L.A. Held to Two Hits; Lose Opener 7-1

Derek Lowe had a bad day and his mound opponent Ben Sheets had not just a good day but a very good day and as a result the Dodgers dropped their fourth opening day in succession by a 7-1 score. Jeff Kent's home run in the second got Los Angeles on the board and Brady Clark's double in the ninth was the only other hit.

Kent collected the Dodgers first hit, the first extra-base hit and first home run of the season all in his first trip to the plate, tying the game 1-1 in the second inning.

That was the Dodgers' only hit until Clark doubled inside the bag at third with one out in the ninth.

Sheets retired 22 Dodgers in succession between hits and and 25 of 26 at one stretch. He faced only 29 batters, two over the minimum, in recording the complete game.

He had a pair of sparkling defensive plays that cut off runs. Luis Gonzalez was robbed of a hit by a diving catch by center fielder Bill Hall in the third and shortstop JJ Hardy went behind second base to throw out Andre Ethier in the fifth.

The Brewers built a picket fence over the first three innings, scoring single runs in each frame, then put up a three on the board in the fourth to build a commanding 6-1 lead.

Lowe had little luck, bad command of his pitches and the six-run loss reflected that. An infield hit and a broken-bat single in the first cost one run. Lowe allowed one more and escaped a bases-loaded mess in the second inning to keep it close.

Another single run in the third and three in the fourth put it away. Luis Gonzalez lost a drive in the bright windows of Miller park during the rally. The tainted double scored two.

Lowe gave up eight hits and walked four in the loss as Milwaukee piled up 13 baserunners in his four innings.

A home run off Mark Hendrickson in the sixth closed the scoring. It was the only hit the 6-9 lefty allowed in his three innings.

Rudy Seanez allowed a single in the last of the eighth.

Lefty Randy Wolf will try to get the club to .500 tonight (Tuesday) when he makes his first Dodger start. The game in Milwaukee begins at 7:05 CT.
 Score by innings
Dodgers	          010 000 000-1
Milwaukee	  111 301 00x-7

 Dodgers	ab  r  h  bi  ave
Pierre cf	4  0  0  0  .000
Martin c	4  0  0  0  .000
Garciaparra 1b	3  0  0  0  .000
Kent 2b	        3  1  1  1  .333
Gonzalez lf	3  0  0  0  .000
Betemit 3b	3  0  0  0  .000
Ethier rf	2  0  0  0  .000
 Hendrickson p	0  0  0  0  .000 
 Anderson ph	1  0  0  0  .000
Martinez ss	3  0  0  0  .000
 Seanez p	0  0  0  0  .000
Martinez ss	3  0  0  0  .000
Lowe p	        1  0  0  0  .000
 Clark rf	2  0  1  0  .000
    Totals	29  1   2  1
    Brewers	33  7  10  7 

 2b hits- Clark (1). HR- Kent (1).
RBI- Kent (1). LOB- Dodgers 1,
Brewers 8.

 Dodgers	in   h  r-er bb so  era
Lowe (0-1)	4.0  8  6-6  5  4 13.50  
Hendrickson 	3.0  1  1-1  0  3  3.00
Seanez	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1  0.00
 T- 2:11. Att- 45,341.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Lowe fell to 0-3 in opening games for L.A., Sheets won his third without a loss for the Brewers. …Manager manager Grady Little said he switched some of the team's signs for this series because former Dodgers reliever Elmer Dessens now pitches for Milwaukee. Dessens was traded for outfielder Brady Clark and cash March 26. As it tuned out, it didn't make much difference. …Shortstop Rafael Furcal's ankle may not rebound as quickly as planned. Furcal the injury was worse than the one he had in 2002. He hasn't run on it yet and it swelled up on the plane to Los Angeles. …Ken Gurnick of MLB.com pointed out some interesting note about opening day. The Dodgers have started different players on Opening Day for the last six years at first base and the last four years at third base and catcher. The first basemen: Garciaparra, Olmedo Saenz, Hee-Seop Choi, Shawn Green, Fred McGriff and Eric Karros. The third basemen: Wilson Betemit, Bill Mueller, Jose Valentin and Adrian Beltré. The catchers: Russell Martin, Sandy Alomar Jr., Jason Phillips and Paul Lo Duka. …The Rangers decided that Eric Gagné, coming off shoulder and elbow surgery and slowed early in camp by a stomach virus, wouldn't be ready for the start of the season. Gagné was placed on the disabled list and will spend another week in Arizona. The plan is for him to pitch three times in the minor leagues and be activated April 13 in time for their three-game series against the Mariners.

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