L.A.'s 10-4 Win Costs Them a Starting Pitcher

Hospitality just wasn't the Dodgers' long suit Friday night as they battered the Pirates 10-4, winning consecutive games for the first time since May 29-30 as Pittsburgh lost their ninth in succession. Manager Jim Tracy's Pirates have now been outscored 69-37 during their skid. The victory came with a price as starter Brett Tomko (6-6) left after five innings with a strained left oblique muscle.

Tomko was hurt in the fourth but soldiered through the fifth to claim the win, his first since May 15. Tomko allowed two hits, walked none and struck out one.

He entered the game with an ERA of 4.50, after ringing up a 5-1, 3.21 record in his first nine starts. But since he has gone 0-5 (for the first time in his career) with an 11.22 ERA in his last five turns on the mound.

The Dodgers led 10-0 after six innings after Manager Grady Little tweaked the lineup a mite. Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew (three hits in his past 27 at-bats) got flip-flopped with Kent moving into the cleanup spot and Drew dropped to No. 5 or the first time this season. After a three-hit debut, Cesar Izturis rose to the second spot in the order.

Kent hit a three-run home run (#7) , Drew drove in two runs and Izturis singled twice and scored two runs and is 6-for-8 as a Dodger five-run allowed them to coast in with the win.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first when Nomar Garciaparra grounded into a double play in the first but put L.A. up 1-0 as Rafael Furcal scored from third. Drew had a two-out, RBI single in the third.

Then in the fourth, four walks (Jose Cruz, Russell Martin, Furcal and Izturis) forced in a run and Garciaparra sacrifice fly drove in another. The Dodgers received seven walks from Perez, and five of them scored.

Kent followed with his first home run since May 14. Drew's sacrifice fly in a three-run sixth inning boosted the Dodgers' lead to 10-0.

In the first, Jack Wilson singled to center and Tomko then hit Sean Casey with a pitch, but then retired 13 consecutive Pirates until Ronny Paulino doubled with two outs in the fifth inning.

Tomko batted through the fifth inning, giving his second hit, a two-out double in the fifth before handing the ball to Jae Seo, who pitched the final four innings and, although he allowed all four runs, was credited with his first professional save.

Tonight Aaron Sele (3-2, 3.09 ERA) opposes the Pirates in the second game of the three-game series.
  Score by innings
Pittsburgh 000 000 202- 4
Dodgers    101 503 00x-10

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      4 2 1 0 .252
Izturis, 3B     3 2 2 1 .750
Garciaparra, 1B 2 2 1 1 .358
  Saenz, PH-1B  1 0 0 0 .296
Kent, 2B        2 1 1 3 .269
  Martinez, 2B  1 0 0 0 .340
Drew, RF        4 0 2 2 .277
Kemp, CF        5 1 1 0 .324
Cruz, LF        3 1 2 2 .237
Martin, C       3 1 1 0 .310
  Alomar, C     0 0 0 0 .358
Tomko, P        1 0 0 0 .120
  Ethier, PH    1 0 1 0 .314
  Seo, P        1 0 0 0 .111
    Totals     31 10 12 9  
    Pittsburgh 34  4  7 4

  Errors- none. 2B- Kemp (3), Cruz (12).
HR- Kent (7). RBI- Drew 2 (46), Izturis 
(1), Garciaparra (44), Kent 3 (37), Cruz 
2 (14). S- Tomko. SF- Garciaparra; Drew. 
LOB- Pittsburgh 4, Los Angeles 8.

  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Tomko (W,6-6) 5.0 2  0-0 0 1 5.12
Seo (sv 1     4.0 5  4-4 0 4 5.78
  T- 2:30. Att- 55,823.
No Rent-a-Star-- The Dodgers are looking for a starting pitcher by the July 31 trading deadline but GM Ned Colletti won't forfeit one of his team's bright prospects to obtain one. "I'm not going to rent a player for 12 or 15 starts to give away a minor league prospect who could be a future big league All-Star," says Colletti. "Things are going to have to change in the next month from what I see out there available today. We're not going to make a trade just to make one."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Bill Mueller checked out his arthroscopic knee with Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., but he not able to offer Mueller, 35, any realistic options for long-term recovery. Steadman's only advice was for Mueller to continue his rehabilitation and to seek another examination next month. Mueller, who is bone on bone in three different places, has been moved to the 60-day disabled list and is not eligible to return until mid-July at the earliest, but at this point, Mueller is just hoping to salvage his career. He was hitting .329 through the first three weeks of the season before re-injuring his knee. Playing through the pain for two weeks, he went 4-for-37, and then -- reluctantly -- had the operation. He is in the first year of a two-year, $9.5 million contract.…Izturis will start at shortstop tonight to give Furcal a day off. Olmedo Saenz will take over at third base. …Since returning from a bruised left wrist that put him on the disabled list, Kent is hitting .314 with a .514 slugging percentage. …Drew has seen his average drop 25 points since he sat out the June 11 game in Colorado with a tight hamstring.

The Dodgers continue to lead the NL in runs scored (389), hits (699). ... Jeff Kent has now hit 487 career doubles which ranks 54th on the all-time list and will tie Jeff Bagwell, Harold Baines and Mel Ott for 51st all-time with his next two-bagger. ... Nomar Garciaparra currently leads the NL in batting average (.358) and ranks third in the Majors behind Minnesota's Joe Mauer (.377) and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (.365). ... Garciaparra leads the Majors in home batting average (.438). ... He has a hit in 21 of his last 23 games and has reached base via hit or walk in 42 of his last 43. He is the hardest player in the Majors to strike out, as he's fanned just 11 times this season. ... Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda will be inducted in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Lasorda pitched for the Montreal Royals, Brooklyn's Triple-A affiliate, for parts of nine seasons, and he won a club-record 107 games and the International League MVP award. …The 48th annual Hollywood Stars Game will be played tonight. Among the celebrities scheduled to participate are Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Jimmy Kimmel, James Van Der Beek, Mia Hamm, Lou Gossett Jr., Carlos Mencia, Michael Clarke Duncan and Corbin Bernsen.