Well, That Didn't Work

Odalis Perez, itching to get back in the starting rotation, failed his audition Wednesday afternoon, getting roughed up for 11 hits and six runs before leaving in the fifth inning. He served up a grand slam homer in the first inning to Torii Hunter as the Twins won their seventh straight victory, 6-3 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

Manager Grady Little used his all-righthanded lineup (save Lofton) against lefty Johan Santana and that didn't work so well either. He smothered the Dodgers over seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine.

The Major League strikeout leader was followed by Reliever Juan Rincon. who k'd two more and stopper Joe Nathan who struck out all three batters in the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances. That made 17 of the 28 outs by strikeout.

Perez (4-3) has pitched out of the bullpen most of the past two months and was filling in for Brett Tomko, put on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained muscle on his left side.

The Dodger offense was named Olmedo Saenz this day as the 35-year-old crushed a three-run double in the eighth off Minnesota to drive in the only runs of the day.

Los Angeles, which began the day a half-game behind first-place San Diego in the NL West, lost their third straight and have dropped 15 consecutive interleague road games. Los Angeles went 0-9 last season against the AL on the road.

The Dodger staff held Joe Mauer -- who came into the game 9-for-10 in the first two games, to 2-for-3 with a walk and the 23-year-oldimproved his major league-best batting average to .392. He finished 11-for-13 (8.46) in the three-game series and had hits in eight consecutive at-bats before grounding out in the second inning.

Santana (9-4) finished June 5-0 in six starts with a 1.05 ERA.

Minnesota scored all the runs it would need with a two-out rally in the first. Mauer, Michael Cuddyer and Morneau singled off Perez to load the bases. Hunter then smacked a breaking pitch into the left-field seats for his second grand slam of the season and the Twins' seventh this year.

The Dodgers were never able to mount any kind of a rally that might overcome the early deficit. They fell 6-0 after five innings innings before Saenz's three-run double in the eighth with Rafael Furcal and Kenny Lofton on with singles and Matt Kemp, who walked, scoring the runs.

Sandy Alomar got the first Los Angeles hit in the second inning and Saenz hit his first double -- and the second Dodger hit -- in the seventh inning.
  Score by innings
Dodgers   000 000 030-3
Minnesota 400 020 00x-6  

  Dodgers ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss  4 1 1 0 .260
Lofton cf  3 1 1 0 .290
Kemp rf    3 1 0 0 .295
Kent 2b    3 0 0 0 .271
Saenz 1b   4 0 2 3 .303
Alomar c   4 0 1 0 .345
Cruz  lf   2 0 0 0 .229
 Ethier ph 1 0 0 0 .321
Izturis 3b 4 0 0 0 .286
Martin dh  4 0 0 0 .294
  Totals  32 3  5 3
  Twins   36 6 13 6

  E -Kemp (3.) 2B - Alomar Jr 
(5); Saenz 2 (12). RBI - Saenz 
3 (33). LOB - Los Angeles 6, 
Minnesota 6. DP - 2 (Furcal, 
Kent and Saenz; J Kent, 
Furcal and Saenz).

  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so era
Perez (L,4-3) 4.1 11  6-6 0 0 6.84
Broxton       1.2  1  0-0 1 0 2.87
Baez          1.0  0  0-1 1 0 4.31
Saito         1.0  1  0-0 1 0 1.67
  Time- 2:36. Att- 34,157.
June the Cruelest Month-- T.S. Elliott (no relation to Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Jumbo Elliott, at 6-3, 245 the biggest man in the major leagues in 1927) once said "April Is the Cruelest Month," but he didn't stick around to see the Dodgers' June 2006. The Dodgers are 10-15 in June heading into Thursday's home series opener against Anaheim, assuring them a losing record this month. The club hasn't posted a winning mark in June since 2003, when it went 14-11. Of course it doesn't compare to the 4-21 the Brooklyn club recorded in 1936 but it's not far off the L.A. mark of 7-20 set in 1979.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Right fielder Matt Kemp batted third in the lineup Wednesday for only the second time this season. But even the move up the corporate ladder didn't help and Kemp finished the series 0-for-11. He arrived in Los Angeles late in May, and hit seven home runs during the first half of this month, but hasn't hit one since June 14 against San Diego. Little gave rookie catcher Russell Martin a day off from behind the plate, using him as the designated hitter and gave Sandy Alomar his 11th start of the seaon. …After an off-day today (Thursday), the Dodgers begin a three-game set at Anaheim on Friday. with Brad Penny opening the series against Bartolo Colon.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories