Angels Rain on Dodgers Parade -- Again

They say if you live with a person for a length of time, you begin to look like them. That may not be true, but if you do start to act like your partner and the Angels have certainly patterned themselves after their manager Mike Sciosica -- taking advantage of any mistake, manufacturing runs, and creating opportunities to win, which is what they did Saturday night in a workman-like 6-2 victory.

Scioscia, a long-time Dodger All-Star, pointed just that out after the game. "We put guys in motion," he said. "Our situational hitting was there. We were 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position. We got guys on base, and we got clutch hits. Offensively, there is much more chemistry now than at any time this year."

While a lob is an effective weapon in tennis, a LOB is to be avoided in baseball because it means runners 'left on base' and 10 of them were credited to the Dodger side of the box score. The Dodgers entered the game having stranded 326 baserunners this season and took over the lead last night.

The result was they lost for the 19th time in the past 20 occasions in games against an American League team on the road.

With a second-straight record crowd of 44,380 on hand, the Angeles handled a Dodger pitcher who is having a strong start. After tacking Brad Penny and his 1.39 ERA the night before, they rapped Mark Hendrickson for six runs -- five earned -- and put things away in a three-run sixth that turned a 3-2 lead into the 6-2 final score.

The killing blow came from Robb Quinlan with one out and two runners in scoring position. He dumped a checked-swing looper just over shortstop Rafael Furcal and just in front of left fielder Luis Gonzalez for a double and two RBI.

A pair of double play balls, one they Dodgers made and one they didn't, cost them a run each early in the game. In the first Vladimir Guerrero bounced into what looked like a routine 4-6-3 DP but Kent skipped the ball past Nomar Garciaparra at first and the Angels led 1-0.

In the fifth, a walk and a single set up another double play opportunity and they turned it this time but the runner scored from third base to break a 2-2 tie.

The Dodgers, who are third in the National League in on-base percentage, were were batting a semi-respectable .268 with runners in scoring position, they were 1-for-8 in the loss after going 1-for-7 the night before.

Kent slugged his sixth home run in the second inning and they scored again in the fourth inning when Luis Gonzalez walked and later scored on Andre Ethier's single. That ended the Dodgers' offense for the evening.

Young Jered Weaver (3-3), picked up the win of the season, allowing two runs on five hits in 6.2 innings, was let off the hook by Dodgers hitters in the third, fourth and seventh innings.

Now down 2-0 in the series, the Dodgers are on the verge of being swept by the Angels for the first time at Angel Stadium since June 2005. The Dodgers now have an 80-83 record in Interleague Play and a 26-32 record vs. the Angels.

Arizona beat Pittsburgh while both San Diego and San Francisco lost and the Dodgers' NL West lead is a slim game and a half. They send veteran righty Derek Lowe (4-4, 3.90 ERA) against Angels right-hander Kelvim Escobar (4-2, 3.35 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series this afternoon.
 Score by innings
Dodgers	010 010 000-2
Angels	110 013 00x-6

 Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  0  1  0  .296
Pierre cf	4  0  1  0  .277
Garciaparra 1b	4  0  1  0  .290
Kent 2b	        4  1  1  1  .285
Gonzalez lf	3  1  0  0  .261
Martin dh	4  0  0  0  .317
Betemit 3b	3  0  0  0  .187
Ethier rf	4  0  2  1  .281
Lieberthal c	3  0  1  0  .217
   Totals	34 2  7 2
   Angels	32 6 10 4

 Error- Kent (8). 2B- Liebenthal (1), Pierre
(5), HR- Kent (6). RBI- Kent (22), Ethier
(22). SB- Gonzalez (2). LOB- Dodgers 10,
Angels 5. DP- Furcal, Kent and Garciaparra 2.

 Dodgers	        in  h  r-er bb so  era
Hendrickson (2-1)	6.2  9  6-5  2  3  3.22
Tsao	                0.1  0  0-0  1  0  3.00
Billingsley	        1.0  1  0-0  0  0  3.63
 T- 2:26. Att- 44.380.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Russell Martin, who gets to play even when he is given a day off, served as the designated hitter but was hitless in four trips. Martin led all Major League catchers in runs (27) stolen bases (seven) and walks (18)going into the game. He was tied for first among catchers with 46 hits and 26 RBIs, was hitting .326 and has started 38 out of 42 games this season. ...Wilson Betemit has been given more chances than than some might expect, started at third base and was 0-for-3. Over the last two weeks Betemit had hit four home runs and was tied for second on the team behind Jeff Kent. He was is 4-for-5 with three home runs, a double and six RBIs as a pinch-hitter but as 10-for-70 (.143) as a starter with a home run, three doubles and seven RBIs. ...Rafael Furcal hasn't shown any signs of slowing down after recording three four-hit games in a row against the Cardinals on the recent homestand. He came into the game with 17 hits in his last 24 at-bats -- a .708 mark -- has raised had batting average 87 points in the last seven games. ...Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News reported that outfielders Matt Kemp and Delwyn Young, who are close friends and roommates at Las Vegas, got into a minor shoving match during batting practice before Thursday game in Portland. No punches were thrown and apparently the two were suspended for one game each. Tempers flare over the long baseball season but this is pretty early for that sort of thing.

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