Kent Rides to the Rescue in the Ninth

Gunslinger Jeff Kent outdrew a Diamondback on a dusty Arizona evening, slugging a towering home run to lead off the ninth inning and give the Dodgers a 4-3 win over he Diamondbacks. The long shot ended a four game losing streak. The win was tempered by the loss of starter Derek Lowe who left the game in the fourth after being hit on the left hand by a line drive.

Kent's home run on a 3-2 pitch from Luis Vizcaino (3-4) averted a possible extra-inning game and gave the Dodgers the lead after Arizona had rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie it.

The Dodger bullpen stood tall, taking over from Lowe with two out in the fourth inning. X-rays of his bruised thumb were negative and with a day off, he should be ready when his turn comes Friday. Lowe allowed a run and five hits, three of them infield singles.

Jonathan Broxton (3-0) was he poster boy of efficiency, throwing one pitch in the eighth to retired the side and earn the win. Takashi Saito, who blew his second save of the season Friday night, pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 17 opportunities.

Los Angeles remained one game ahead of second-place San Diego in the NL West. The Padres won at Colorado. Arizona fell four games back with its fifth loss in six games.

Miguel Batista worked eight innings for Arizona, allowing three runs and only four hits. He blanked Los Angeles without a hit the last four innings. The Dodgers were out-hit 10-5 but made good work of the few they had.

Nomar Garciaparra's two-out single past diving first baseman Tony Clark brought in the first two runs in the third.

The Dodgers added a run in the fourth when ueberrookie Andre Ethier doubled off the bullpen fence in left, then scored from third when shortstop Craig Counsell fielded Lowe's grounder for what should have been a routine inning-ending out. However, Counsell chose threw to second for the force, and the secondbaseman didn't get to the bag on time.

Lefty Joe Beimel took over for Lowe and gave up a pair of singles. A third consecutive hit made it 3-1. The Diamondbacks added another run in the seventh and tied in the eighth off Brett Tomko.

The Dodgers won for just the second time in eight games this season at Arizona.
  Score by innings
Dodgers  002 100 001-4
Arizona  000 100 110-3 

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      4 0 0 0 .282
Lofton cf      2 0 0 0 .314
Garciaparra 1b 4 0 1 2 .321
Drew rf        4 0 1 0 .277
Kent 2b        4 1 1 1 .267
Ethier lf      4 1 1 0 .332
Betemit 3b     4 0 1 0 .268
Martin c       2 1 0 0 .284
Lowe p         2 1 0 1 .093
 Beimel p      0 0 0 0 .000
 Hamulack p    0 0 0 0 .000
 Lugo ph       1 0 0 0 .254
 Tomko p       0 0 0 0 .120
 Broxton p     0 0 0 0 .000
 Saito p       0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals    31 4  5 4
    DBacks    31 3 10 3

  2B - Betemit (20); Ethier (18). 
HR - Kent (12). RBI - Garciaparra 
2 (69), D Lowe (3), J Kent (58). 
LOB - Los Angeles 4, Arizona 5. 
CS - K Lofton (4). DP - 2 (Lowe, 
Furcal and Garciaparra; Betemit, 
Kent and Garciaparra).
 
  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Lowe          3.2 5 1-1 0 0 3.81
Beimel        1.1 2 0-0 0 2 3.48
Hamulack      1.0 0 0-0 0 2 6.31
Tomko         1.2 3 2-2 1 1 4.65
Broxton (3-0) 0.1 0 0-0 0 0 2.76
Saito (sv 15) 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 2.17
  Time- 2:45. Att- 40,358.
Dodger Blue Note-- The Dodgers designated reliever Giovanni Carrara for assignment after he posted a 5.04 ERA in 21appearances, but Little promised that if Carrara clears waivers, he will rejoin the big-league club for the September roster expansion. To take Carrara's roster spot, the Dodgers recalled left- hander Tim Hamulack from Las Vegas. Hamulack, who had a 1.42 ERA in 28 relief appearances for the 51s, will be used for one- or two-inning outings instead of as a traditional situational lefty. …The crowd of 40,358 was Arizona's largest at home this season. ... The Dodgers were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and are 2-for-15 in the first two games of the series.

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