Russell Again Stars as "My Favorite Martin"

He don't look at all like Ray Watson, or Christopher Lloyd who starred in the movie for that matter, but the Dodgers young catcher Russell Martin is is quickly becoming a cult hero in L.A. His first inning, three-run double was all the Dodgers needed on the offensive side of the books because Brad Penny handled the potent Milwaukee lineup easily while winning his sixth game against a single loss.

Martin not only got a great reception from the 35,609 fans in attendance, he nearly got hit in the head by reliever Carlos Villanueva in the fifth inning after hitting the ball out of the park but foul.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal singled to start the game, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Juan Pierre followed with a single and Nomar Garciaparra flew to the track in center. Jeff Kent drew a walk to load the bases.

Martin then lined a double into right-center field to empty the bases, taking third on the throw home. Luis Gonzalez's single to right field made it 4-0 after one inning.

Brad Penny was his usual self this night, earning his sixth win with seven scoreless innings during which he allowed six hits, struck out four and walked one. Joe Beimel worked a scoreless inning and newly-arrived Yhency Brazoban pitched the ninth, walking one but striking out the side.

Penny had eight straight quality starts to open the season, going 5-0 but he was tagged for eight runs in his previous start against the Angels. The win tied Penny for the National League lead with eight other pitchers, including teammate Randy Wolf. His ERA of 2.26 ranks second in the league and third in the Majors.

Martin nearly added a home run in the fifth inning, the ball curling toward the foul pole and was ruled fair, then after the umpires consulted, ruled foul. Martin was in the dugout by then and when he returned to the plate, he was nearly drilled in the head by Villanueva's first pitch.

First-base coach Mariano Duncan felt he knew which one and yelled at the Brewers' pitcher, then toward the Milwaukee dugout. They all yelled back and a huge baseball "fight" ensued. That is both dugouts emptied and everyone milled around looking threatening.

Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder pushed Duncan back with both hands and Martin, now playing the peacemaker, got between them. The game was delayed for several minutes by the rhubarb. "We were discussing what inning it was," Fielder said with a straight face. "Duncan said it was the sixth inning. I said it was the fifth. So we talked about it."

"I've been playing and coaching in the game a long time," Duncan said. "Villanueva has good control at the plate. It was intentional. I just let him know we're not going to take that."

The Dodgers added a run in the seventh after Pierre, who had two hits and two runs scored, walked, stole second (#17) and advanced to third on a balk. Martin, proving he wasn't intimidated by the inixplicable near-beaning, hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to score Juan Pierre, giving him a career-high four RBI.

Manager Grady Little, with his usual good old boy manner and a smile, said, "Russell's going to be OK in five or six years." Then he added, "He's some kind of special player. We're glad he's on our team."

Yhency Brazoban pitched for the Dodgers for the first time in more than a year after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He walked one but got all three outs on strikeouts.

Brazoban is Back-- Brazoban was the setup man for Eric Gagne in 2004 and when Eric went down in 2005 he rang up a rookie record 21 saves before going down himself and undergoing Tommy John surgery. After missing all of 2006, he appeared in 11 games for the 51s, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out 14 in 13.2 innings.

The Dodgers purchased the contract of Brazoban from Las Vegas and placed Chin-hui Tsao on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Tsao was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 relief appearances.

"I feel very good," said Brazoban who was throwing 93-95 mph while pitching for the 51s. "It's been a long road since the injury. I'm just looking forward to getting back and helping the team.Every game my arm was feeling a little better," said Brazoban, who lost some weight since he last pitched for the Dodgers. "It was improving every game."

Tsao injured his shoulder throwing a slider in the bullpen Tuesday. An MRI on his shoulder was negative. He missed all of last year and had surgery to repair a torn labrum and injury to the rotator cuff.

"This time it's in the back of my shoulder. I don't feel it's serious," Tsao said through a translator. "I don't worry about it."

With Brazoban's arrival, Brett Tomko had a seat reserved for him in the bullpen. Tomko, who was 1-5 with a 6.28 ERA as a starter, will be available starting Friday.

The Dodgers won't need a fifth starter until June 2 in Pittsburgh and Hong Chih-Kuo, now starting at Las Vegas, is the leading candidate, Little said. Kuo worked four innings and struck out four against Tucson Wednesday night.
 Score by innings
Milwaukee	000 000 010-1
Los Angeles	400 000 10x-5

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  1  2  0  .306
Pierre cf	4  2  2  0  .270
Garciaparra 1b	4  0  1  0  .282
Kent 2b	        2  1  0  0  .288
Martin c	2  1  1  4  .314
Gonzalez lf	4  0  3  1  .275
 Clark pr-lf	0  0  0  0  .256	
LaRoche 3b	4  0  0  0  .206
Ethier rf	4  0  2  0  .277
Penny p	        2  0  0  0  .200
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Saenz ph	0  0  0  0  .000
 Abreu pr	0  0  0  0  .000
 Brazoban p	0  0  0  0  .000
   Totals	31 5 12 5
   Milwaukee	32 1  8 1

 2B- Martin (13), Gonzalez (6). RBI- Martin 4 (32),
Gonzalez (16). S- Penny. SF-Martin. SB- Gonzalez	
(3). Pierre (17). CS- Martin (1), Kernt (1). DP
Furcal, Kent and Garciaparra;' Beimel, Furcal and

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Penny (6-1)	7.0  6  0-0  2  4  2.26
Beimel	        1.0  2  1-1  0  0  3.80
Brazoban	1.0  0  0-0  1  3  0.00
 HBP- Kent. T- 2:51. Att- 35,609.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The game marked exactly five years since the day the Dodgers tied a franchise record with nine home runs against the Brewers at Milwaukee -- four of them by Shawn Green to tie a major league record. ...Furcal returned to the leadoff spot in the order after hitting in the two-hole the two previous games. Juan Pierre and Furcal will alternate with Furcal hitting leadoff against lefties and Pierre against righties. ...Starting pitcher Jason Schmidt will throw a simulated game on Friday. He is expected to throw a minimum of 60 pitches, but may throw more depending on how he feels. ...Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and Little will be among those spending their day off today at Trump National Golf Club for the sixth annual Dodgers Dream Foundation's Charity Golf Invitational.

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