Dodgers Get Even Younger

On a night that the Dodgers opened a seven game homestand, their average age dropped again as second baseman Jeff Kent went on the disabled list and was replaced on the roster by wonderkind Joel Guzman. Matt Kemp slugged a three run homer, Russell Martin added a solo shot and J.D. Drew hit a three-run dinger to make life easier for Derek Lowe in a 7-2 win over the Phillies.

Kemp's lazer shot down the left field line stayed just fair, glancing off the foul pole for his first major league home run in his first game in Dodger Stadium with 38,643 looking on.

In his five-day major league career, the kid is hitting .385, and moved into Kenny Lofton's second spot in the batting order and center field.

Martin's shot came leading off the fourth inning and snapped a 1-for-17 slump.

Lowe pitched six strong innings, allowing five hits, to lower his ERA to 2.68. He added double before Kemp's homer, making for a nice 33rd birthday for him. Relievers Jonathan Broxton and Joe Beimel tossed scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth.

All the game lacked was Eric Gagne coming out of the bullpen for the first time since 2005 but the 7-0 lead made it a non-save situation and Tim Hamulack got the call instead.

He allowed a pair of runs in the ninth and Manager Grady Little said after the game that had a couple runners go on base with the tying run on deck, Gagne would have made his first appearance.

The jet-lag plagued Dodgers arrived from Atlanta at 2-30 a.m. the morning of the game but it was hard to tell when they dismantled the Phillies. They will feel it in tonight's game and Little may rest some of his troops.

It was the Dodgers' seventh straight at home, and kept them one-half game behind surprising Arizona in the National League West.

It turned out to be rookie night in Dodger Stadium.

2B Willy Aybar, OF Andre Either, C Russell Martin and OF Kemp had hit a combined .306 (64 for 209), with six home runs and 42 RBI in 70 games. Pitchers Jon Broxton, Takashi Saito and Tim Hamulack have collected three wins, two saves, 78 strikeouts and a 3.23 ERA in 64 innings over 62 games.

The eighth rookie on the roster, Joel Guzman was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace injured second baseman Jeff Kent, grounded into a double play in the eighth in his first major-league at-bat.

Guzman, who at 6-6 was deemed too tall to play shortstop, has been playing left field, first base and third base at Las Vegas, where he was hitting .291 with six home runs and 33 RBI. He also has 42 strikeouts and 15 walks in 196 at-bats.

Kent was put on the 15-day disabled list - retroactive to May 28 - after an MRI on his ailing left hand revealed a deep sprain. Kent, who hasn't played since Saturday in Washington, was given a cortisone shot to help reduce the inflammation in the hand, but said limiting activity might be the only remedy at this point.

Waiting in the wings is Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Izturis who will return about June 12 if the Triple-A rehab assignment he started Thursday night in Las Vegas goes smoothly.

Last year at this time the Dodgers were decimated by 11 disabling injuries. This year the number's the same -- 11.

Ramon Martinez, who was to fill in for Kent, was unable to play duet to a bruised left foot suffered when he fouled a pitch off it Wednesday night. Aybar, originally playing third, was moved to second and Olmedo Saenz started at third base.

Had Guzman arrived early enough, he might have taken Saenz's spot. Minor league aficionados have looked forward to his arrival in the big leagues for several years.

Player is named-- The Dodgers received left-handed reliever Ben Kozlowski from the Reds, the player to be named to complete the April 24 trade for Cody Ross. Kozlowski was 2-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 games at Double-A Chattanooga and 0-2 with a 12.54 ERA in seven games at Triple-A Louisville.
  Score by innings
Philadelphia 000 000 002-2
Dodgers      030 100 00x-7
 
  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS     3 1 1 0 .261
Kemp, CF       3 2 1 3 .385
Garciaparra,1B 4 1 1 0 .357
Drew, RF       3 1 1 3 .281
Saenz, 3B      3 0 0 0 .294
  Beimel, P    0 0 0 0 .000
  Hamulack, P  0 0 0 0 .000
Aybar, 2B      4 0 1 0 .322
Ethier, LF     4 0 1 0 .320
Martin, C      4 1 2 1 .266
Lowe, P        2 1 1 0 .077
  Cruz, PH     1 0 0 0 .236
  Broxton, P   0 0 0 0 .000
  Guzman 3B    1 0 0 0 .000
    Totals    32 7 9 7
    Phillies  34 2 8 2

  2B- Lowe (1). HR- Kemp (1), 
Martin (2), Drew (9). RBI- Kemp 
3 (5), Martin (15), Drew 3 (40). 
LOB- Philadelphia 8, Los Angeles 
6. SB- Aybar (1), Furcal (11). 
CS- Martin (1). DP- (Furcal 
and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Lowe (W,4-3) 6.0 5  0-0  2 3 2.68
Broxton      1.0 0  0-0  0 2 1.06
Beimel       1.0 1  0-0  0 1 2.00
Hamulack     1.0 2  2-2  1 0 6.26
  WP-Lowe. T-2:43. Att-8,643.
M*A*S*H* Notes-- Kent's wrist injury occurred during a swing Saturday in Washington and is located where hand meets wrist and the pain spreads to the index and middle finger on the top of the hand. He said it felt better by Sunday, but a cortisone injection provided no relief. He had been taking ground balls and tried to swing a bat, but now is shutting down all baseball activities for three days. …Little said Mueller is healing "slowly" from May 16 right knee surgery, which seems he will be out longer than the predicted five-weeks. Mueller, 35, has had three operations on that knee. Mueller, who has been recovering at home in Arizona, is scheduled to have the knee evaluated Friday. …Catcher Dioner Navarro began hitting off a tee Thursday with his healing bruised right wrist, but outfielder Ricky Ledee had a "setback" with his pulled groin muscle and will receive a cortisone injection Friday. Jason Repko still has a sprained ankle in a cast, so he's probably a month away. …After four days at extended spring training in Vero Beach, during which he batted several times but didn't play defensively, shortstop Cesar Izturis flew to Las Vegas to officially will begin his minor-league rehabilitation assignment there today following reconstructive elbow surgery last September. He will play second base for at least the first three days so he can build up to the longer throw from short. …Little said there was nothing new with Werth who has been out with a wrist injury for 16 months.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Brad Penny has been working with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to eliminate a mechanical flaw in his pitching motion. Honeycutt spotted a flaw in the rotation of his shoulders, putting his arm slot in a different position. Honeycutt feels it is putting pressure on the lower back, then by compensating it could be putting pressure on the shoulder. …Outfielder Jose Cruz had little to say on the subject of his missing older brother, Jose Javier Cruz, 34, who hasn't been heard from since May 19. A pickup truck believed to belong to the elder Cruz's ex-wife was found burned the next day, but there were no human remains inside. "It's personal," the Dodgers' Cruz said.

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