Oh Say Can You, Sele?

If you are surprised to see the Dodger starter Sunday was Aaron Sele, you can probably bet that you weren't as surprised as Odalis Perez. After much negotiation, the Dodgers and Sele came to an agreement to rework his contract and start against the Milwaukee Brewers. He duplicated the work he had done for Las Vegas this season, allowing five hits and a single run before leaving with two out in the seventh and earning his first victory in Dodger Blue by a 10-2 margin.

The story is a convoluted one, with Perez asking for time off to be with his ill mother in the Dominican. But when Dodger officials couldn't reach him and he failed to return calls, they went to what Manager Grady Little said was "Plan B."

Sele, 35 and a 13-year major league veteran, accepted a pay cut from $900,000 to $500,000 to replace Odalis Perez, who was put on bereavement leave and the Dodgers -- who were a bit peeved about being unable to contact him -- say he will be back Tuesday.

Originally the Dodgers had planned to honor an agreement with Sele and release him this week because they had no place for him on the major league roster and were unable to make a deal for him.

Sele, who was 3-0 with a 2.43 earned-run average at Las Vegas, was prepared to become a free agent rather than remain in the minors.

The Dodgers decided to sign Sele rather than bring up top prospect Chad Billingsley and the move paid off with Sele allowing a run in the second inning on a walk and a pair of singles, then 13 Brewers in succession before tiring in the seventh.

He gave up a leadoff single and a double, then got a pair of fly balls before Little called on Joe Beimel to face a lefthanded pinch-hitter. He retired him on a fly to left to end the threat.

To make room for Sele on the 40-man roster, injured reliever Yhency Brazoban was moved to the 60-day disabled list. Making room for Sele when Perez returns is another problem all together.

He will be reactivated for Tuesday night's game against the Astros and apparently the Dodgers want him to make his next start during the Dodgers' three-game visit to San Francisco next Friday, Saturday or Sunday since he had beaten them 2-0 on April 15 and allowed only one run and two hits.

With nine days rest, Perez's future with the club may be determined by these two starts. Young Chad Billingsley is outclassing the Pacific Coast league and the Dodgers want him to make six or seven more starts there before thinking about calling him up.

But that, too, could change.

Perez has never made a relief appearance during his five seasons with the Dodgers, but Little didn't say he Perez would be permanently reinserted in the rotation.

None of the other starters is a logical candidate to be demoted to the bullpen, especially with after Jae Seo's last two outstanding starts.

Stay tuned.

The Dodgers, winning their third game of the series for their first sweep of the season, jumped out in front quickly. Rafael Furcal singled and scored on Jeff Kent's single in the first inning, then rookie Russell Martin banged his first major league homer over the center field wall in the second.

Lent doubled in another run in the third, then scored when Olmedo Saenz, again subbing for injured Bill Mueller at third, slammed his fourth homer of the year for a 5-0 margin.

Andre Ethier knocked in Jose Cruz in the sixth, Nomar Garciaparra and Cruz had RBI hits in the seventh and Furcal launched his first homer of the year with Oscar Robles on base in the eighth.

Jonathan Broxton served up a homer to the first batter he faced in the ninth and later allowed a pair of infield hits but fought out of the problem with a double play and a game-ending strikeout.

The Dodgers moved to 15-17 on the season and will enjoy a day off Monday before hosting the Houston Astros.
  Score by innings
Milwaukee   010 000 001- 2
Dodgers     113 001 22x-10

  Dodgers     a b r h bi ave
Furcal ss      5 2 2 2 .211
Lofton cf      2 0 1 0 .270
  Repko ph-cf  1 0 0 0 .304
Garciaparra 1b 5 1 1 1 .295
Kent 2b        4 1 2 2 .200
  Broxton p    0 0 0 0 .000
Saenz 3b       4 2 2 2 .327
  Martinez 3b  0 1 0 0 .276
Cruz rf        4 1 1 1 .253
Ethier lf      4 0 1 1 .200
Martin c       4 1 2 1 .400
Sele p         2 0 0 0 .000
  Beimel p     0 0 0 0 .000
  Robles ph-2b 1 1 1 0 .200
    Totals    37 10 14 10
    Milwaukee 33  2  8  2

  Errors- none. 2B hits- Kent (4), Saenz (6), 
Cruz (7). HR- Martin (1), Saenz (4), Furcal 
(1). RBI- Furcal 2 (5), Garciaparra (14), Kent 
2 (14), Saenz 2 (17), Cruz (6), Ethier (2), 
Martin (3). LOB- Milwaukee 6, Dodgers 5. 
SB- Cruz (1), Ethier (2), Lofton (7). DP: 2 
(Furcal, Kent and Garciaparra; Martinez,
 Robles and Garciaparra).

 Pitching      in h r-er bb so era
Sele (W, 1-0) 6.2 5 1-1  1 2 1.35
Beimel        1.1 0 0-0  1 0 0.00
Broxton       1.0 3 1-1  0 1 2.70
  T- 2:35. Att- 53,532.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Eric Gagne's elbow is feeling well enough that after he was done with his regular rehab workout Sunday, he turned around and fired a baseball at Pee Wee Reese's retired uniform No. 1 attached to the aluminum awning at the back of the left-field pavilion. Not only that, he has the strength to throw it that far and the accuracy to hit it. …Little stuck with his stated goal of giving J.D. Drew periodic rest. He returned Jeff Kent to the cleanup spot and he responded with a single and a double plus two runs batted in. …The inaugural Dodger Stadium sleepover will be held Sunday, July 9, following the game with the Giants. For $300 per person, fans will receive Field Level seats, dinner at the Loge Terrace, commemorative souvenirs and the chance to sleep in the outfield. I know that hotel accommodations are expensive in Los Angeles but this seems a bit too high. Do you suppose it come with a chocolate on the pillow?