Duncan Loses Hat; Dodgers Lose Game

Well, in any case it was cooler in the air-conditioning Monday night in Arizona after sweltering in Missouri's humidity but the results were pretty much the same. The Diamondbacks handed the Dodgers their fifth loss in a row, banging Aaron Sele for five runs in five innings and collecting an 8-3 victory that featured a classic confrontation with the umpires.

Sele wasn't on his game but neither were the rest of the Los Angeles lineup who again couldn't put much on the scoreboard.

The game turned in the bottom of the sixth when, trailing 3-2, center fielder Kenny Lofton broke in, then back and a drive sailed over him for an RBI triple. Reliever Joe Beimel forgot to cover first base and a three run homer put the lid on the five run inning and the game.

The Dodgers didn't have a batter reach base from the fourth inning through the sixth and slid below .500 (46-47) and 3 1/2 games back in the tightly-packed N.L. West.

And while they looked bad both on the mound and at the plate, they got a push from Angel Hernandez. The Dodgers protested a checked-swing that he called a ball and suddenly he threw someone out of the Los Angeles Dugout although it was across the field from his position at third base.

When Dodgers manager Grady Little came out of the dugout to see who had been ejected, Hernandez said it was first base coach Mariano Duncan. Duncan ran out to protest the call and eventually threw his cap at Hernandez.

Hernandez surprisingly picked up the cap and handed it to a fan in the front row. Duncan complained the second base umpire Randy Marsh cursed at him but the decision stood and he would not comment on the move after the game.

Things got worse for the Dodgers after the game when second baseman Jeff Kent said his strained oblique muscle seems to be getting feeling worse, and even though he had two hits, including an RBI double, he may be placed on the disabled list.

Kent was out of the lineup for nine days before the All-Star break but an oblique muscle is slow to respond -- as Nomar Garciaparra found out at the start of the season.

The Dodgers scored twice in the second inning and then was pretty much quiet for the rest of the night.

So the club has lost five straight, the last two by a combined score of 19-6, dropping 3 1/2 games back for the first time since May 9 and is a horrendous 11 games below .500 on the road.
  Score by innings
Dodgers 002 000 100-3
Arizona 021 005 00x-8

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 1 2 1 .270
Lofton, CF      3 0 1 0 .295
Garciaparra, 1B 3 1 1 0 .345
Drew, RF        2 0 1 1 .284
Kent, 2B        4 0 2 1 .267
Saenz, 3B       4 0 0 0 .301
Ethier, LF      4 0 1 0 .339
 Saito, P       0 0 0 0 .000
Martin, C       4 0 1 0 .281
Sele, P         2 0 0 0 .200
 Beimel, P      0 0 0 0 .000
 Ledee, PH      1 1 1 0 .265
 Carrara, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Cruz, LF       1 0 0 0 .233
    Totals     33 3 10 3  
    DBacks     36 8 12 8

  2B- Furcal (16), Kent (14), Ledee 
(4). RBI- Drew (52), Kent (44), 
Furcal (30). S- Lofton. SF- Drew. 
LOB- Los Angeles 7, Arizona 5.

  Dodgers   in h r-er bb so era
Sele (6-3) 5.0 9 5 5 1 4 0 3.34
Beimel     1.0 3 3 3 0 1 1 3.65
Carrara    1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.12
Saito      1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.00
  HBP- Drew. T- 2:40. Att- 23,518.
No Trade Brewing-- Despite the rumor that talented but somewhat immature Joel Guzman would be sent to the Washington Nationals for another disgruntled outfielder Adolpho Soriano, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said that although the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline was fast approaching, he has yet to find an available player that would justify giving up one of the club's many celebrated prospects.

He added that the deadline could pass without the Dodgers making another significant move to follow their June 27 trade with Tampa Bay, when they acquired left-hander Mark Hendrickson and catcher Toby Hall.

"I'm not inclined to trade away players who I believe can have a strong impact on this franchise in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for a player who isn't going to make a significant difference for us over those last two months and isn't going to be of value to us next year," Colletti told the Los Angel Daily News.

"So far, I can't say there is one player out there that I feel is a significant upgrade versus the cost of whatever prospects would be lost."

Gimme More-- After 40 days, and 40 nights, the -- finally found the promised land. However, it hasn't been long enough for Kansas City to sign their first draft pick, Luke Hochevar.

If it seem like you have read this story before -- you have.

K.C. scouting director Deric Ladnier continues to characterize the talks as friendly, but points out that Hochevar is on the verge of throwing away a second professional season with only the rest of July and August on the schedule.

The Royals are apparently holding firm to their financial offer, confirmed to be in excess of the $4 million, but are willing to sign Hochevar to a major-league contract. But that may not be enough to land the right-hander.

If he does eventually sign, it will be for the highest bonus given this season to a first-round pick with 26 of the other 30 selections already under contract.

Dodger Blue Notes-- In an unusual move, Derek Lowe threw on the side for the third consecutive day, hoping to regain his sinkerball. Over his past four starts, Lowe is 1-3 with a 9.43 ERA, having allowed 22 earned runs in 21 innings. …Colletti mentioned that Hong- Chih Kuo's recent start for Las Vegas was not an attempt to make put him in the starting rotation, but only to give him some additional innings to work out his troubles. ...Third baseman Cesar Izturis probably will rejoin the team tomorrow night. Liliana Izturis delivered Daniella, a healthy baby girl, Monday by cesarean section. …Brothers J.D. of the Dodgers and rookie Stephen of the Diamondbacks faced each other Monday night. J.D. is seven years older than Stephen, a first-round pick who signed last year and was promoted Sunday because of an injury to Craig Counsell. …Jason Repko is only 1-for-13 on his rehabilitation assignment in Las Vegas for a bad ankle sprain. But when he's healthy and hitting, a place will be found for him no matter how crowded the 25-man roster appears. Repko's defensive talents make him extremely valuable. …Disabled reliever Brett Tomko threw with no pain in the bullpen Monday as he recovers from a strained oblique muscle. Tomko plans to report to Las Vegas by he weekend. The Dodgers are considering moving him to a late inning reliever or a closer. Before the game, the Dodgers checked out 35-year-old right-handed reliever Danny Patterson, an eight-year veteran who hasn't pitched since 2004 because of shoulder problems. Patterson has pitched for Texas and Detroit and from 1997-2001 averaged 57 appearances a year. …Chad Billingsley (0-2, 4.45) opposes Juan Cruz (3-4, 4.45), tonight, hoping to stop the Dodgers slide down the standings.