Sele Seals a 6-0 Homestand

Aaron Sele continued the remarkable streak by the Dodger starting staff with a sparkling seven-inning performance and a 7-1 win over Colorado. The Dodgers swept the three game series, winning their seventh in a row, and recorded their 6-0 homestand in 12 years as the starters allowed three earned runs in 38 innings for an 0.71 earned run average. For a non-roster invitee, he's doing pretty well.

Sele (3-0) allowed three hits and struck out five in earning his third win in four starts, keeping the scorching Dodgers within a half-game of first-place Arizona in the National League West.

The Dodgers ended a perfect five-game homestand by outscoring their opponents 52-10 and have won 15 of 18 games but can't overtake the league leading Diamondbacks.

"It happens that way in baseball sometimes," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "It's a long season and you go through peaks and valleys. Right now, we're at a real high peak."

Sele could have retired and spent the summer fishing after he Seattle Mariners released him in the middle of last season, informing him that he and his 6-12, 5.65 record were not wanted. Texas picked but left him at Triple-A Oklahoma the rest of the year and was released for a second time in the fall.

The re-organizing Dodgers offered him a non-roster spot and while he pitched well, he didn't show enough to make the opening day roster and although he had more Major League wins than any pitcher in the clubhouse at Vero Beach, the thought was he would never add to that total.

He started the year in Triple-A with Las Vegas, after agonizing for a time whether or not to accept a minor-league assignment.

Then the struggling Odalis Perez had to go to the Dominican Republic to be with his ailing mother. The Dodgers called upon Sele to make what they termed as an emergency start and, in proper Hollywood fashion, a star was born.

He is now 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA and claims the Dodgers' No. 4 starting position. Perez has pitched one inning since his return.

After the game, he gave a lot most of the credit to rookie catcher Russell Martin. "The great thing about Russell is that he's like a sponge, he listens to what the pitchers want and he absorbs everything and puts it into action," Sele said "He's been phenomenal."

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the third on back-to-back RBI singles from J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent, then added another run in the fifth on another RBI single by Kent and broke the game open with a four-run seventh, keyed by Russell Martin's three-run double.

Two hitters who have struggled of late, Jeff Kent and Rafael Furcal, had three hits each, Kent driving in his 32nd run. Nomar Garciaparra went 2-for-4 to improve his batting average to .375.

Kenny Lofton again felt a twinge in his left hamstring while trying to leg out a nubber in the eighth inning, but backed off in time to keep the damage at a minimum. He said he expects to play Friday night in Washington.

Broxton Adds Splitter--Rookie Jonathan Broxton, who hasn't allowed an earned run in the 11 innings he has pitched since being called up from Las Vegas, has added a splitter to his arsenal of pitches. With a fastball that his 100 last season and a 91-mph slider, a new breaking pitch could make him untouchable. Opponents are only hitting .183 against him now. Plagued by wildness last year when called up from Jacksonville, he has impressed the staff with his stuff and his maturity. Only 21, he was converted from a starter last year, he seems to have found himself in the bullpen.

Tonight's The Night-- Eric Gagne leaves starts a two-game rehab assignment tonight at Las Vegas and Cesar Izturis reports to extended Spring Training in Florida to begin his rehab assignment. Both are returning from elbow operations.
  Score by innings
Colorado 000 000 010-1
Dodgers  002 010 40x-7

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 1 3 0 .254
Lofton, CF      5 1 1 0 .300
  Ethier, LF    0 0 0 0 .304
Garciaparra, 1B 4 2 2 0 .375
Drew, RF        4 0 1 1 .294
Kent, 2B        3 1 3 2 .258
Aybar, 3B       3 1 0 0 .343
Cruz, LF-CF     3 1 1 1 .240
Martin, C       4 0 1 3 .305
Sele, P         2 0 0 0 .111
  Broxton, P    0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals     33 7 12 7
    Rockies    32 1  4 1

  E- Furcal (11), Garciaparra (1). 2B hit- Martin (4). RBI- Drew (35), Kent 2 (32), Cruz (9), Martin 3 (13). S- Sele. LOB- Colorado 6, Los Angeles 9. SB- Garciaparra (2). DP- (Kent, Furcal and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Sele (W, 3-0) 7.0 3  0-0  1 5 1.69
Broxton       2.0 1  1-0  1 2 0.69
  WP- Sele, Broxton. HBP- Aybar.
T- 2:53. Att- 39,299.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Dodgers manager Grady Little jokes the best place to hold a team meeting is the trainer's room and that is where team trainer Stan Johnston presented the Disabled List report before the game on Wednesday. Included were: [1] Outfielder Jayson Werth (wrist surgery) has inflammation in scar tissue near the wrist. He was given a cortisone shot and fitted for a soft cast in hopes of stabilizing the inflammation. Werth will not used the wrist for three to four weeks, won't return to action until after the All-Star break, and may miss the rest of the season. [2] Catcher Dioner Navarro also has scar tissue inflammation in his injured arm and will get a cortisone shot. He may be able to swing a bat by June 1. [3] Outfielder Ricky Ledee (groin pull) is improving but will not be back soon. [4] Outfielder Jason Repko had the cast removed from his sprained ankle today and begins a rehabilitation program. His ETA is about a month. [5] 3B Bill Mueller (right knee surgery) is continuing his rehabilitation program in Phoenix. [6] RHP Yhency Brazoban is on a conditioning program while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction and will attempt to lose some weight. [7] RHP Brad Penny, who pitched extremely well his last start, checked in with the trainers and received some stretching exercises to do. Penny says he feels fine. …... The Dodgers have scored five or more runs in 15 of their last 17 games. ... Garciaparra has reached base via a walk or a hit in 18 straight games and has two or more hits in 11 of his last 17 games. ... The Dodgers are 15-2 in games started by Martin.

Foggy Bottom Matchup--The Dodgers fly to Washington to open a three-game series with the Nationals Friday night, with Brett Tomko (5-1, 3.21 ERA) meeting Livan Hernandez (2-5, 5.51 ERA). Tomko's record.
date     score   opp          in  h r-er w k era
April  7 W  5-3 at Phila.      6  8 3-3 1 4 4.50
April 11 ND 5-9 at Pittsburgh  5  9 5-5 1 4 6.55
April 17 L  1-4 Chicago        6  7 4-3 1 2 5.82
April 23 W  6-4 Arizona        6  4 2-1 3 4 4.70
April 29 W  4-2 at San Diego   7  5 2-2 0 2 4.20
May    4 ND 0-3 San Diego      7  5 0-0 2 9 3.41
May   10 W  9-6 Houston        6  1 0-0 1 3 2.93
May   15 W  5-4 at Colorado    7  5 3-2 1 6 2.88
May   19 ND 8-4 Anaheim        6 10 1-1 0 4 3.21