Disaster in Paradise ... Pads erase 5-0 lead

It was he kind of a game the Dodgers should have been playing on the first day of April, not the last. After allowing only two runs during the first two victories in San Diego, Los Angeles took a 5-0 lead into the last of the ninth. Derek Lowe worked six scoreless innings, Franquelis gave nothing in the seventh and eighth and all we needed to close out the sweep was Lance Carter … er … Danys Baez but they didn't and when Tim Hamulak (0-2) allowed a run in the 10th it was a long ride home.

Lowe continued is brilliant pitching and his continued bad luck has seemingly become something permanent.

After the opening day debacle, when he allowed seven earned runs in five innings, he has given a pretty good impression of Greg Maddux in his prime -- pitches moving, painting the corners and keeping the ball mostly on the infield.

In his last 32 innings, he has given up 21 hits and six runs, working out to a 1,69 earned run average and what should have certainly been four or five wins. But his record, glittering ERA aside, is still 1-1.

He left after six after twisting his ankle slightly and getting hit by a sizzling comebacker to the mound. Had he been able to go just one more inning, this would have been a much more delightful story to read.

The Dodgers scored a run in the second off former Dodger Chan Ho Park when Nomar Garciaparra singled to center and stole second. Bill Mueller's grounder moved him to third and Jason Repko singled for a 1-0 lead.

In the fifth they really got to Park. Rafael Furcal and Kenny Lofton singled and then Lofton stole second. With two out, Garciaparra singled to center to drive in two and Mueller homered on the first pitch to run the Dodger lead to 5-0.

The Padres got their first hit, a single, in the bottom of the 4th but Mike Piazza hit into double play to end the inning. Lowe allowed his second single in the sixth but got out of the inning easily.

After the four-run explosion, 15 straight Dodgers were retired but what's to worry? Osoria allowed another harmless single in his two innings of work and the game sailed happily into the bottom of the ninth -- and disaster.

Lance Carter got the nod opening the ninth despite his 4.66 earned run average as Manager Grady Little continued his reclamation project with the righthander. The project had a setback as he quickly allowed a pair of singles and a walk and was given the rest of Sunday off.

Baez and his perfect 0.00 ERA arrived to give up an RBI single then walk in a second run. Old friend EY Young also walked to push over the third run and leave the bases loaded with the Dodger lead down to 5-3. Stunningly, Baez gave up a sac fly and Tim Hamulak allowed another to tie the game.

Hamulak got only the first out of the 10th inning. He issued a pair of walks, the fifth in the last 1.2 innings, and then a single down the left field line and San Diego had pulled off a miracle comeback to take the final game of the series.

The first four hitters in the Los Angeles lineup were a collective 2-for-20, as J.D. Drew failed to reach base since the middle of the 2005 season. Garciaparra had two of the team's six hits.

Poised to break the elusive .500 percentage barrier, the Dodgers dropped to 12-13 over the first 25 games to the season and travel to Arizona for a two game series starting tonight.
  Score by innings  
Dodgers  010 400 000 0-5
Padres   000 000 005 1-6

  Dodgers     a b r h bi ave
Furcal SS      5 1 1 0 .198
Lofton CF      5 1 1 0 .286
Drew RF        5 0 0 0 .306
Kent 2B        5 0 0 0 .183
Garciaparra 1B 3 2 2 2 .292
Mueller 3B     4 1 1 2 .299
Repko LF       4 0 1 1 .328
Navarro C      2 0 0 0 .265
Lowe P         3 0 0 0 .000
   Osoria P    0 0 0 0 .000
   Ledee PH    1 0 0 0 .267
   Carter P    0 0 0 0 .000
   Baez P      0 0 0 0 .000
   Hamulack P  0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals    37 5 6 5

  Errors- none. HR- Mueller (3) RBI- 
Garciaparra 2 (8), Repko (12), Mueller 2 
(15). LOB- Dodgers 5, San Diego 7.
SB- Garciaparra (1), Lofton (5). DP-
(Mueller, Kent and Garciaparra;
Kent and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers         in h r-er bb so era
Lowe             6.0 2 0-0  3  3 3.16
Osoria           2.0 1 0-0  0  2 3.77
Carter           0.0 2 3-3  1  0 7.45
Baez (B sv, 2)   0.2 1-2 2  2  1.32
Hamulack (L,0-2) 0.2 1-1 1 2 1.69
   T- 3:11. Att- 38,116.