitter's bat and batter's interference was called, giving Navarro a rare unassisted double play.

Hong-Chih Kuo was nearly unhittable but very wild and was saved by a pair of double plays. However he couldn't get out of the eighth inning after walking two and allowing a hit.

Danys Baez wasn't much of an improvement at first. He gave up an RBI single and a run-scoring double but retired the last four hitters to register his fifth save in six chances.

Drew had a horrible start in 2005, opening in a 0-for-25 rut, but is hitting .339 with three home runs and 14 RBI and had five hits, two homers and four runs batted in during the Arizona series, the first home series that the Dodgers have manage to win. He has reached base safely in all 16 games he has played.
  Score by innings-
Arizona   110 000 020-4
Dodgers   400 101 00x-6
  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS     5 0 0 0 .227
Repko, CF      4 2 1 0 .333
Drew, RF       4 1 2 1 .339
Kent, 2B       3 1 0 1 .210
Saenz, 1B      3 1 1 1 .306
  Kuo, P       0 0 0 0 .000
  Cruz, LF     0 0 0 0 .271
Mueller, 3B    2 1 1 2 .328
Ledee, LF      4 0 1 1 .261
  Baez, P      0 0 0 0 .000
Navarro, C     3 0 2 0 .220
Tomko, P       1 0 0 0 .000
  Martinez, 1B 0 0 0 0 .294
    Totals    29 6 8 6
    Arizona   32 4 7 3

   Errors- Saenz (1), Kent (2). 2B- Saenz 
(3), Mueller (6), Repko (4). HR- Drew (3). 
RBI- Saenz (12), Mueller 2 (13), Ledee (5), 
Kent (9), Drew (14). S- Tomko 2. LOB- 
Arizona 8, Los Angeles 10. SB- Ledee (1).
CS- Drew (1). DP- 3 (Navarro and Mueller; 
Kent and Martinez; Kent, Furcal and

  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Tomko (W,2-1) 6.0 4 2-1  3  4 4.70
Kuo           1.2 1 2-2  3  0 5.11
Baez (S,5)    1.1 2 0-0  0  1 0.00
  T- 3-19. Att- 48,394.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Rick Monday threw out the first pitch and was honored on the 30th anniversary of his saving an American flag that was about to be set ablaze by two protesters in left field. Monday, then playing for the Cubs, dashed by and snatched the flag from the two surprised men. Eric Gagne has begun light throwing on flat ground. Gagne underwent surgery on his right elbow on April 7. He is scheduled to return to action about the final week in May…Dioner Navarro started for the third consecutive game because backup Sandy Alomar Jr. pulling up lame with a leg cramp while running the bases on Wednesday night. …Rumors circulated that Cody Ross was about to be traded to Cincinnati. Ross was designated for assignment April 17. Dodger officials would not confirm the report. …A cortisone injection in Jayson Werth's left wrist seems to be giving him some relief. Werth injured the wrist more than 13 months ago.