Struggling Dodgers Held to Two Hits

The only glimmer of hope on this bleak day came when Manager Grady Little said the team had was near "rock bottom." That's not much for the thousands of Dodger fans who looked forward to this season with so much anticipation. But the season had a long time to run and their situation is not hopeless, even if the offense is at this moment. The Dodgers managed just two hits, a single to left field by J.D. Drew in the first inning, and a single by Brett Tomko in the fifth.

The Dodgers and Padres were scoreless through seven innings but reliever Takashi Saito gave up a two-out, three-run homer in the eighth inning to hand Los Angeles their fifth loss in a row and holding them in last place in the National League West.

Little called another team meeting to remind players that they had a good offense. But it was nowhere in sight Thursday night even after the Padres starter was hit in back of the head by a bat in the second inning.

The barrel of a broken bat whirled through the air on a groundout by Andre Ethier. Clay Hensley turned around on the mound to watch the play and never saw the bat coming.

He went to his knees on the mound but never lost consciousness. He left the field but returned in about 10 minutes to continue his shutout. He had four stitches after the game and treatment during every inning.

Brett Tomko was nearly as dominant, striking out nine -- a season-high for Dodger pitchers -- walking two and allowing five hits in seven innings.

He allowed both Dodgers hits in six innings, struck out three and walked three. He retired eight consecutive batters, threw just 77 pitches, never went to a full count and allowed just six baserunners.

As if the team didn't have enough trouble, catcher Dioner Navarro left the game in the second inning after he was hit by a foul tip on the right wrist. He is scheduled to undergo X-rays today.

Third baseman Bill Mueller left in the second inning and will undergo an MRI on his knee today. Mueller has already had two scopes on that knee. He injured it during Wednesday's game on a play where he made a backhanded throw.

Tomko was replaced by reliever Saito (2-2) who made the Dodgers' only pitching mistake but it cost three runs and the game. Saito walked Brian Giles to lead off the eighth, and Mike Piazza singled to left field before Khalil Greene's two-out shot down he left field line that was just fair.

Even Mike Piazza, not known for throwing out baserunners, nailed Rafael Furcal trying to steal second after a leadoff walk in the sixth inning, ending the Dodgers' mini-threat.
  Score by innings
San Diego 000 000 030-3
Dodgers   000 000 000-0

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Lofton, CF      4 0 0 0 .242
Furcal, SS      3 0 0 0 .200
Garciaparra, 1B 3 0 0 0 .256
Drew, RF        3 0 1 0 .307
Mueller, 3B     1 0 0 0 .271
Alomar, C       3 0 0 0 .375
Ethier, LF      3 0 0 0 .200
Robles, 2B      3 0 0 0 .154
Saito, P        0 0 0 0 .000
Broxton, P      0 0 0 0 .000
Navarro, C      0 0 0 0 .280
  Martinez 3B   2 0 0 0.231
Tomko, P        2 0 1 0 .091
Kent, 2B        1 0 0 0 .181
  Totals       28 0 2 0
  San Diego    35 3 8 3

  Error- Mueller, Drew. LOB- San Diego 8, 
Dodgers 5. CS- Furcal (2). DP- (Robles,
Furcal and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers       in h r-er bb so era
Tomko          7.0 5  0-0 2  9 3.41
Saito (L, 2-2) 1.0 2  3-3 1  2 3.68
Broxton        1.0 1  0-0 0  2 0.00
 T- 3:02. Att- 34,137.