Reinforcements (Kent) Help Win 10th Straight

The Dodgers picked up a slugging first baseman in a late-season addition with the return of Jeff Kent after 18 days on the disabled list and he produced as if he had never been gone. The veteran homered and drove in three in a 7-2 victory over the Rockies in front of an appreciative 44,593 at Dodger Stadium. L.A.'s 10-game winning streak is five games shy of the franchise record set in 1924.

Starter Brad Penny (12-5) improved to 4-0. 0.95 against the Rockies and retired the first 11 batters. He allowed two runs — homers to Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe — on five hits in eight innings. During his career he is 9-2, 2.26 against them.

Penny walked none and struck out four, while allowing three earned runs in 27.1 innings against Colorado this year as the Dodgers matched their longest winning streak — 10 games — since May 2003. They haven't won 11 in a row since May 17-29, 1993.

Penny also chipped in with a RBI double, his second in the last two games. He needed only 16 pitches in the third and fourth innings and retired the first 11 in order. He left after eight having used only 105 pitches.

Without Kent in the lineup, the Dodgers went through an eight-game losing streak, then started their 10-game winning streak, and nearly all of it without Kent or Nomar Garciaparra (sprained knee) in the lineup.

Under Kent's Hall of Fame standards, he hasn't been a great year due mostly to injuries. He took a .267 average into the game, with nine home runs in 68 games, but manager Grady Little put him back in his the cleanup spot in the order.

It took Kent one at-bat to remind everyone of his importance. With two outs in the first inning and Kenny Lofton on third base with his ninth triple, he lined a double to left field to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Penny's RBI double in the second put the Dodgers up 2-0, and in the third, J.D. Drew led off with a walk and Kent ninth home run to deep center field on the first pitch gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out when Drew was hit by a pitch, Andre Ethier walked and Wilson Betemit singled. Julio Lugo singled for a 5-1 lead and Drew added a two-run double in the eighth to end the scoring.

Kenny Lofton had three hits and stole two bases (19). He and Kent had five of the seven Dodger RBI. Kent finished 2-for-5, and Drew had two runs and two RBI. Jonathan Broxton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to end the game.

The victory, coupled with Arizona's loss, moved the Dodgers into sole possession of second place in the National League West, 1 1/2 games behind idle first-place San Diego. The Dodgers also pulled into a tie with Cincinnati for the National League wild-card spot.
  Score by innings
Colorado 000 100 010-2
Dodgers  112 010 02X-7

  Dodgers   ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS   5 0 0 0 0 1 3 .284
Lofton, CF   5 2 3 0 0 0 1 .305
 Repko, CF   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .281
Drew, RF     3 2 1 2 1 2 2 .279
Kent, 1B     5 1 2 3 0 0 3 .270
  Broxton, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Ethier, LF   2 0 1 0 2 0 0 .350
Betemit, 3B  4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .277
Lugo, 2B     4 0 1 1 0 0 0 .300
Martin, C    2 2 1 0 2 0 3 .304
Penny, P     3 0 1 1 0 0 4 .229
 Ledee, PH   1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .245
 Loney, 1B   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .267
   Totals   34 7 11 7
   Colorado 31 2  5 2

  2B- Kent (15), Penny (3), 
Drew (2). 3B- Lofton (9). HR- 
Kent (10). LOB- Los Angeles 9, 
Colorado 2. SB- Lofton 2 (19), 
Martin (7). CS- Lofton (3).
  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Penny (12-5) 8.0 5 2-2 0 4 3.43
Broxton      1.0 0 0-0 0 2 2.98
  HBP- Drew. T- 2:44. Att- 44,593.
Ledee Claimed-- After the game, the Dodgers announced that outfielder Ricky Ledee had been claimed off waivers by the New York Mets. Ledee hit .245 in 53 at-bats with the Dodgers this season and made only six starts. Elmer Dessens was put on the disable list (ankle) to make room for Jeff Kent on the roster. The move gives the Dodgers a 24-man roster until Nomar Garciaparra is activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. "I wanted to stay, but I really wasn't doing anything here," Ledee told the L.A. Daily News. "I was pinch-hitting and that's not what I wanted to do. Hopefully I'll go (to New York) and keep winning." Ledee said he was not surprised by the move, and that he had a feeling something was in the works. His salary for 2006 was around $1.5 million. The 32-year-old signed as a free agent with the Dodgers in 2004. Ledee played in the outfield sporadically with the Dodgers this season after he missed 64 games due to a pulled left groin. When he was activated, he joined a crowded outfield.

Maddux Dodger Stadium Debut-- There was a long line for tickets for tonight's debut of Greg Maddux at Dodger Stadium. Maddux had six-inning, no-hit performance in his first game in Dodger Blue. Maddux said he will wear No. 36. Brad Penny had been trying to arrange a swap of No. 31, but the change in jersey is not an issue for Maddux.

New Dodgers Channel-- The Dodgers and Time Warner Cable will launch a new channel for the Los Angeles area, Dodgers on Demand. It is to be a free On Demand and year-round channel. With classic games and past and present player profiles, to highlights and press conferences, Dodgers On Demand will be updated with new information continuously.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Kent will fill in for an injured Nomar Garciaparra at first base. Kent said he has made starts at first before, and he feels comfortable there. Julio Lugo will continue to play second base. …Shortstop Rafael Furcal was 0-for-5 had his 13-game hitting streak snapped. Since May 1, Furcal is batting .309 (112 for 365). ...Los Angeles came into the game batting .308 as a team over the last seven days. The pitching staff has compiled a 2.33 ERA over the same period and both numbers improved. They have committed only one error during their winning streak. …Rookie James Loney, who was kept on the roster when Kent was activated, is batting .350 (7-for-20) during the streak, scoring seven runs and driving in three. He's raised his average to 267 after hitting .225 (9-for-40) in 14 games in April. "He looks more comfortable, more relaxed and confident, both defensively and offensively," Little said. "He used his first tour of duty here earlier in the season as a learning experience, and he went back to Triple-A and got even better.