Billingsley and 15 Hits = Eighth Straight

The Dodgers sprayed 15 hits all over the park, supporting 21-year-old rookie Chad Billingsley handsomely and he responded by allowing three hits and a single run over six innings to earn his third win of the season. Along with Billingsley, it was a good night for first year players. Andre Ethier, Russell Martin and James Loney were a collective 7-for-13 (.538) with four runs scored and five RBI.

But it wasn't such a good evening for National League earned run average leader Josh Johnson (9-6), also a rookie, who was tagged for eight hits and five earned runs in three innings, his shortest start in 17 this season.

And when the smoke cleared, the Los Angeles had a 10-2 victory and their winning streak had reached a season-high eight games, their longest since April, 2005.

Billingsley (3-3) gave up one run and three hits, and he used 107 pitches to finish his sixth innings. The youngster has won three of his last four starts.

"I had really good command of my fastball and I got ahead of the hitters," Billingsley said. "It was great to get those runs. It gave me a cushion."

The only run he allowed came when he walked Josh Willingham with the bases loaded in the third, an inning that saw seven Marlins come to the plate and five of them reached base.

Rafael Furcal tripled in three runs, and Andre Ethier (who was 3-for-3 to boost his average to .352, and James Loney each doubled in a pair.

The Dodgers scored five runs in the first two innings turning the game into a moot point before the 17,000+ fans had time to settle into their seats.

L.A. hit the ground running, scoring in the first inning on a single by Julio Lugo, who stole second (#20) and was doubled home by J.D. Drew. In the second, the first five Dodgers hitters reached base, including Billingsley, who walked to load the bases.

Martin and Loney singled to start things and after Billingsley loaded the bases, Rafael Furcal, cleared them with a triple and scored on Kenny Lofton's single. The inning still might be going on had Lofton not gotten picked off first.

Drew and Ethier added two-out singles before Betemit made the final out. He also made the final out in the first inning.

Ethier added a two-run, ground-rule double in the fourth inning after Lofton had singled again and Julio Lugo and Drew lived on errors. Martin had an RBI single in the sixth and Loney followed with a two-run double to the wall in right field.

Both teams seemed worn out over the final three innings. The Dodgers picked up only a leadoff walk in the eighth ad the Marlins collected a walk, four singles and a triple but scored just once.

Giovanni Carrara allowed a run in the seventh, then worked a scoreless eighth. Joe Beimel mopped up, throwing a zero in the ninth.

The Dodgers won their first series against Florida since taking two of three from May 4-6, 2004. They also evened their season record at 55-55.
  Score by innings
Dodgers 140 203 000-10
Florida 001 000 100- 2

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS     4 1 2 3 .285
 Ledee, PH-LF  1 0 0 0 .250
Lofton, CF     5 1 2 1 .301
 Carrara, P    0 0 0 0 .000
 Beimel, P     0 0 0 0 .000
Lugo, 2B       5 2 2 0 .301
Drew, RF       4 0 2 1 .280
Ethier, LF     3 1 3 2 .352
 Martinez, SS  1 0 0 0 .299
Betemit, 3B    5 1 0 0 .278
Martin, C      5 2 2 1 .302
 Hall, C       0 0 0 0 .237
Loney, 1B      5 1 2 2 .271
Billingsley, P 3 1 0 0 .067
  Repko, CF    1 0 0 0 .279
    Totals    42 10 15 10
    Florida   36  2  8  2

  2B- Drew (20), Ethier (16). 
3B- Furcal (4), Loney (3).
RBI- Drew (61), Furcal 3 (42), 
Lofton (26), Ethier 2 (45), 
Martin (46), Loney 2 (6).
2-out RBI- Drew; Martin; 
Loney 2. LOB- 8, Florida 11. 
SB- Lugo (20).

  Dodgers         in h r-er bb so era
Billingsley (3-3) 6.0 3 1-1 3 7 3.67
Carrara           2.0 3 1-1 1 5 2.41
Beimel            1.0 2 0-0 0 0 3.52
  WP- Billingsley. T- 2:59. Att- 17,863
Dodger Blue Notes-- Jeff Kent anxious to be activated from the disabled list, but Manager Grady Little said they will make darn sure he's ready before they put him in. "We gambled a couple weeks ago and lost the gamble. We'll make sure we have a better chance this time and hold off a day or two more -- Monday at the earliest, " Little said. …With the Dodgers opposing rookie Florida left-handed starter Scott Olsen, Little will stack his lineup Sunday with righthanded batters. Lofton, Loney and Drew will get the day off and Olmedo Saenz will be at first base, Jason Repko in right field and, in his first outfield appearance since 2001, Julio Lugo in center field, where he took fly balls Saturday during batting practice. …Reliever Elmer Dessens, who turned his left ankle shagging fly balls during batting practice Friday, said the pain had decreased "a little," but he did not expect to be available Saturday night. …Sunday, the Dodgers hope Mark Hendrickson (4-12, 4.11 ERA) will earn his first win since arriving in Los Angeles.

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