Padres Loss Causes Fire Drill on L.A. Roster

The Dodgers made move to address their starting pitching problem, promoting their top minor league pitcher, Chad Billingsley and sending outfielder/infielder Joel Guzman back to Las Vegas. But it wasn't pitching problems that sunk the club in San Diego, it was poor fielding that cost four unearned runs in the first inning, a hump they could never get over in a 9-1 loss.

Aaron Sele, a finesse pitcher that relies on his defense, was tagged with his first loss of the year when San Diego scored four times in the initial inning due to a pair of errors by shortstop Rafael Furcal, his 14th and 15th of the year, a number that equals his entire 2005 total.

And while Manager Grady Little Little called the errors "the difference in the game." Sele disagreed, saying that it was his job to keep the game close and he couldn't do that. "Errors are part of the game. I just have to make some better pitches," he said.

Following the loss to the Padres, the club made massive changes, purchasing the contract of right-hander Chad Billingsley from Las Vegas and announcing that he will start Thursday's series finale in San Diego.

That move caused a trickle down effect that sent what was once the Dodgers top position player, Joel Guzman, back to AAA; pushed back struggling Brett Tomko to the first game at Oakland; gave Odalis Perez a spot as long relief in the bullpen and to make room for Billingsley on the 40-man roster, they transferred outfielder Jason Repko from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list.

The moves certainly displeased a pair of Dodgers. "I shut my mouth and will not say nothing," said Perez, who gave up a home run in two innings of relief.

"I have nothing to say," said Guzman, who pouted when Matt Kemp was promoted before him and then hit .211 in two weeks of sporadic action when he did get the call.

The early-season success of the Dodgers (35-29), who with the loss dropped back into a tie with Arizona, has been mostly on the backs of the young players called up to The Show due to injuries.

Rookies Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Willy Aybar and Jonathan Broxton, have displayed not only talent but the ability to produce at the Major League level immediately.

And now it's Billingsley's turn. The club's "Pitcher of the Year" for the last two seasons, will hopefully shore up a starting rotation that at the present time has little consistency save for Brad Penny and Derek Lowe.

The club's first-round pick in the 2003 amateur draft out of Defiance High School in Ohio, Billingsley 6-3 with a 3.95 ERA for the 51s when the call came. He was averaging just more than five innings per start, but club officials chalked that off due to his exceptional stuff, causing batters to foul multiple pitches off and extend the length of the innings.

Billingsley has struck out 78 batters in 70.2 innings which makes him the only strikeout pitcher in the rotation. He has a career minor-league mark of 35-17 in two full seasons and parts of two others.

Billingsley's first shot at a major league job will allow Little and GM Ned Colletti some six weeks before the trade deadline to determine if Billingsley is ready for prime time or a trade is necessary, a situation they are hoping to avoid.

If they decide to go the trade route, catcher Dioner Navarro and Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Izturis might be the likely trade bait, although most clubs will ask for some of the glittering Dodger prospects instead of established major league players.

Errors aside, Sele wasn't sharp after six previous quality starts. He walked five and allowed five runs, although only one of them was earned.

He allowed a three-run double after Furcal's second error in the first inning as well as a double and triple to Mike Cameron, who also hit a three-run homer off Seo.

Seo, couldn't answer he bell for the sixth inning, leaving with a tender shoulder. He was obviously upset when he reached the dugout and later Little said a doctor's examination could find nothing wrong with his arm.

Former Dodgers made a big difference in the game. Team rejects Chan Ho Park, Dave Roberts, Eric Young and Mike Piazza all contributed -- Park allowed one run in six innings for the win, Roberts robbed a hit from Nomar Garciaparra with a sparkling catch, Young had a pinch-hit homer off Perez and Piazza walked twice, scored a run and had a sacrifice fly.

Izzy to Back Up-- Little said Izturis, who is expected to be activated from the disabled list in about a week, will back up second baseman Jeff Kent and shortstop Rafael Furcal. Kent came off the 15-day DL and is hitting just .256, but with six homers and 32 RBI. Furcal is hitting just .252, but has a three-year, $39 million contract. Asked about the possibility of Izturis playing third base in place of he injured Bill Mueller, Little said it is not out of the question but that Izturis must indicate he is willing to play there.

Gagne Out -- Again-- Closer Eric Gagne was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to last Wednesday, to make room for Kent. Gagne continues to suffer from nerve irritation in his right elbow. Gagne said he hopes to return as soon as he becomes eligible June 22, but trainer Stan Johnston said that won't happen because Gagne would still have to go through the normal progression of playing catch and throwing in the bullpen. Gagne is scheduled to see a neurologist today. In the past year, Gagne has pitched two innings in regular-season games and undergone two operations on his elbow. It will be his fourth time on the disabled list since the start of the 2005 season.
  Score by innings
Dodgers   000 010 000-1
San Diego 410 030 10x-9

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      4 0 1 0 0 0 2 .252
  Martinez, SS  1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .342
Lofton, CF      3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .316
Garciaparra, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .356
  Guzman, 1B    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .211
Drew, RF        3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .291
Kent, 2B        4 1 1 0 0 0 3 .256
Aybar, 3B       4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .301
Kemp, LF        3 0 1 0 1 1 1 .364
Martin, C       3 0 2 1 0 0 0 .304
  Alomar, C     1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .360
Sele, P         1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .154
  Ethier, PH    1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .312
  Seo, P        0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .118
  Beimel, P     0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Cruz, PH      1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .240
  Perez, P      0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .067
  Saenz, PH     1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .302
    Totals     34 1  8 1
    San Diego  34 9 10 8

  Errors- Furcal 2. 2B hits - 
Kent (9). RBI- Martin (25).
2-out RBI- Martin. LOB- Los 
Angeles 9, San Diego 10. 

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Sele (L,3-1) 4.0 6  5-1  5 0 2.32
Seo          1.0 2  3-3  1 1 5.64
Beimel       1.0 0  0-0  0 0 4.79
Perez        2.0 2  1-1  1 0 6.90
  WP- Sele. T- 2:50. Att- 30,371.