Beat Nats 13-1; swaps Baez, Aybar for Betemit

The Dodgers thumped Washington 13-1 and made a trade to bulk up their infield, acquiring infielder Wilson Betemit from Atlanta for reliever Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar. The deal was between the Dodgers and Braves, a pair of teams still battling for the wild card spot in the N.L. playoffs. Atlanta trails by 13 in the N.L. Central and Los Angeles is last and six back in the N.L West.

Betemit, who got the trade news on his 26th birthday, was hitting .281 with nine homers and 29 RBI in 87 games for the Braves. He struggled for a couple of years to make it to the majors, but he's been a reliable player the last two seasons who seems ready to make the next step toward being a full-time starter.
Wilson Betemit     6-3 190 Br Tr
b- July 28, 1980
year  ave obp  slug  gm  ab  r  h  2 3 hrbi  
2001 .000 .400 .000   8   3  0  1  0 0 0  0
2004 .170 .231 .170  22  47  2  8  0 0 0  1
2005 .305 .315 .438 115 246 36 75 12 4 9 20
2006 .281 .341 .497  87 199 30 56 16 0 9 29
Baez, who struggled in the closer's role with Los Angeles before losing the job to Takashi Saito, was 5-5 with a 4.35 ERA and nine saves for the Dodgers after posting 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last season.

Aybar, who hit .250 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 43 games for the Dodgers, can play both second and third base but has been defensively challenged at each position this season.

"Wilson is a talented young player who can contribute immediately at the major league level," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He will not only be able to help the 2006 club, but we expect him to play a big part in the future success of the Dodgers as well."

Betemit will provide more offense for the suddenly punchless Dodgers. He also can help fill in for injured second baseman Jeff Kent. He has been the Braves' most valuable player off the bench, filling in at second, short and third when the starters were sidelined by injuries.

The Dodgers are counting on Betemit to help lift them out of a terrible slump. Going into Friday night's game against Washington, they had lost eight in a row and were 1-13 since the All-Star break, the worst slump since they lost 16 straight in 1944 with a team composed of over-age and under-age players due to WW II.

Apparently the news of the trade sparked the Dodgers' offense as J.D. Drew slugged his, his first home run since June 1 and Cesar Izturis, homered for the first time in exactly a year, as the Dodgers overwhelmed Washington 13-1. Andre Ethier added a triple and a two-run homer.

Chad Billingsley (2-3) coasted to his first victory at Dodger Stadium, allowing a run and four hits over six innings while ending Washington's six-game winning streak. The right-hander, who has won twice since the all-star break __ the only wins the Dodgers have during that period -- has a 2.35 ERA over his last four starts. He struck out five and walked five.

The Nationals jumped into a 1-0 lead on Brian Schneider's RBI single in the second inning, but it was all Los Angeles from then on.

They Dodgers scored four in the bottom half of the inning when Olmedo Saenz was hit by a pitch and Rookie of the Year candidate Ethier put Los Angeles ahead to stay with a drive into the right field pavilion for his ninth home run.

Three straight singles followed, including a run-scoring hit by Ramon Martinez, and Izturis came home on a groundout by Kenny Lofton.

Izturis increased the margin to 6-1 in the third with his first home run since July 28, 2005 and Drew broke the game open in the fourth with his first grand slam since Sept, 3, 2003, driving the first pitch deep into the right field seats after reliever Roy Corcoran walked his first two batters and gave up a single to Kenny Lofton.

Ethier tripled two batters later and scored the Dodgers' 11th run on Russell Martin's groundout. They scored their final two runs -- both unearned -- to match their second-highest scoring game of the season.

The Nationals committed three errors and raised their season total to 83, one fewer than Milwaukee for the most in the majors.

Derek Lowe (7-7, 4.18) starts against the Nationals Michael O'Connor (3-6, 4.59) a game this afternoon.
  Score by innings
Washington 010 000 000- 1
Dodgers    042 511 00x-13
 
  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS     3 2 1 0 .276
Lofton, CF     5 1 1 1 .291
Drew, RF       3 1 1 4 .278
 Cruz, LF      0 0 0 0 .231
Saenz, 1B      3 1 1 1 .295
Ethier, LF     4 2 2 2 .347
 Tomko, P      0 0 0 0 .120
 Ledee, PH     1 0 0 0 .277
 Carrara, P    0 0 0 0 .000
 Dessens, P    0 0 0 0 .000
Martin, C      5 3 3 1 .294
Izturis, 3B    5 2 2 2 .250
Martinez, 2B   5 0 1 1 .304
Billingsley, P 2 1 0 0 .083
 Repko, PH-RF  2 0 0 0 .284
   Totals     38 13 12 12
   Nationals  32  1  7  1

  3B- Ethier (3). HR- Ethier (9), 
Izturis (1), Drew (10). RBI- 
Ethier 2 (38), Martinez (21), 
Lofton (22), Izturis 2 (11), 
Drew 4 (58), Saenz (38). LOB- 
Los Angeles 8, Washington 9. 
DP- (Furcal and Saenz).

  Dodgers         in h r-er bb so era
Billingsley (2-3) 6.0 4 1-1 5 5 3.93
Tomko             1.0 0 0-0 0 0 5.06
Carrara           1.0 1 0-0 0 1 2.30
Dessens           1.0 2 0-0 0 0 4.26
  HBP- Saenz 2. T- 2-55. Att- 55,825.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers activated RHP Brett Tomko, who was sidelined since June 24 because of strained oblique muscle in his left side. Tomko made 15 starts, going 6-6 with a 5.12 ERA before his injury but he will replace Baez in the bullpen. ... 1B Nomar Garciaparra, who sat out his third straight game because of a sprained ligament in his right knee, is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday for the start of a three-game series at Cincinnati. ... Dodgers 2B Jeff Kent, sidelined since July 18 because of a strained oblique muscle on his left side, will miss at least another 10 days to two weeks.

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