Billingsley Wins First Game; Kent Goes on DL

Young (21) Chad Billingsley finally demonstrated what Los Angeles aficionados have known all the time, stopping Arizona 4-1 and an ugly five-game losing streak on the same evening. Earlier in the day, second baseman Jeff Kent went on the disabled list with his still tender oblique muscle pull and was replaced by Willy Aybar, who promptly doubled twice, score a run and knocked in one.

In his seventh start, Billingsley, who has consecutively earned the Ben Wade Award as the best pitcher in the Dodger minor legue system, demonstrated the style that many had insisted he would when was called up to The Show.

"I threw strikes and got ahead of hitters," Billingsley told the Los Angeles Daily News. "I was finally able to do what I usually do. Since I came up here, I have been battling the whole time. But now, it finally came together. I was able to attack the zone with my fastball, my cutter and my off-speed stuff. It's always tough to get that first(victory."

The youngster, now 1-2, walked the leadoff man in the fourth and sixth innings and stranded six runners, three of them in scoring position. He finished strong by retiring the final five batters he faced and striking out the final two.

Arizona's first two hitters singled and with one out, Jeff DaVanon tried to steal third base and was thrown out by catcher Russell Martin effectively ending what could have been a pivotal moment in the game..

Billingsley allowed six hits, struck out four and reversing his other six major league starts, used only 103 pitches to go seven innings.

The win moved the Dodgers back to 47-47 (.500). Nomar Garciaparra tripled, doubled, knocked in a run and scored one. Aybar, replacing Kent on the roster, doubled twice and Kenny Lofton had two hits and scored twice.

Kent's sore left oblique obviously wasn't getting any better - and after struggling through a 1-for-12 stretch with four strikeouts during a four-game series in St. Louis to begin the second half, he was 2-for-4 with a double in the first game of the Arizona series, but the side was not getting any better and was getting worse each day.

Aybar, who just arrived from Las Vegas, lined a shot up the right-field line in the fourth inning that hit the chalk line and rolled to the corner. Andre Ethier, who had walked, had no trouble scoring from first, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Kenny Lofton walked with one out in the fifth, and Nomar Garciaparra followed with a ground-rule double. J.D. Drew singled to score Lofton, and Ethier's sacrifice fly made it 3-0. And Garciaparra tripled to knock in Lofton who had doubled, in the seventh.

Danys Baez worked a scoreless eighth and Takashi Saito gave up the only Arizona run in the ninth.
  Score by innings
Dodgers 000 120 100-4
Arizona 000 000 001-1

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 0 0 0 .267
Lofton, CF      4 2 2 0 .298
Garciaparra, 1B 5 1 2 1 .346
Drew, RF        3 0 1 1 .285
Ethier, LF      2 1 1 1 .340
Aybar, 3B       4 0 2 1 .282
Martinez, 2B    3 0 0 0 .326
Martin, C       3 0 2 0 .286
Billingsley, P  3 0 0 0 .111
 Ledee, PH      1 0 0 0 .257
 Baez, P        0 0 0 0 .000
 Saito, P       0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals     33 4 10 4
    DBacks     33 1  8 1

  2B- Aybar 2 (11), Garciaparra 
(25), Lofton (8). 3B- Garciaparra 
(2). RBI- Aybar (21), Drew (53), 
Ethier (33), Garciaparra (56). SF- 
Ethier. LOB- Los Angeles 8, 
Arizona 7. CS- Drew (3), Ethier 
(4). DP- (Furcal and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers         in h r-er bb so era
Billingsley (1-2) 7.0 6 0-0 2 4 3.66
Baez              1.0 0 0-0 0 1 3.91
Saito             1.0 2 1-1 0 1 2.15
  HBP- Martin. T- 2:53. Att- 27,471.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Greg Miller, the star-struck left-handed pitcher who appeared to have overcome two years of shoulder problems, has been shut down in Las Vegas with what is believed to be (hopefully) a minor flareup in the same left shoulder. Miller changed from an over-the-top starting pitcher to a sidearming reliever who can still top 90 mph. The change in arm angle was designed to take stress off the shoulder. …Third baseman Cesar Izturis, who returned to Los Angeles for the birth of his daughter, is expected to rejoin the team today or Thursday. Little said he would speak with Izturis about a temporary move to second base while Kent is out. Willy Aybar, who was playing second base at Las Vegas, probably will start at the position Izturis doesn't play. …First baseman Kyle Orr, the Dodgers' fourth-round draft pick, will spend the next few weeks preparing for and playing in the World Junior Championship tournament in Cuba, where he will suit up for Team Canada. That will put negotiations on hold until after the event ends Sept. 27. It probably also means that when Orr does sign, he won't play until next season. And Scouting Director Logan White confirmed that negotiations have reached an impasse with 10th-round pick Andy D'Alessio, and that the first baseman is expected to return to Clemson University for his senior season. …Derek Lowe (7-6, 3.98 ERA) opposes Miguel Batista (8-5, 4.94) on tonight in the third game of a four game series..

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