Four is a Beautiful Number

The second-largest regular season crowd in Los Angeles history saw them come from behind with slumping Jeff Kent providing the final kick to earn their fourth straight win, the best winning streak they club had put together this season. The beleaguered bullpen was nearly perfect, holding things together long enough for the offense to get untracked.

By the NUMB3RS:

1 -- the number of runs Joe Beimel allowed, his first of this season.

2 -- the number of hits five different players picked up during the game.

3 -- Home runs by the big three, J.D. Drew, Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent.

3.5 -- games behind league leading Colorado.

4 -- Kent's -- dare we say breakout? -- top RBI total of the young season and the first four-game winning streak.

4.2 -- Scoreless innings posted by Franquelis Osoria, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito that made the winning rally possible.

6 -- the number of runs scored after entering the bottom of the eighth in a 6-6 tie.

7 -- the number of players who had runs batted in during the game.

8-- Furcal's team-leading stolen base total.

12 -- the largest number of runs in the 2006 season.

14 -- the number of hits in the win.

16-- the number of wins this season.

17 -- Garciaparra's RBI total after only 15 games after missing 17 games because of a pulled rib muscle.

OK, that's enough of that, I'm sure you get the picture. The winning streak moved them from a season-low 12-17 record to one game below the .500 mark and within sight of the N.L. West leaders.

Jae Seo drew the start after having allowed seven hits and one run over 11 in his last two starts. After striking out the side in the third on 15 pitches, he was knocked out in the fourth having given up eight hits and six runs, erasing a 5-2 Dodger lead in the process. Seo has allowed a team-high eight homers in 33 innings.

Then Osoria, Broxton and Saito (3-2), who earned the win, took control of the game and doled out three hits over the next 4.2 innings to allow the Dodgers to tie, then take the lead. Joe Beimel gave up a meaningless run in the ninth, although hit was his first run allowed since being called up from Las Vegas.

Kenny Lofton led off with a single in the crucial eighth, but he was thrown out at third on Russell Martin's bloop single to left as Martin took second on the throw. Pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz lined a single to right. The throw home beat Martin, but the rookie slid neatly around the tag, giving the Dodgers the lead.

Saenz is hitting .333 (4 for 12) as a pinch hitter this season, .340 overall and is tied with Kent for second on the club with 18 RBI, all in a part-time role.

Pinch-runner Andre Ethier scored on Rafael Furcal's hit, Jose Cruz Jr. drove in another run with a ground-rule double, and Kent's second homer of the season knocked in three and capped the Dodgers' rally.

Kent now has driven in 1,330 runs in his career, tying him with Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk for 77th place on the all-time. list. After two days off, the slumping Kent is 6-for-16 with two doubles, a walk, a home run, four runs scored and six RBI.

Houston's Andy Pettitte, who did not allow more than one home run in any of his 33 starts last season, surrendered consecutive homers by Garciaparra and Drew during the Dodgers' four-run third.

Garciaparra's three-run homer was his first in 51 career at-bats against Pettitte, and Drew hit his seventh into the lower seats in the right-field corner three pitches after Garciaparra's shot

Morgan Ensberg opened the scoring in the first inning with his 10th homer. Jason Repko, attempting to make the catch, left with a sprained left ankle after scaling the fence in an effort to catch the ball.

Repko hung on the top of the wall for a few moments, then landed so hard on the track that he sprained his left ankle and had to leave the game. He will undergo a precautionary MRI today and is expected to miss at least one more game.

Kenny Lofton, who came in 3-for-26 lifetime against Pettitte. doubled in the second inning, putting two men in scoring position, and Martin drove in Bill Mueller with a groundout.

The Dodgers (16-17) remained tied with San Francisco for third place in the National League West, but pulled within 31/2 games of division-leading Colorado.
  Score by innings
Houston  200 400 001- 7
Dodgers  014 010 06x-12

  Dodgers      ab r h i ave
Furcal, SS      5 2 2 1 .219
Cruz, LF-RF     3 2 2 1 .267
Garciaparra, 1B 5 2 2 3 .305
Drew, RF        4 2 1 1 .288
  Beimel, P     0 0 0 0 .000
Kent, 2B        5 1 2 4 .209
Mueller, 3B     5 1 1 0 .267
  Repko, CF     0 0 0 0 .304
Lofton, CF      4 0 2 0 .282
Martin C        3 1 1 1 .385
Seo, P          1 0 0 0 .200
  Osoria, P     1 0 0 0 .000
  Broxton, P    0 0 0 0 .000
  Saito, P      0 0 0 0 .000
  Saenz, PH     1 0 1 1 .340
  Ethier, PR-LF 0 1 0 0 .200
    Totals     37 12 14 12
    Houston    39  7 14  7    

2B- Lofton (5), Furcal (4), Garciaparra (6), 
Cruz (8). HR- Garciaparra (3), Drew (7), 
Kent (2). RBI- Martin (4), Garciaparra 3 
(17), Drew (24), Kent 4 (18), Saenz (18), 
Furcal (6), Cruz (7). S- Broxton. LOB- 
Houston 9, Dodgers 6. SB- Furcal (8). DP- 
(Kent and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers       in h r-er bb so era
Seo            3.1 8  6-6  1 3 6.00
Osoria         2.0 3  0-0  1 2 6.06
Broxton        1.2 0  0-0  1 1 1.80
Saito (W, 3-2) 1.0 0  0-0  0 1 3.24
Beimel         1.0 3  1-1  0 0 1.23
  T- 3:26. Att- 55,992.
-- Dodger Blue Notes-- Homers accounted for 10 of the game's first 11 runs. …The Dodgers activated left-hander Odalis Perez from the bereavement list, then demoted him to the bullpen. The move was made as much because Perez and his 6.90 ERA had been shelled in his last two starts (8.2 innings, 13 runs) as it was in response to Aaron Sele's first start of the season after an emergency start in Perez's absence. Perez had been in the Dominican Republic to be wit his ill mother. Oscar Robles was sent to Las Vegas to make room for him on the roster. The rumored trade of Perez to the Mets seems to have been just that --a rumor. …The Dodgers have signed veteran reliever Giovanni Carrara, who was allowed to leave after last season as a free agent, to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas, marking the left-hander's third stint with the organization. Carrara went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in nine appearances for Pittsburgh's Triple-A Indianapolis affiliate, this season, but requested his release when the Pirates didn't bring him to the majors. Carrara has an escape clause if the Dodgers don't bring him to the big leagues by July 1. He is 24-10 with a 3.21 ERA during his time with the Dodgers in 2001-02 and 2004-05. …Shortstop Cesar Izturis has set May 25 as his target to begin a three-week injury rehabilitation assignment at Las Vegas, as he closes in on a return to the Dodgers. Izturis, who underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction Sept. 16, is on scheduled to return around the All-Star break. …Brett Tomko (3-1, 3.41 ERA) will oppose the Astros tonight in game two of the three-game series.

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