Penny Sparkles in 5-1 Win

Brad Penny pitched seven spectacular innings, rolling through the first three innings without a hit and leaving after seven having allowed five hits and a single run. Forgotten are the trade rumors, the memory of a forgettable second half during which he attempted to match his 100 mph pitch reading during the All-Star game and his 8.44 ERA during spring training.

"What he is doing more is pitching, not just throwing, and he is getting good results," Manager Grady Little said.

Los Angeles, now 9-4, moved past the Diamondbacks and into first place by a half-game with the win.

Penny, taking a page out of Derek Lowe's playbook, is displaying an effective splitter that makes his fastball even more effective.

The Dodgers, in the meantime, supported him with five runs, scored one at a time in the first, second, third, fifth and seventh innings.

Nomar Garciaparra knocked in pair of runs, with a double and his first home run of the season. Juan Pierre and Andre Ethier, who seems to have shucked the slump that had him struggling, each had a pair of hits.

Juan Pierre showed signs of breaking out of his hitting malaise. The speedy outfielder beat out an infield single in the third and when Nomar Garciaparra bounced into what looked like a double play, he beat the throw to second.

He moved to third on a simple ground ball, arriving without a throw being mead and scored on a wild pitch.

Penny finally allowed a hit in the fourth inning. After Chad Tracy walked, Carlos Quentin slugged a double into the left-field corner. Luis Gonzalez quickly got the ball to shortstop Rafael Furcal and his relay to the plate nailed the runner attempting to side past catcher Russell Martin.

He allowed the only run in the sixth. Joe Beimel worked a scoreless eighth and Chad Billingsley matched him in the ninth.

Garciaparra double home Pierre in the first; Wilson Betemit's sac fly scored Martin in the second; Pierre scored on a wild pitch in the third, Garciaparra homered in the fifth and Jeff Kent got a painful RBI in the seven, being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Martin ran his hitting streak to eight games with a leadoff double in the second inning.
 Score by innings
Dodgers	111 010 100-5
Arizona	000 001 000-1

 Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  1  0  0  .176
Pierre cf	4  2  2  0  .204
Garciaparra 1b	4  1  2  2  .306
Kent 2b	        4  0  0  1  .239
Gonzalez lf	4  0  0  0  .292
 Clark lf	0  0  0  0  .308
Martin c	4  1  1  0  .356
Ethier rf	3  0  2  0  .276
Betemit 3b	2  0  1  1  .077
Penny p	        2  0  1  0  .286
 Saenz ph	1  0  0  0  .200
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Billingsley p	0  0  0  0  .000
    Totals	33 5 9 7
    Arizona	31 1 6 1

 2B- Garciaparra (5), Martin (3), 
Betemit (1). HR- Garciaparra (1). 
RBI- Garciaparra 2 (10), Betemit (3), 
Kent (5). S- Penny- SF- Betemit. 
SB- Pierre (5). CS- Ethier (1). LOB- 
Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 6. DP- 
Furcal, Kent and Garciaparra. 

 Dodgers	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Penny(3-0)	7.0  5  1-1  3  2  0.89
Beimel	        1.0  1  0-0  0  0  1.50
Billingsley	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  6.75
 HBP- Kent. Time- 2:31. Att- 27,427.
MRI For Schmidt-- Without admitting concern about Jason Schmidt's loss of velocity or that he was injured, the club reported that he had underwent a MRI on his shoulder and elbow.

"It's part of the process of trying to figure out what's going on," manager Grady Little said after Monday night's 5-1 win over Arizona. "We've got coaches looking at video from the previous year to see if there's anything we can recognize in the mechanics. We're exploring every avenue for what's making the difference in his pitching from before."

Schmidt's fastball is down some 10 mph from last season and during warmups before the game yesterday, he was not involved. At the present time, there is no plans to hold him out of a start.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Pierre played in his 285th consecutive game. …Kirk Gibson, Dodgers MVP with one swing of his bat in the 1988 world series, is bench coach with the Diamondbacks. He reported that he was interviewed for the Las Vegas. He was never offered the job and accepted the bench coach position with the DBacks. "If the Dodgers had offered the Vegas job, I would have taken it," he said. The Dodgers hired Lorenzo Bundy to manage Las Vegas. …Brett Tomko (0-0, 0.00), who overwhelmed Colorado in his debut one week ago, starts for the Dodgers Tuesday night against Micah Owings (1-1, 1.59). Tomko allowed only one hit over six innings and struck out nine in his first start of the season. He is 7-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 21 career games against Arizona and was 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in four games against the Diamondbacks last year. Jason Schmidt is penciled in for the Thursday start but that remains to be seen.

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