The All-Star Break Wasn't

So much for taking a "break" for the All-Star game. One night after scoring two runs on a Nomar Garciaparra home run, the Dodgers ran into Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter and were smothered by his two-hitter. On the other side of the field, Derek Lowe gave up 11 hits and four runs before leaving after six trailing 4-0. The final score was 5-0 and it wasn't nearly that close.

Searching for a positive scrap to hold on to after the game, Manager Grady Little pointed out, "We didn't make any mistakes running the bases."

Only Rafael Furcal and Cesar Izturis collected hits, both singles as Carpenter pitched his 10th career complete-game shutout while using only 101 pitches. He struck out seven and hit a batter to account for the four baserunners, none of which advanced past first base.

Carpenter hit Jeff Kent with a pitch in the second inning, Furcal lined a single to lead off the fourth, and Carpenter retired the next 14 hitters before Izturis singled up the middle with two outs in the eighth.

Lowe (7-6) struggled for the fourth consecutive outing, allowing three consecutive hits to open the game and the only run the Cardinals would really need on an RBI single by Albert Pujols.

Lowe gave up four runs and eight hits in the first three innings and allowed three hits and no runs over his last three-plus innings. He struck out five and walked one, and has given up 22 runs and 38 hits in his last 21 innings.

The Dodgers have only a two-run homer by Nomar Garciaparra in the last 23 innings but the latest concern is for one-time club ace Lowe who 1-3 with a 9.43 ERA (22 earned runs, 21 innings) over his last four starts and his earned run average has swelled from 2.90 to 3.98.

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said the fact Lowe has added a cut fastball and is using it to much he has been less effective with his sinker, his real 'out' pitch.

To make the bad night complete, Garciaparra was 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at 22 games, second-longest in the majors this year behind Edgar Renteria's 23-game run for Atlanta to start the season.

Today Mark Hendrickson, winless in two starts as a Dodger, will pitch against Jeff Suppan (6-5, 5.83).
  Score by innings
Dodgers   000 000 000-0
St. Louis 103 000 01x-5

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      4 0 1 0 .272
Lofton, CF      4 0 0 0 .286
Garciaparra, 1B 3 0 0 0 .350
Drew, RF        3 0 0 0 .280
Kent, 2B        2 0 0 0 .267
Ethier, LF      3 0 0 0 .339
Izturis, 3B     3 0 1 0 .295
Martin, C       3 0 0 0 .282
Lowe, P         2 0 0 0 .081
 Carrara, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Baez, P        0 0 0 0 .000
 Ledee, PH      1 0 0 0 .250
    Totals     28 0  2 0
    St. Louis  34 5 12 5

  LOB- Los Angeles 2, St. Louis 8.
  Dodgers  in  h r-er bb so era
Lowe (7-6) 6.0 11 4-4 1 5 3.98
Carrara    1.0  0 0-0 0 1 3.52
Baez       1.0  1 1-1 1 0 3.94
  HBP- Kent. T- 2:08. Att- 45,704.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Outfielder Matt Kemp was optioned to Las Vegas to make room for outfielder Ricky Ledee, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Kemp and hit the ground running, slugging seven home runs in his first 14 games but after June 14, he went 17-for-77 (.221) with 29 strikeouts. The 21-year-iold needs to play every day and admitted, "It's kind of hard to just play here and play there. I proved to everyone that I could handle the major- league level a little bit. I know what is expected up here and what I have to do to get back." …As expected, General Manager Ned Colletti and Little met privately with left-hander Odalis Perez on Friday after Perez complained publicly following Thursday night's loss to St. Louis about the way he was being used. Perez said, among other things, that he was tired of being treated "like trash." Perez did not ask to be traded. The club has attempted to deal Perez, but the remaining $16 million on his contract that expires after next season -- along with a 6.79 ERA this year -- has made him pretty much unwanted by other clubs. Colletti and Little pointed out to Perez that although they understand he wants to start, for now he will stay in the bullpen. …Outfielder Jason Repko (left ankle) went hitless in three at-bats and drew a walk for Las Vegas on Thursday night in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment. …Disabled third baseman Bill Mueller is with the club on this trip, but his right knee has not improved after a third operation. He said he is still hopeful of returning to the game at some point, but for now, he is researching possible surgical procedures that might help his severe degenerative arthritis and reduce the pain. It may be the end of the road for the third baseman.