Leo Durocher, Brooklyn manager just before World War II, used his starters in relief often, a practice followed by most of the major league clubs. In 1941 he started Kirby Higbe 38 times and used him out of the pen another 10 times, allowing him to lead the league in games and games started.
But after Aaron Sele had relieved starter Mark Hendrickson and was followed by Tim Hamulak, Takashi Saito, Joe Beimel and Elmer Dessens, Lowe seemed to be the next logical pitcher and he responded by allowing one hit over three innings and earning his 12th win of the season.
Lowe had started Saturday against Arizona but had left the game early when a line-drive bruised the heel of his left hand. Hit was his first relief appearance since the 2004 American League Championship Series.
Jeff Kent went 4-for-7 with a home run to lead the offense in this marathon. Rafael Furcal was 2-for-6 with a first-inning home run and Toby Hall was 3-for-3 and had an RBI and pair of doubles.
By the end of the game, Little was hard-pressed to find a four-star restaurant in town where he could celebrate his 35th anniversary with his wife. They may have settled for peanutbutter sandwiches at home.
The Dodger bullpen sparkled, allowing eight hits and one run over the final 12 innings after Hendrickson had been kicked around for nine hits and four runs in the first four.
Hendrickson has won just one of his 11 starts since coming from Tampa Bay and has a 5.07 ERA. He has completed seven innings just once since joining the club. But Los Angeles has averaged only 2.4 runs in his starts.
Cincinnati left an even dozen on the bases, including a pair in the 10th inning when Saito worked out of a first and third and one out jam with an inning-ending double play.
Furcal slugged a home run to deep center leading off, then Jeff Kent singled in Julio Lugo, who had lived on an error, and with one out, J.D. Drew walked. Jeff Kent singled to score Lugo and later in the inning, Hall's sacrifice fly mad it 3-0 Los Angeles.
Hendrickson gave up a homer in the third but the Dodgers matched that with Kent's homer in the bottom of the inning.
But the Reds added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth to take a 5-4 lead before the Dodgers tied the game yet again in the bottom of the inning.
Hall singled to left to lead off, moved to second on Jason Repko's single and Wilson Betemit, hitting for Sele, singled to load the bases. Furcal tied the game with a single.
With the bases loaded and none out, it looked like the Dodgers were poised to take the lead but Lugo bounced into a double play, cutting Repko off at home, and Nomar Garciaparra, who was 0-for-6, flew to right.
After nine, Los Angeles had left nine runners in scoring position, squandering leadoff doubles by Hall in the fourth and eighth, in addition to the bases loaded, none out opportunity in the sixth.
That was the offense for the next 11 innings until Martinez hit Ryan Franklin's (5-7) first pitch into the left-centerfield seats for his second home run of the season, sending what was left of the 44,697 at Dodger Stadium home happy.
Score by innings Cincinnati 102 110 000 000 000 0-5 Dodgers 310 010 000 000 000 1-6 Dodgers ab r h bi ave Furcal, SS 6 1 2 2 .283 Lugo, 3B-2B 6 1 0 0 .292 Garciaparra,1B 6 0 0 0 .316 Dessens, P 0 0 0 0 .000 Lowe, P 0 0 0 0 .093 Drew, RF 4 1 0 0 .276 Kent, 2B-1B 7 1 4 2 .276 Ethier, LF 7 0 1 0 .335 Hall, C 3 1 3 1 .249 Lofton, PR 0 0 0 0 .308 Martin, C 3 0 0 0 .286 Repko, CF 6 0 1 0 .267 Hendrickson, P 2 0 0 0 .000 Sele, P 0 0 0 0 .200 Betemit, PH 1 0 1 0 .271 Hamulack, P 0 0 0 0 .000 Saenz, PH 1 0 0 0 .293 Saito, P 0 0 0 0 .000 Beimel, P 0 0 0 0 .000 Martinez, PH 3 1 1 1 .291 Totals 55 6 13 6 Reds 63 5 17 5 Errors- Martinez. 2B- Hall 2 (16). HR- Furcal (8), Kent (13), Martinez (2). RBI- Furcal 2 (48), Kent 2 (62), Hall (29), Martinez (22). S- Repko. SF- Hall. LOB- Los Angeles 12, Cincinnati 12. DP- 3 (Repko and Garciaparra; Lugo and Garciaparra, Lugo, Kent and Garciaparra). Dodgers in r r-er bb so era Hendrickson 4.0 9 4-4 0 3 4.32 Sele 2.0 2 1-1 0 1 4.11 Hamulack 2.0 1 0-0 1 1 5.90 Saito 2.0 2 0-0 1 2 2.08 Beimel 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 3.36 Dessens 2.0 1 0-0 0 0 4.30 Lowe (12-8) 3.0 1 0-0 0 2 3.75 WP-Dessens. T-4-54. Att-44,697.Dodger Blue Notes-- Rumors have it that Los Angeles is interested in veteran lefty David Wells, who has cleared waivers and whom the Boston Red Sox are trying to trade. Wells reportedly has expressed interest in playing on the West Coast and San Diego is also interested in him. It is believed the Red Sox have asked the Dodgers for a package of their top prospects - including Las Vegas center fielder Matt Kemp - which probably kills the deal unless Boston general manager Theo Epstein cuts back his asking price. However, to be eligible for the post season, he must be on a club roster by 9 p.m. Thursday. …GM Ned Colletti said he plans to recall "six or seven" players from Triple-A Las Vegas when active rosters can expand by up to 15 players on Sept. 1. …Rookie Chad Billingsley's next start has been pushed back to Sunday against Colorado so Brad Penny can stay on his normal rotation and face the Rockies on Friday. …Pitcher Chris Michalak, who played for Triple-A Albuquerque in 2000, started against the Dodgers Monday night and after he was KO'ed early in the game, was sent back to the minors. …Monday night's attendance of 44,176 pushed the Dodgers past the 3 million mark (3,021,665) for the 11th consecutive season and 21st time in team history. They are on pace to surpass their single-season attendance record of 3,608,881. …Greg Maddux (2-0, 2.32) will make his sixth Dodger start and will oppose Aaron Harang (13-9, 3.67) in the series final tonight. Maddux has worked 31 innings in Dodger Blue, allowing 25 hits, striking out 15 and walking six. The Dodgers will have Thursday off and then host Colorado for three games.