He Was a Pretty Penny This Night

DENVER-- Brad Penny decided to solve the problem with late-game relief by pitching the whole game himself. It didn't work, but he came within a couple outs and Takashi Saito took care of them as the Dodgers earned a tight, 3-0 win. The Dodger battery, Russell Martin and Penny, knocked in the first two runs in the third and Nomar Garciaparra did his late-inning thing and doubled home the third.

DENVER-- Brad Penny decided to solve the Dodgers' problem with late-game relief by pitching the whole game himself. It didn't work, but he came within a couple outs and Takashi Saito took care of them as the Dodgers earned a tight, 3-0 win. The Dodger battery, Russell Martin and Penny, knocked in the first two runs in the third and Nomar Garciaparra did hit late-inning thing and doubled home the third run in the seventh. Penny matched his 2005 win total and moved his record to 7-1, dropping his ERA to 2.34. It was the longest by a Dodger this year and his longest since August 14 last year. He had worked seven innings twice this season.

Sidewheeling Byung-Hyun Kim started for Colorado and continued his mastery of the Dodgers. He had a 39-43, 3.84 record against the rest of the National League but came into the game with a 6-5 2.91 mark against Los Angeles.

But after retiring the first six, Kim ran into trouble in the third. Ramon Martinez stroked a soft single to right before Russell Martin ripped his second triple of he season (both coming in Coors Field) into left center and Martinez scored easily. Brad Penny rolled a single to left and the Dodgers had a 2-0 lead and visions of much more.

But Kim got Rafe Furcal on a bouncer to second, Kenny Lofton beat out an infield single and Nomar Garciaparra struck out. Lofton stole second and J.D. Drew was intentionally walked. Then Willy Aybar lofted an easy fly to right, leaving the bases jammed.

Lofton's steal was his 581st of his career moving him into 18th place on the all-time list, passing Ozzie Smith.

However, Penny had his own jinx going against the Rockies, holding a 7-2 career won-lost record and a 2.51 earned run average, fifth best among active pitchers.

Through four, he had allowed two singles, both of whom were erased by double plays, and two walks, one of which was picked off first.

In the fifth, Garciaparra sliced a double to right field, boosting his hitting streak to 12 games and his on-base streak to 32. He was cut down at the plate by Brad Hawpe when Drew singled to right.

Furcal walked with one out in the seventh and with two out, on a hit and run or a run and hit or perhaps a straight steal -- anyway he was moving with the pitch -- Garciaparra lined a double into the right field gap to score him easily.

That knocked Kim out of the game and former Dodger Tom Martin replaced him to pitch to Drew. The lefty vs lefty thing worked as Drew bounced out softly to first base.

Penny nailed the final batter in the seventh with a runner at third base, then worked the eighth innings, recording three outs on long, long fly balls, running his pitch total to a comfortable 102.

He got leadoff man Jamey Carroll on a shot down the first base line that Garciaparra scooped up and outraced him to the bag. Cory Sullivan fouled off four and singled to center, only the fifth hit Penny had allowed but that was enough for Manager Grady Little and he call in Takashi Saito from the bullpen.

Working as the stopper of the day while Eric Gagne's cranky arm allows him to work again, the 35-year-old star of the Japanese Leagues got the second out of the inning when Todd Helton hit a ball to right field that Drew backed up against the fence to catch. Saito settled things by striking out Matt Holiday for his third save.

Willy Aybar went 0-for-4 and ended his 13-game hitting streak, the longest of the year for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles improved to 34-27 and with Arizona losing to the Mets 7-3 in the sixth, the Dodgers might wake up this morning tied for first place. They have won 16 of their last 24 games andn improved to 6-1 over Colorado.
Roland Seidler Dies-- Roland Seidler, 77, husband of Terry O'Malley Seidler and son-in-law of the late Walter O'Malley, died Thursday. Seidler served on the Dodgers' board of directors from 1975-98 and was the club's Secretary (1975-80), Treasurer (1998) and Vice-President/Treasurer (1981-1998). Our sympathy is extended to the family.
  Score by innings
Los Angeles 002 000 100- 3
Colorado    000 000 000 -0

  Los Angeles ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      4 1 0 0 .257
Lofton cf      5 0 2 0 .321
Garciaparra 1b 5 0 2 1  .370
Drew rf        3 0 1 0 .284
Aybar 3b       4 0 0 0 .298
Ethier lf      2 0 1 0 .307
  Cruz ph-lf   1 0 0 0 .243
Martinez 2b    4 1 2 0 .386
Martin c       4 1 1 1 .277
Penny p        4 0 1 1 .286
  Saito p      0 0 0 0 .000
  Totals      36 3 10 3
  Colorado    29 0  5 0

  Errors- none. 2b hits- 
Garciaparra 2 (20). 3b hits- 
Martin (2), Lofton (6). RBI- 
Martin (19), Penny (2), 
Garciaparra (41). LOB- 
Los Angeles 9, Colorado 4. 
SB- Lofton (14). DP- 2 
(Garciaparra, Furcal and 
Penny; Furcal and Garciaparra.)

  Dodgers       in h r-er bb so era
Penny (w, 7-1) 8.1 5  0-0  2 5 2.34
Saito (sv 3)   0.2 0  0-0  0 1 2.05
 Att- 30,455. T- 2:36. 
A Second Chance-- Adam Greenberg, the former Cubs outfielder who was struck in the head by the first pitch he saw in the majors, has signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers. Greenberg, 25, reported Friday to Jacksonville, who clinched first-half title in the Southern League's South Division.

While pinch-hitting for the Cubs last July 9 in his big-league debut, Greenberg was beaned by Florida Marlins pitcher Valerio de Los Santos. He suffered from vertigo and dizziness and has not appeared in the majors since.

Greenberg was hitting .179 for Double-A West Tenn, before he asked for his release from the organization last week. The Cubs granted his wish to start fresh with a new team.

"We felt he deserved another opportunity to play,'' Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said, "and that his talent was worth taking a chance on. Jacksonville is a very good club, so he'll be tested pretty quickly."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Nomar Garciaparra needs to make up just seven plate appearances to qualify for the league lead in batting average. Going into the Colorado series, he had a season-high 11-game streak and in his last 24 games is 16-for-23 (.696) from the seventh inning to the end of the game. He has reached base by hit or walk in 31 c nsecutive games and has at least two hits in 17 of them. …When it comes to batting average with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers lead the league with a .306 mark and are the only major legue team over .300. Sandy Alomar (.600), Garciaparra (.469), Willy Aybar (.346) and Ramon Martinez (.429) lead the team. …Aybar has a 13-game hitting streak, the longest by a Dodger this season. He had a seven-game streak earlier in the year and has hit in 24 of the 27 games in which he's played. …Matt Kemp has hit four homers in his first 10 games, the first Dodger to turn that trick since Jimmy Wynn in 1974, although Wynn was not a rookie. …