Surging Giants Dump Dodgers 7-3

Brad Penny (13-6) came in into the game tied for the N.L. lead in victories, but this night it was The Giant's Jason Schmidt who drew the honors, holding the L.A, to five hits while pitching into the eighth and when Penny gave up six earned runs, the decision went to the Giants 7-3. It was the second consecutive loss in a season of streaks for the Dodgers who suffered their third loss in 20 games.

Penny, who beat the Giants last Saturday, had his three-game winning streak snapped on a night he was trying to match his career high 14th victory.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal left the game with a stiff right shoulder, a result of the chilly San Francisco weather. He is expected to play tonight,

However, the Dodgers held on to their three-game lead in the National League West after San Diego beat Arizona to pull into a second-place tie with the Diamondbacks.

Schmidt (10-7), facing Los Angeles in back-to-back outings, won his third game in a row and struck out five over eighth innings beat the Dodgers for the first time in seven starts since July 14, 2005. He had a no-decision against starter Greg Maddux last Sunday when the Dodgers won 1-0 in Dodger Stadium.

Schmidt gave up only one run -- on a groundout by Nomar Garciaparra that scored Furcal, who had singled, in the first -- through the first seven innings. Furcal has scored 84 runs and is on pace for 112, which would make him the first Dodgers leadoff hitter with more than 100 runs since Brett Butler in 1991.

The Giants scored a pair of second-inning runs, one on a wild pitch and the other on a sacrifice fly, to take a 2-1 lead and that was just the beginning.

Shortstop Omar Vizquel banged two-run homer in the third, Shea Hillenbrand slammed another two-run shot in the sixth and Steve Finley added a solo homer in the eighth for the Giants, who seemed out of the race a week ago but after five straight wins are back in the mix.

Schmidt left after issuing back-to-back, one-out walks to Jason Repko and Kenny Lofton in the eighth. Garciaparra also worked a walk to load the bases. Drew's sacrifice fly and Jeff Kent's run-scoring single scored two but Andre Ethier, representing the tying run, flied out just short of the warning track in right-center, ending the threat.

The first-place Dodgers are on an important nine-game road trip against San Francisco, San Diego and Arizona.

Other than a pair of hits from ageless Kenny Lofton, who is batting .317, the Dodgers offense was as cold as the weather.

Another chilling thought is that with the loss, Los Angeles is 25-32 one game into a nine-game trip that is part of a stretch of 19 of 25 games on the road.
  Score by innings
Los Angeles    100 000 020-3
San Francisco  022 002 01x-7

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      3 1 1 0 .285
 Repko, PH      0 1 0 0 .253
 Dessens, P     0 0 0 0 .000
Lofton, CF      3 1 2 0 .317
Garciaparra, 1B 3 0 1 1 .326
Drew, RF        2 0 0 1 .278
Kent, 2B        4 0 1 1 .264
Ethier, LF      4 0 0 0 .333
Betemit, 3B     4 0 0 0 .278
Martin, C       4 0 0 0 .298
Penny, P        2 0 0 0 .231
 Carrara, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Lugo, PH-SS    2 0 0 0 .296
   Totals      31 3 5 3
   Giants      31 7 8 6

  RBI- Garciaparra (63), Drew 
(67), Kent (53). SF- Drew. 
LOB- Los Angeles 6, San 
Francisco 4. SB- Lofton (24).

  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Penny (13-6) 6.0 6 6-6 3 3 2 3.70
Carrara      1.0 1 0-0 0 1 0 4.63
Dessens      1.0 1 1-1 0 0 1 4.21
  WP- Penny. T- 2:37. Att- 42,862.
Loney Sent Down--Dodgers rookie first baseman James Loney was optioned to Las Vegas to clear a spot for reliever Elmer Dessens, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list. But Loney was told to expect a callup on Sept. 1, when active rosters can expand to 40 players for the stretch run.

Loney will have a shot at the a Pacific Coast League batting title. He was hitting .372 on July 29, when he was recalled for the second time this season, and that average was still good enough that it led the PCL by 30 points over Colorado Springs' Carlos Rivera.

Loney made an impression in his second big-league stint, hitting .313 after batting .225 for the Dodgers from April 4-22.

It isn't clear how many players the Dodgers will promote, but it probably won't be the full 15. Colletti already has said he plans to recall Loney and purchase the contract of veteran catcher Einar Diaz, who was acquired last week from Cleveland. Another likely candidate is outfielder Matt Kemp, who spent about six weeks in the majors earlier this season.

He hasn't decided whether to recall infielder Oscar Robles, who is hitting .291 in limited playing time at Las Vegas. Another likely callup is left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, who threw 4.2 shutout innings in his last start, striking out nine, in Las Vegas' 6-2 win over Portland.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers battle to the finish line it won't be an easy because of their final 41 games, 25 will be away from Dodger Stadium, most of against National League West rivals, but also a three-game series against the Mets at Shea Stadium. They are only 25-31 on the road this year. …Jayson Werth, who underwent a second wrist operation last week, said he's convinced the Mayo Clinic wrist specialist who performed the arthroscopic procedure has finally solved his two-year problem. Werth, who underwent surgery last November for a torn ligament on one side of the left wrist, said this operation repaired a split-tear of a ligament on the opposite side of the wrist. "I'm hoping to play the second half of winter ball to show everybody I can play," he said. …Greg Maddux (10-11) and his 0.90 ERA as a Dodger take the mound tonight against Brad Hennessey (5-2, 2.71). Since Maddux joined the team at the trade deadline, the Dodgers' team ERA is 2.88, compared to 4.45 before the deal.

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