Penny Nails Down Win No. 10

Brad Penny, who recorded his 10th win of the season, became a member of an exclusive club who have reached double figures before the All-Star break. Kaz Ishii was the last Dodger pitcher to earn 10 wins two seasons ago. Penny teamed with sizzling Andre Ethier, who sparkled both with the bat and with the glove as Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the last place Diamondbacks.

Playing without injured second baseman Jeff Kent and center fielder Kenny Lofton, the Dodgers' offense pounded out 11 hits to run their total to 39 for the series in which they scored 26 runs and hit .364. It was their seventh straight at home and improved their record to 26-16 in Dodger Stadium, the best in the NL West.

Ethier's leadoff home run in the second inning was his sixth in the two months since being promoted from Las Vegas two months ago. He leads all Major League rookies with a .342 average. Since June 17, he has hit .429 (24-for-56) with two home runs and 14 RBI.

He saved a run in the sixth inning with a diving catch to end the inning, leaving runners on first and second base. Ethier was 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, a walk and seven RBI.

He is also the rookie leader in on-base percentage (.388), and has jumped into contention to become the Dodgers 17th Rookie of the Year and the first since 1996.

Penny allowed two runs, struck out six and walked one, lowering his ERA to 2.92 while raising his career record to 5-1 against the Diamondbacks. One of the runs he allowed came in when Kemp lost a ball in the lights.

Penny (10-2) turned the ball over to Danys Baez who allowed a single and hit a batter (interestingly enough, Luis Gonzalez who was extremely vocal after Baez had plunked Shawn Green with two out in the second game), and Takashi Saito finished the inning without incident.

But he loaded the bases in the ninth with two walks and a single, then gave up a two-out, two-run single ended a 16.2 innings scoreless streak before striking out the final Diamondback of the game.

Penny helped the Dodgers ring up four runs in the second, doubling on the first pitch. That began a four-run Dodgers rally that couda-shoulda been five.

Penny scored on a Cesar Izturis triple. Nomar Garciaparra walked and J.D. Drew's bouncer was thrown into leftfield as two runs scored. Matt Kemp doubled home Drew and took third on a wild pitch

Ramon Martinez bounced to the third baseman and his throw to first was wide. Martinez was called safe as Kemp scored but when Martinez returned to the bag he was tagged out for missing the bag (TV replays showed he had stepped on the bag on the way by) and Kemp's run was taken off he scoreboard.

The Dodgers (44-40) remain tied with San Diego and Colorado for the National League West lead, dropping the Giants 1.5 games off the lead and the DBacks 4.5 games. The Giants arrive for a four-game series beginning tonight.

Matchups include:
Tonight: - M. Hendrickson vs. M. Cain
Friday - C. Billingsley vs. M. Morris
Saturday - D. Lowe vs. N. Lowry
Sunday - A. Sele vs. J. Schmidt
  Score by innings
Arizona  000 110 002-4
Dodgers  014 000 00x-5

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      4 0 2 0 1 0 1 .261
Izturis, 3B     4 1 2 1 1 0 2 .269
Garciaparra, 1B 4 1 1 0 1 0 4 .359
Drew, RF        3 1 1 1 1 0 1 .290
Ethier, LF      4 1 1 1 0 0 4 .342
  Saito, P      0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Kemp, CF        4 0 2 1 0 1 2 .299
Martinez, 2B    4 0 0 0 0 1 5 .321
Martin, C       4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .290
Penny, P        3 1 1 0 0 2 0 .243
  Baez, P       0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Cruz, LF      1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .245
    Totals     35 5 11 4 
    Arizona    36 4 10 4

  2B- Penny (1), Kemp (6), 
Garciaparra (24). 3B- Izturis (1). 
HR- Ethier (6). RBI- Ethier (29), 
Izturis (5), Drew (50), Kemp (20). 
LOB- Los Angeles 10, Arizona  
9. SB- Furcal 2 (19). CS- Furcal 
(8). DP- (Martinez. Furcal and
Garciaparra).

  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so era
Penny (W,10-2) 7.0 7  2-2 1 6 2.92
Baez           0.2 1  0-0 0 0 4.04
Saito (S,6)    1.1 2  2-2 2 2 2.02
  T- 3:17. Att- 38,505.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Eric Gagne, who has battled an elbow injury all season, was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on Wednesday with pain in his lower back and remained hospitalized overnight. He will be examined today. …Jeff Kent was a late scratch for the second consecutive game because of continued discomfort in the oblique muscle on his left side. …During his 11-game hitting streak, right fielder J.D Drew is hitting .400 (16-40). ... Ricky Ledee (left groin) began his rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Jacksonville, starting in left field. He went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts.

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