Something's Slipping; Not The San Andreas

The Jeckyll and Hyde Dodgers were wearing their placid faces Wednesday night in Dodger Stadium, and the 46,319 fans in attendance watched in horror as they rolled over to the second-worst team in the National League 6-4. Earlier in the month they has lost two of three to the worst team in the league.

Pittsburgh, led by recently deposed manager Jim Tracy, put an end to the heady celebration that following a miracle comeback against the league-leading Padres only 48 hours before.

But there was no dancing in the streets of Los Angeles after Pittsburgh put them away in a quite business-like manner, tagging Greg Maddux with the loss, a painful blow to their pennant hopes.

Not only was Maddux hit hard and often, the overworked bullpen again allowed just enough runs late in the game to make a comeback impossible, this time against Pirate Shawn Chacon.

Maddux, who has 331 career victories, allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings while walking one, striking out five and throwing 87 pitches. The 40-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA in six starts at Dodger Stadium this season.

The good news is, and right now that commodity is extremely scarce, is that San Diego lost to Arizona, leaving L.A. one game back in the loss column but cutting the Padres magic number to 11.

The bad news is that Philadelphia won, leaving the Dodgers tied with the surging Phillies atop the wild-card standings.

The Dodgers (79-73) followed their familiar pattern, getting only five innings from their starting pitcher Greg Maddux, and hoping the bullpen could keep them in the game.

They couldn't.

Dodgers relievers have been charged with 29 runs on 36 hits in the last 30.1 innings.

Maddux was banged around and left the club in a 3-0 hole, giving up a homerun to Jose Bautista and an RBI double to Freddy Sanchez in the third and three-straight singles in the fifth.

The Dodgers couldn't handle Chacon (2-3), came in with a 5.56 ERA since being acquired from the New York Yankees. He allowed the Dodgers four runs before leaving in the seventh.

The Dodgers drew within one, 3-2, in their half of the fifth, getting two unearned runs on an error by third baseman Sanchez on pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit's run-scoring infield out. Rafael Furcal followed with an RBI triple.

Reliever Aaron Sele sailed through the sixth, but he let the game get away in the seventh. He gave up four hits in a span of five batters to make it 6-2.

Drew hit a two-out, two-run pinch-homer in the bottom of the inning, the seventh pinch-hit homer of the season for the Dodgers. Furcal followed with a single and pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz walked before Garciaparra ended the inning on a pop.

Ironically, the Dodgers announced that playoff tickets for home games in the National League Division and Championship Series will go on sale Monday.

The Dodgers have now lost 10 of their past 16 games and haven't won consecutive games since a seven-game winning streak Aug. 26-Sept. 2.
  Score by innings
Pittsburgh  002 010 300-6 12 1
Los Angeles 000 020 200-4  7 1

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal SS      4 0 2 1 .299
Lofton CF      3 0 0 0 .299
 Saenz PH      0 0 0 0 .286
 Repko PR-CF   0 0 0 0 .248
 Kemp PH       1 0 0 0 .260
Garciaparra 1B 4 0 0 0 .300
 Robles PR     0 0 0 0 .172
Kent 2B        4 0 0 0 .289
Anderson RF-LF 4 0 0 0 .294
Lugo 3B        3 0 1 0 .224
Ethier LF      2 1 0 0 .314
 Broxton P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Young PH      0 0 0 0 .000
 Loney PH      1 0 0 0 .261
 Saito P       0 0 0 0 .000
Martin C       3 2 1 0 .285
Maddux P       1 0 1 0 .129
 Betemit PH    1 0 0 1 .265
 Sele P        0 0 0 0 .192
 Dessens P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Drew PH-RF    2 1 2 2 .277
    Totals    33 4 7 4 
    Pirates   38 6 12 6

  Error- Martin. 3B- Furcal (9) HR- Drew 
(18,) RBI- Furcal (63), Betemit (49), Drew 
2 (90). LOB- Los Angeles 9, Pittsburgh 9. 
SB- Lugo (6). CS- R Martin (5). DP- (Kent, 
Furcal and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Maddux (13-14) 5.0 7 3-3 1 5  4.25 
Sele           1.2 4 3-3 1 2  4.59 
Dessens        0.1 0 0-0 1 0  3.57 
Broxton        1.0 1 0-0 0 3  2.79 
Saito          1.0 0 0-0 1 2  2.25 
  T- 3:03 Att- 46,319
Dodger Blue Notes-- Russell Martin Sr., father of the Dodgers' catcher, performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" on his saxophone. ... The Pirates have a major league-best 14-3 record in one-run games since the All-Star break. They had a 30-60 record entering the break, but are 35-27 since. The Dodgers have seven pinch-hit homers this season.

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