Sele Benefits From Visit to Mr. Goodwrench

When the machine is just not running well, a good mechanic will put it up on a hoist and rummage around until he finds the problem. The process helped Aaron Sele (4-2), coming off consecutive rough outings and working one day before his 36th birthday, allowed five hits in six shutout innings. Jeff Kent whacked a two-run home run and the Dodgers enjoyed a 7-0 victory, their third in succession.

Rookie Andre Ethier supplied a strong hand after being given a rare start by Manager Grady Little. The young outfielder, who was obtained from Oakland in exchange for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez, knocked in four runs much to the enjoyment of 47,785 at Dodger Stadium.

The much maligned bullpen, led by Jonathan Broxton, Joe Beimel and Takashi Saito, added a scoreless inning each to nail down the win and moved the club back into a first place tie with San Diego.

Outfielders J.D. Drew and Kenny Lofton were given the night off, which gave left-handed Ethier a rare opportunity with a lefty on the mound. He had only 15 at-bats against a lefthander before Saturday night's game.

He lined a two-run single in the second, and a dropped two-run, broken-bat single into the outfield in the sixth, providing all the runs as L.A. took a 4-0 lead.

General manager Ned Colletti traded for Ethier, the Texas League's player of the year in 2005, on the recommendation of veteran scout Al LaMacchia and the youngster is hitting .320 -- the highest rookie average in the National League -- with 19 RBI in 44 games and helped hand the Pirates their 10 consecutive loss, the longest since 1969.

Sele's performance was the first time a starter had worked into the sixth inning in the last dozen games.

Not on the opening day roster, Sele pitched for Las Vegas for the first month of the season and the, by prior arrangement, demanded a trade if the Dodgers weren't going to need him.

They reconsidered, and in May he rang up six quality starts and three straight wins.

But then he couldn't get into the fifth inning twice, allowing six runs in 13 innings and his control went south, walking eight without a strikeout.

But after a slight adjustment, due to a corrected mechanical flaw in his windup that allowed better body balance and pitch command, he allowed only one runner past first base, working out of a first and third problem in the third with the help of a double play.

He's 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA, and has seven quality starts out of nine outings, not bad for a pitcher no one wanted in March.

Olmedo Saenz, who has owned Duke, collecting six hits in seven previous at-bats against the lefthander, got things rolling in the second with a line single. He moved to second on Matt Kemp's long double to center and both scored on Ethier's first hit of the night.

In the sixth, Saenz again singled to left and again moved to third when Kemp lined his second double into the left-field corner. Ethier's two-run single made it 4-0 and when he went to second on the throw to the plate, it allowed him to score on Russell Martin's single.

Jonathan Broxton replaced Sele in the seventh, and displaying a 96 mph fastball struck out the side on 14 pitches, just five over the minimum. Joe Beimel and Takashi Saito nailed down the Dodgers' fourth shutout of the season. Saito. just a year younger than Sele, has not allowed a run in his last 13.2 innings over 12 outings.

Kent homered for the second consecutive game since being returned to the cleanup spot, a two-run shot in the seventh inning that capped the scoring.

Since coming the disabled list June 13, Kent is hitting .341. Since May 4, he has hit .356. His 339th career home runs is the all-time record for second baseman and it tied him with Dave Parker, Boog Powell and Tino Martinez for 75th on the all-time list.
  Score by innings
Pittsburgh 000 000 000-0
Dodgers    020 003 20x-7

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Izturis, SS     5 0 1 0 .538
Cruz, RF        4 0 0 0 .231
Garciaparra, 1B 4 1 2 0 .361
Kent, 2B        4 1 2 2 .274
Saenz, 3B       3 2 2 0 .306
  Martinez, 3B  1 0 0 0 .337
Kemp, CF        4 2 2 0 .333
Ethier, LF      4 1 2 4 .320
Martin, C       4 0 2 1 .315
Sele, P         2 0 0 0 .133
  Furcal, PH    1 0 0 0 .251
  Broxton, P    0 0 0 0 .000
  Beimel, P     0 0 0 0 .000
  Alomar, PH    1 0 0 0 .352
  Saito, P      0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals     37 7 13 7
    Pirates    32 0  7 0
  Errors- none. 2B- Kemp 2 (5). 
HR- Kent (8). RBI- Ethier 4 (19), 
Martin (31), Kent 2 (39). LOB- 
Pittsburgh 7, Los Angeles 7. 
SB- Martin (1). DP- 2 (Izturis, 
Kent and Garciaparra; Izturis  
and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Sele (W,4-2) 6.0 5  0-0 1  4 2.73
Broxton      1.0 0  0-0 0  3 3.25
Beimel       1.0 2  0-0 1  0 3.96
Saito        1.0 0  0-0 0  1 1.77
  T- 2:29. Att- 47,785.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Brett Tomko, who suffered a strained left oblique muscle in Friday's game, reported mild improvement but Jae Seo or Odalis Perez may take his next scheduled start. …Their was a ringer in the Dodgers annual Hollywood Stars game Saturday, Ron Cey, the third baseman on the Dodgers' 1981 World Series winning team. …Little said outfielder Ricky Ledee (groin) suffered a setback and that his possible rehabilitation assignment has been put on hold. …Although Seo initially received credit for a save Friday night when he allowed four runs in four innings of relief, the official scorer ruled that Seo did not pitch effectively and no save was awarded. …Leonel Fernandez, president of the Dominican Republic, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday night's game. …Brad Penny (7-2, 2.83) opposes Kip Wells (0-1, 16.20) in today's finale of the six-day homestand.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories