13 Not Unlucky for Penny and Saito

Wilson Betemit lined a home run into the right field seats with Andre Ethier on base in the fifth inning to put the Dodgers ahead of the Giant 6-4. Strong relief pitching held the line and saved Brad Penny's 13th win of the season as Takashi Saito nailed things down with his 13th save in 14 opportunities to upset numerologists throughout baseball.

The Dodgers collected 14 hits, with Julio Lugo, Andre Ethier, Betemit and James Loney earning two each. Loney had a triple and a double, giving him nine extra base hits of the 19 he has in his abbreviated time in The Show.

Penny worked six innings and allowed seven hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out seven and not allowing a walk. Carrara was tagged for a run before Joe Beimel bailed him out, then Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito put the second win of the series in the record books.

Los Angeles has now won 14 of their last 15 games and are certain to maintain their 1 1/2 game lead in the N.L West where only days ago they were in last place trailing by 7 1/2.

The game was one whose outcome wasn't decided until the third out in the ninth inning as the Dodgers built leads of 3-0 and 4-3 only to see San Francisco rally to tie the game and the Giant had the potential winning run at the plate from the sixth through he ninth inning.

Kenny Lofton singled in the first and Lugo doubled to left, driving him in. J.D. Drew then singled for an early 2-0 Los Angeles lead. Loney tripled -- his fourth of the year -- and when he scored on an infield single by Penny it looked like it might be a breather.

In the third inning, Penny fanned three straight Giants and Matt Cain fanned three straight Dodgers. At this point, Penny had faced only nine Giant batters in the first three innings.

Then, suddenly, the Giants erupted, spraying hits to all fields. Steve Finley doubled to right, Ray Durham singled to right to score him, Barry Bonds doubled to right and Moises Alou singled to left and the game was tied 3-3.

Loney doubled in the bottom of the fourth and Rafael Furcal untied the game with a stinging single to center. After Lofton walked, Lugo popped to the catcher and Drew hit a lazy fly to center, leaving his fifth man on base over the first four innings.

Again the Giants tied the game, this time with a little help from the Dodgers. With two out, Steve Finley lived on a throwing error by Lugo and stole second. Omar Vizquel singled him home and moved to second when Andre Ethier threw wildly but Penny got Durham on a pop to end the inning.

Ether beat out an infield hit to short and scored when Wilson Betemit drove a 3-1 pitch into the right field seats. It was his 13th of the season and his fourth as a Dodger.

Giovanni Carrara opened the seventh after Penny hit the 103-pitch mark. He allowed a double, then a two-out, two-strike double to Omar Vizquel that pulled San Francisco within a run. Joe Beimel came and walked Ray Durham, bringing up Barry Bonds.

Reflecting the way the league looks at Bonds in what previously was a obligatory intentional walk situation, Beimel went right after him and got him on a 1-1 pitch that was bounced to Loney at first base.

Broxton pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Saito took over to close things out. He allowed a one-out single and Steve Finley came to the plate with the lead run.

Finley's grand slam home run to give the Dodgers a N.L. West title in 2004 was, if not one of his best moments, was certainly one Dodger fans will remember as long as they talk about baseball.

He must have been looking to drive in the tying run, at least, but his fly to center was caught by Jason Repko and Vizquel came to the plate with two hits already to his credit.

This is the scene with two out and the tying run on base. The Dodgers Japanese pitcher, taking signals from a Canadian catcher and hearing three Dominican infielders chattering encouragement, forced the Venezuelan batter to ground out to the American first baseman.

As Campy used to say, "Ain't life grand?"
  Score by innings
San Francisco 000 320 100-5
Los Angele    210 120 00x-6
 
  Dodgers       ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS       4 0 1 1 .289
Lofton, CF       4 1 2 0 .312
 Saito, P        0 0 0 0 .000
Lugo, 2B         3 1 2 1 .301
Drew, RF         4 0 1 1 .277
Ethier, LF       4 1 2 0 .350
Betemit, 3B      4 1 2 2 .287
Martin, C        4 0 1 0 .296
Loney, 1B        4 2 2 0 .275
Penny, P         2 0 1 1 .240
 Carrara, P      0 0 0 0 .000
 Beimel, P       0 0 0 0 .000
 Broxton, P      0 0 0 0 .000
 Garciaparra, PH 1 0 0 0 .330
 Repko, CF       0 0 0 0 .260
Totals          34 6 14 6
Giants          36 5 10 5

  Errors Lugo , Ethier. 2B- Lugo 
(18), Loney (5). 3B- Loney (4). HR- 
Betemit (13). RBI- Lugo (32), Drew 
(64), Penny (5), Furcal (44), Betemit 
2 (37). S- Penny. LOB- Los Angeles 
8, San Francisco 6. SB- Furcal (28). 
CS- Martin (3). DP- (Lugo, Furcal 
and Loney).

  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Penny (13-5)  6.0 7 4-3 0 7 3.48
Carrara       0.2 2 1-1 0 1 2.79
Beimel        0.1 0 0-0 1 0 3.47
Broxton       1.0 0 0-0 0 1 2.82
Saito (sv 13) 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 2.35
  T- 3:04. Att- 46,444.
Olmedo in a Pinch-- Olmedo Saenz's game-winning single on Tuesday gave him 12 RBI as a pinch hitter this season, one behind Milwaukee's Gabe Gross for the National League lead.

It also tied him with six other Dodger pinch-hitters (including himself in 2004) in eighth place on the all-time charts. Dave Hansen holds the record of 18 set in 1993.
   The top 10
18 - Dave Hansen, 1993
16 - Manny Mota, 1974
14 - Dave Hansen, 2000
14 - Robin Ventura, 2004
13- Johnny Frederick, 1932
13 - Sid Gatreaux, 1936
13 - Chris Gwynn, 1991

12 - Manny Mota, 1976
12 - Terry Whitfield, 1985
12 - Mitch Webster, 1992
12 - Bill Ashley, 1996
12 - Olmedo Sanez, 2004
12 - Olmedo Sanez, 2006
Just say No Thanks-- Former Dodger Guillermo Mota was designated for assignment recently by the Cleveland Indians. Mota, 33, had a 6.24 ERA in 34 appearances. The Indians offered him in trade last month, but the Dodgers passed and are not expected to attempt to sign him when/if he becomes a free agent.

Since being included in the Paul Lo Duca trade (Mota, C Lo Duca and OF Juan Encarnacion for RHP Brad Penny, 1B Hee-Seop Choi and LHP Bill Murphey) Mota has pitched 138.1 innings, allowed 134 hits, 61 walks, 120 strikeouts and has a 5.14 ERA.

Choi hasn't prospered, either. Playing for AAA Pawtucket in the Red Sox organization, he has been slumping amid his own injury troubles this season. He cleared waivers Thursday after Boston designated him for assignment August 1 and was been outrighted to Pawtucket.

Juan Encarnacion has played well for St. Louis and has a .786 OPS. The sixth player involved in the deal, 25-year-old Bill Murphy (later passed along to Arizona in the Dodgers' acquisition of Steve Finley), has a 5.68 ERA with 68 strikeouts, 36 walks and 84 hits allowed in 77.2 innings as a swingman for AAA Tucson.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers have gone through a flock (gaggle? herd? swarm?) of catchers this season. Starting he season with Pat Borders (retired), Dioner Navarro (traded), Sandy Alomar (traded), they added Russell Martin, Toby Hall and now they have signed journeyman Einar Diaz from Triple-A Buffalo in the Cleveland organization. He was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he joins Edwin Bellorin and Eric Langill. Diaz, 33, was hitting .218 in 64 games. He's played parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, most recently last year with St. Louis. …Catcher Toby Hall, who wore No. 44 in Tampa Bay, changed from No. 26 with the Dodgers to No. 22, which became available upon the departure of Jose Cruz Jr. …Rafael Furcal came into the game hitting .342 BA since All-Star break. …CF Kenny Lofton, baseball's active leader in stolen bases, swiped the 587th bag of his career on Wednesday, passing former Dodger Maury Wills for 17th on the all-time list. … In Sunday afternoon's late start, Greg Maddux (10-11, 4.43 ERA) opposes Giants ace Jason Schmidt (9-7, 3.15 ERA).

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories