Penny Devaluated

Penny (15-8) gave up seven runs and 10 hits over 5.2 innings with a pair of former Dodgers, Jose Valentin who homered, and Shawn Green, who doubled twice, adding to his discomfort. Shea Stadium is not Penny's favorite place to spend and evening and he slipped to 1-8 at and saw his ERA there rise to 6.75 in 10 career starts.

Penny, who's 15 wins have made him the top winner in the National League, has struggled since a great performance in the All-Star Game. In 11 post-All-Star starts, he is 5-6 with a 6.50 ERA.

After dropping their fourth game in five starts, the Dodger lead slipped to a half game after the loss with San Diego enjoying a night off. They have been outscored 31-11 in the losses and been shut out twice.

Jose Reyes chipped in with his first inside-the-park homer, a three-run shot and veteran lefty Tom Glavine won for the first time in more than a month after a blood clot in his pitching arm sidelined him for two weeks.

The Dodgers have unfortunately caught the Mets on a roll. They haven't allowed a run in 25 innings, including back-to-back shutouts, and their magic number to clinch their first NL East title since 1988 is down to seven.

Penny, the NL's only 15-game winner, was banged around early as Carlos Beltran's RBI single and David Wright's sacrifice fly gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. They have scored a team-record 122 first-inning runs.

Valentin's 15th homer made it 3-0 in the second, and New York tacked on another run in the sixth when second baseman Jeff Kent tried to nail Wright at the plate two batters before Reyes' drive banged off the right field wall and bounced back past Matt Kemp, allowing the first inside the park home run allowed since Tony Gwynn smacked one June 26, 1997.

Glavine (13-6) gave up only five hits in 6.1 innings and retired 10 consecutive Dodgers from the first inning through the fourth.

Pitching aside, the Dodgers have scored a total of two runs in their past 30 innings and seemingly are headed toward another punchless streak that saw them lose 13 of 14 after the All-Star break while scoring only 29 runs in the 14 games.

"I don't have the answer, I can tell you that," Dodgers manager Grady Little said after the game. "If I did, we would have addressed the situation before it got too far out of hand. The last few days, we haven't gotten enough hits to score very many runs."

The Dodgers (74-66) went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, and left 11 runners on base.
  Score by innings
Dodgers  000 000 000-0
NY Mets  210 004 00x-7
 
  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      4 0 2 0 .292
Lugo 3b        5 0 1 0 .218
Garciaparra 1b 4 0 1 0 .308
Drew rf        4 0 0 0 .279
Kent 2b        4 0 2 0 .277
Ethier lf      3 0 0 0 .327
Kemp cf        4 0 0 0 .268
Hall c         3 0 1 0 .354
 Young ph      1 0 0 0 .000
Penny p        2 0 0 0 .203
 Beimel p      0 0 0 0 .000
 Repko ph      0 0 0 0 .256
 Loney ph      1 0 0 0 .275
 Hamulack p    0 0 0 0 .000
 Anderson ph   1 0 0 0 .281
    Totals    36 0  7 0
    Mets      33 7 12 7

  2B - Kent (23); Furcal (29). LOB - 
Los Angeles 11, New York 8. DP - 
(Kent, Furcal and Garciaparra).
 
  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Penny (15-8) 5.2 10 7-7 1 4 4.21
Beimel       0.1  0 0-0 0 0 3.38
Hamulack     2.0  2 0-0 1 0 5.23
  WP - Penny. HBP - Ethier. Time- 2:41.
Att- 48,583.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Manager Grady Little hasn't announced who will start the Sunday game against the Mets but it won't be Mark Hendrickson. The veteran left-hander has been demoted to the bullpen. Since the Dodgers acquired him from Tampa Bay, Hendrickson is as disappointing 1-7 with a 5.23 ERA. Although Little said both rookie Eric Stults and long reliever Aaron Sele could be the starter Sunday, he dropped the possibility that Derek Lowe could be brought back on three days' rest after throwing just 79 pitches in Wednesday's win over the Brewers. …Rookie right-hander Chad Billingsley is tentatively slated to test his strained left oblique by pitching to hitters before Tuesday night's game at Chicago. After throwing off flat ground Tuesday and Wednesday, Billingsley only light-tossed Thursday. "It feels really good today," Billingsley reported.

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