The hit ended an evening filled with Dodger baserunners and Dodger runners left on base, ending with Los Angeles back in first place, although by the slimmest of margins. Colorado dumped San Francisco 9-7 and San Diego stopped Washington 3-0.
NL West w-l pct gb Los Angeles 16-11 .593 -- Arizona 16-12 .571 0.5 San Francisco 13-12 .520 2.0 San Diego 14-13 .519 2.0 Colorado 11-16 .407 5.0After Furcal had walked with the bases loaded in the second inning for a 1-0 Dodger lead, Penny smothered the Diamondback offense, scattering three hits and four walks over six shutout innings, lowering his earned-run average to 1.64.
And the Dodger defense was still struggling with the 17-inning hangover in San Diego, with Marlon Anderson, starting in place of Nomar Garciaparra at first, dropping a popup in foul territory in front of the bag and Furcal missing a perfect throw from Russell Martin on an attempted steal, then Martin bobbling a pitch and allowed a stolen base without a throw.
After Chin-hui Tsao worked a scoreless seventh, Jonathan Broxton took over and with one out, Eric Byrnes hit a sinking liner toward right field. Ethier attempted one of his patented shoestring catches but the ball zinged past him and all the way to the bullpen gate for a triple. The ball was charitably scored as a triple.
Orlando Hudson lined shot to center where Juan Pierre cautiously allowed i to bounce in front of him and the game was tied.
But in the ninth, Furcal singled up the middle off reliever Brandon Lyon (2-1). Pierre bunted him to second and Furcal went to third on Wilson Valdez's groundout. Saenz nailed a two-out, two-strike pitch up the middle to drive Furcal home and end the game.
The Dodgers have scored four runs in their past 32 innings, but have won two of those three games. Hitless were five who played in the long win in San Diego, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Juan Pierre, Brady Clark and Ramon Martinez combining for a cold 0-for-10.
Tuesday night they left eight runners in scoring position and scored the first run off struggling Livan Hernandez on a bases-loaded walk to Furcal. Twice they left the bases loaded and even Nomar Garciaparra, who had been a major league 11-for-20 (.550) with runners in scoring position, popped out with a runner at second to end the eighth.
Perhaps as relieved as Sanez, starter Derek Lowe was warmed and ready to pitch the 10th inning as Grady Little's bullpen started to show some wear and tear.
Little was lavish in his praise of Penny. "This guy last year was trying to overpower everybody, but this year he's doing some serious pitching," said Little. "He's doing an excellent job."
The series, and at least a temporary spot in first place, will be decided today in a rare mid-week day game. Mark Hendrickson (1-0, 1.66) opposes Doug Davis (2-2, 2.79) on Disney School Field Trip Day at Dodger Stadium.
Score by innings Arizona 000 000 010-1 Los Angeles 010 000 001-2 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 1 2 1 .218 Pierre cf 3 0 1 0 .276 Anderson 1b 2 0 0 0 .235 Valdez 3b 2 0 0 0 .250 Kent 2b 4 0 1 0 .316 Gonzalez lf 3 0 0 0 .267 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Saito p 0 0 0 0 .000 Saenz ph 1 0 1 1 .222 Martin c 3 1 1 0 .315 Ethier rf 3 0 2 0 .267 Betemit 3b 2 0 0 0 .120 Tsao p 0 0 0 0 .000 Clark lf 1 0 0 0 .267 Penny p 2 0 0 0 .231 Gparra ph-1b 1 0 0 0 .304 Totals 31 2 8 2 Arizona 31 1 5 1 Error- Anderson (1). 2B- Martin (8), Kent (8), Furcal (4). RBI- Furcal (6), Saenz (4). S- Pierre 2. SB- Anderson (1). LOB- Los Angeles 13, Arizona 8. DP- Kent, Furcal and Anderson. Los Angeles ab h r-er bb so9 era Penny 6.0 3 0-0 4 4 1.64 Tsao 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 0.00 Broxton 1.0 2 1-1 1 1 1.23 Saito (1-0) 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 1.32 T- 3:02. Att- 36,029.Dodger Blue Notes-- Little plans to start Brett Tomko on Friday in Atlanta, followed by Derek Lowe on Saturday and Randy Wolf on Sunday. That means Tomko will be pitching four days after throwing 21 pitches in relief Monday night. He also said that his bullpen situation would be reevaluated when Yhency Brazoban is ready to return, which could be by the weekend. He will pitch on back-to-back days tonight and Friday for Las Vegas. Hong-Chih Kuo will make a second rehab start for Las Vegas and will make at least a third. …The Dodgers are on pace to draw a club-record 3.92 million in attendance for the year, having already reached 665,432 customers, the highest total in baseball. They are averaging 47,531 each night...On hand Tuesday night was 1988 World Series hero Kirk Gibson, who serves as Arizona's bench coach, and Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who pitched for Oakland in that series. ...The Dodgers have struck out just 134 times this season, the second-lowest total in the National League. Leading the way are Nomar Garciaparra, Juan Pierre and Luis Gonzalez, who rank sixth, seventh and ninth in the NL. ...Penny was attempting become the first Dodger starting pitcher to begin the season 4-0 since Kazuhisa Ishii went 6-0 with a 2.95 ERA in his first six starts in 2002. ...The Dodgers have not lost a game yet this season when leading or tied after eight innings, posting a 14-0 record, the third-best mark in baseball. ...Luis Gonzalez hit his fourth homer of the year on Sunday and 327th career homer as a left fielder. Only three players in Major League history have more homers than Gonzalez at that position, according to David Vincent of the Society of American Baseball Research – Barry Bonds (699), Ted Williams (477) and Ralph Kiner (334). Rounding out the Top Five is Babe Ruth with 313. ...Juan Pierre leads the NL in at-bats (116), ranks second in stolen bases (12) and ranks sixth in runs scored (21). Pierre, who stole two bases on Sunday and is on pace for a career-high 75 steals which would rank sixth in franchise history and third since the club moved to Los Angeles. ...Jeff Kent's homer on Sunday gives him 347 for his career, a number that was equaled last night by Atlanta's Andruw Jones for 76th place on the all-time list. Both players are one homer short of George Foster for 75th place. Kent now has 1,397 RBI in his career which ranks 64th all-time, seven shy of Juan Gonzalez (1,404).