#4 in the Fourth Lucky Ticket for Dodgers

Sure and begoery 'tis a foine sunny day for a Monday, isn't it now? The Dodgers swept the Pirates, winning the third game 7-4, their fourth in a row, to climb back on top the N.L. West. A four-run fourth innings, keyed by a two-run single off the bat of Rafael Furcal, put L.A. in front to stay and Brad Penny boosted his record to 8-2, with more than a little help from his friends in the bullpen.

  N.L. West    w - l   pct   gb
Los Angeles    40-35  .533    -- 
San Diego      39-36  .520   1.0 
Colorado       38-37  .507   2.0
Arizona        37-38  .493   3.0
San Francisco  36-39  .480   4.0
Penny collected the win but struggled after four strong innings and left without getting an out in the sixth. Joe Beimel, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito gave up but a single in the final four innings to nail the game down as a whopping crowd of 55,454 fans enjoyed it all.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal, second baseman Ramon Martinez and catcher Russell Martin each knocked in a pair of runs, Nomar Garciaparra launched his ninth home run to account for all the runs.

Jim Tracy's last-place Pirates scored in the first inning on a walk and a double against starter Brad Penny. Then he handled the Pittsburgh lineup with ease through the fourth, allowing only a two-out single and a two-out walk.

A fourth-inning Los Angeles rally saw J.D. Drew, Andre Ethier and a Martinez RBI single tie the score. Cesar Izturis singled to again load the sacks and Martin bounced into a fielder's choice to drive in the go-ahead run.

With two out, Furcal lined a shot into center field that drove in two more runs and it looked like the Dodgers were on another one of their rolls.

But Pittsburgh banged a double and two run-scoring singles in the fifth added a leadoff home run in the sixth-inning home run by Joe Randa that cut the lead to 5-4 and signaled the end of the day for Penny.

Joe Beimel finished the inning 1-2-3 and Broxton (two innings) and Saito threw nothing but blanks from there on out.

A single by Garciaparra,. a double by red-hot Ethier and ground ball by Martinez in the last of the fifth gave the Dodgers a little more breathing room.

Nomar Garciaparra home run to left field in the bottom of the eighth and singles by Drew, Ethier and Martinez plusanother FC off the bat of Martin finished the scoring and the Pirates.

Penny and Kip Wells went five innings each. Penny allowed six hits and four runs on way to earning the win.

Andre Ethier had another good day, with three hits to boost his average to .333. The improbable Ramon Martinez, who came to the Dodgers with a lifetime average of .233, finished with one run, two hits, two RBI and a .343 average.

Los Angeles moved into Minnesota four three games and will start rookie Chad Billingsley. It is the first time the Dodgers have played in Minnesota since Sandy Koufax and Lou Johnson worked their magic in the 1965 World Series.
  Score by innings
Pittsburgh 100 021 000-4
Dodgers    000 410 02x-7

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave                    
Furcal SS      4 0 2 2 .254
Lofton CF      5 0 1 0 .295 
Garciaparra 1B 5 2 2 1 .362 
Drew RF        3 1 2 0 .282 
Ethier LF      4 2 3 0 .333 
Martinez 2B    4 1 2 2 .343
Izturis 3B     4 0 1 0 .471 
Martin C       4 1 0 2 .307
Penny P        2 0 0 0 .235
  Beimel P     0 0 0 0 .000
  Cruz Jr. PH  1 0 1 0 .236
  Broxton P    1 0 0 0 .000
Totals        37 7 14 7
Pirates       33 4  7 4

  2B- Ethier (7), Cruz Jr. (13) 
HR: Garciaparra (9). RBI- Furcal 
2 (26), Garciaparra (45), 
Martinez 2 (17), Martin 2 (33). 
LOB: Pittsburgh , Los Angeles 8. 
SB: Martin 2 (3) CS: Furcal (7)

  Dodgers       in h r-er bb so era
Penny (w, 8-2) 5.0 6  4-4 2 5 3.06
Beimel         1.0 0  0-0 0 0 3.81
Broxton        2.0 0  0-0 1 1 3.03 
Saito (sv 5)   1.0 0  0-0 0 2 1.72
  WP- Penny. Att- 55,545. T-2:49.

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