Dodgers Win on 90-Foot Dribbler in Ninth

It wasn't Dolph Camilli blasting a home run into the seats in the Polo Grounds or Duke Snider pumping one over the screen at Ebbets Field. It wasn't Steve Garvey lining a gapper into right center or Kirk Gibson pumping his arms as he rounded the bases. It was a little trickler up the first base line that hugged the chalk until it bounced off the first base bag and rolled slowly on the infield toward the outfield grass.

But it was a huge hit and looked like a 400-foot line drive at the time, scoring Rafael Furcal and giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory, breaking a five-game losing streak and its author, Nomar Garciaparra, was properly mobbed by his teammates for his efforts.

Garciaparra, of Mexican-American heritage and wearing uniform number 5, came through in the clutch appropriately enough on Cinco De Mayo at Dodger Stadium, where the 47,731 fans were treated to another fireworks show after the game.

Garciaparra, whose parents were born in Mexico, wore a makeshift Dodger poncho after his game-winning hit as he celebrated with teammates on the field.

His heroics were needed after the Dodger bullpen -- again -- blew an early lead, this time 3-0, after Derek Lowe -- also again -- pitched well enough to win, working into the eighth before departing with a 3-2 lead.

Reliever Tim Hamulack quickly gave up back-to-back singles and was given the hook. Danys Baez, previously in a funk as deep as the Dodgers themselves, hit a batter to load the bases, then threw a wild pitch to tie the game. However, his scoreless ninth earned him the win.

As had happened to starters Jae Seo and Brett Tomko in the previous two starts, Lowe came up empty in the 'W' column but at least didn't take a loss in the process. He gave up two runs on seven hits and had six strikeouts.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Ramon Martinez, subbing for third baseman Bill Mueller, smacked an RBI single, then added two more runs when catcher Russ Martin, just off the shuttle from Las Vegas, hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth.

Martin made his Major League debut, going 2-for-4. His double in the fourth inning down the right-field line put his first hit and first RBI in the books. Martin replaced the injured Dioner Navarro, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a badly bruised right wrist, suffered in the second inning of Thursday's game against the Padres.

"Martin had about as good a game as you can in your first game in the big leagues," Little said.

Furcal ignited the winning run in the in the bottom of the ninth with a bunt single, then moved to second base on Jose Cruz Jr.'s sacrifice bunt.

"If you find the hole, that's baseball," said Garciaparra, who finished the game with two hits. "It was a changeup, and I got lucky. I got it off the end of the bat."

Jason Repko saved the bullpen and perhaps the win by throwing out a runner at home after he tagged up, ending the inning. Repko's throw made up for his error had allowed the first Brewer run in the seventh.

The Dodgers collected 10 hits and put a runner on in every inning. Six different Dodgers had two hits.

Brad Penny (2-1, 2.68 ERA) starts the second game of three against the Brewers tonight.
  Score by innings
Milwaukee  000 000 120-3
LA Dodgers 010 200 001-4
  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 1 2 0 .209
Cruz, LF        2 0 2 0 .250
Garciaparra, 1B 5 0 2 1 .273
Drew, RF        4 0 0 0 .295
Kent, 2B        4 1 2 0 .194
  Baez, P       0 0 0 0 .000
Repko, CF       3 1 1 0 .309
Martinez, 3B    3 1 2 1 .276
Martin, R, C    4 0 2 2 .500
Lowe, P         1 0 0 0 .000
  Hamulack, P   0 0 0 0 .000
  Robles, 2B    1 0 0 0 .143
    Totals     32 4 13 4
    Milwaukee  36 3 10 1

  Error-Lowe, Repko.  2B hits- Cruz (6,), Kent 
(3), Martin, R (1). RBI- Martinez (4), Martin 2 
(2), Garciaparra (10). S: Lowe 2; Martinez; Cruz.
LOB- Milwaukee 9, Los Angeles 10. DP: 2 (Kent
and Garciaparra; Repko and Martin).

  Dodgers     in   r r-er bb so era
Lowe          7.1  7  2-2 1  6 3.05
Hamulack      0.0  2  1-1 0  0 4.85
Baez (W, 1-1) 1.2  1  0-0 0  1 2.20
  WP-Baez. T-2:49. Att-47,731.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Catcher Dioner Navarro was put on the 15-day disabled list with a bad bone bruise in his right arm. A sleepy Martin got the callup at 8:30 a.m. Friday in his hotel room in Salt Lake City. "Best wake-up call ever," he said before making his Major League debut. Martin was hitting .297 in Las Vegas. …Third baseman Bill Mueller left Thursday's game with pain in his right knee. Mueller will only be out about three to four days with a twisted right knee, according to Little.. …The team also put pitcher Odalis Perez on the bereavement list as he tends to his ailing mother in the Dominican Republic. Perez, scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Brewers, will be out a minimum of three days and a maximum seven. That allows the Dodgers to add a pitcher without making a move on the 25-man roster. Although they didn't officially name a replacement starter, there was strong speculation that Aaron Sele will get the call. The 13-year veteran pitched effectively for the Dodgers in spring training then accepted a job in Triple-A with the hope of returning to the big leagues sometime this year. Sele was 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in Las Vegas. Perez might find himself pitching out of the bullpen when he returns. The organization has been unable to get in touch with Perez since he left for the Dominican Republic Wednesday and the Dodgers are disturbed -- to put it delicately -- by the lack of communication. … However, there was some good news: closer Eric Gagne could be less than three weeks away from making his return after surgery on his right elbow in early April. He made a number of throws from 120 feet on Friday with no problems. He is a week away from throwing off the mound, according to Little.