The big right hander only struck out two, but he served up 13 ground ball outs in his seven innings of work and won his sixth game against two losses. He might consider switching to the National League when he reached free agent status; the win made him 10-3 against the senior league.
He also rubbed it in when he singled in a run in the second. It was only his second career hit (he was 1-for-29) and his first career RBI. He also singled in the fourth making him the first pitcher in franchise history to have a multi-hit game.
Jason Schmidt, also just coming off the disabled list, didn't resemble the pitcher that allowed San Diego one hit over six innings just a few days ago. He struggled with his location all afternoon, well the four innings he was around during the afternoon, and gave up nine hits and six runs, including a pair of home runs to third baseman Troy Glaus.
To give him credit due, a pair of seemingly catchable flys dropped untouched between Luis Gonzalez in left and Juan Pierre in center, perhaps costing Schmidt the first three runs he allowed.
When Schmidt went out, Pierre went with him in a double switch that inserted Matt Kemp into center field. Vin Scully pointed out, "We may be getting a look at the future," because the starting infield was rookies James Loney (first-23) and Tony Abreu (second-22), Rafael Furcal (short-29) and Wilson Betemit (third-25). Counting Russell Martin behind the plate (24) the seven position players averaged a tick over 24 years old.
Coincidentally, the four pitchers used, Schmidt, Hendrickson, Tomko and Saenz, averaged 34.3 years of age.
Mark Hendrickson came in to help out and got pounded for his trouble, surrendering six hits and four runs over three innings. Brett Tomko allowed a run in his only inning and Rudy Seanez worked a scoreless ninth.
Schmidt allowed more hits to the first two batters he faced than he did over the full six innings in San Diego and two of them scored.
The Dodgers bounced back with a two-out single by Russell Martin, his 10th stolen base, an RBI double by Luis Gonzalez, a walk to Wilson Betemit and then James Loney, fresh off the bus from Las Vegas, tied the game 2-2 with a single to left. Eight Dodgers went to the plate, two scored and three were left on base.
Had the crowd been psychic, they would have all trooped out to their cars and called home for the little woman to light the barbecue grill because they would be there soon.
Before the Dodgers collected another hit -- straight batters, Toronto led 9-2 and it was a case of roster juggling over the final innings to give regulars on both sides of the field the rest of the day off.
The Blue Jays put their leadoff man on base seven times during the game and six of them scored.
L.A. closed the gap a bit, Andre Ethier drawing a walk before Matt Kemp singled off Halladay's leg and Olmedo Saenz drove in Ethier with a fly that nearly reached the seats down the right field line.
In the ninth, pinch-hitter Jeff Kent walked, Kemp singled again and with two out, Gonzalez lined his second double of the game into the right field gap and drove in his second and third runs of the game.
San Diego lost to the Mariners and Arizona beat Boston, so the Padres lead the DBacks by .007 percentage points and the Dodgers by 1 1/2 games.
Things don't get much easier for the Dodgers. They host the NY Mets for three games, have Thursday off and then host the Angels. Their first opponent on the road trip that follows will again be Toronto.
Score by innings Toronto 212 041 010-11 Los Angeles 200 000 102- 5 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 3 0 1 0 .294 Saenz 3b 1 0 0 1 .216 Abreu 3b 5 1 0 0 .279 Martin c 2 1 1 0 .299 Lieberthal c 2 0 0 0 .214 Gonzalez lf 4 1 2 3 .293 Betemit 3b 3 0 1 0 .191 Loney 1b 4 0 1 1 .250 Ethier rf 2 1 0 0 .263 Pierre cf 2 0 0 0 .263 Hendrickson p 0 0 0 0 .000 Garciaparra ph 1 0 0 0 .273 Tomko p 0 0 0 0 .000 Seanez p 0 0 0 0 .000 Kent ph 0 1 0 0 .265 Schmidt p 1 0 0 0 .167 Kemp cf 3 0 2 0 .381 Totals 33 5 8 5 Toronto 40 11 16 9 Error- Pierre (3). 2B- Gonzalez 2 (12). RBI- Gonzalez 3 (26), Loney (1), Saenz (10). SF- Saenz. SB- Martin (10). LOB- Los Angeles 9, Toronto 7. DP- Betemit, Abreu and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Schmidt (1-3) 4.0 9 6-6 2 3 6.43 Hendrickson 3.0 5 4-4 1 5 4.50 Tomko 1.0 1 1-1 0 2 5.54 Seanez 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 2.90 WP- Tomko. HBP- Ethier. T- 3:04. Att- 50,183.Loney Gets the Call-- The Dodgers, frantically searching for some punch after their second 1-0 loss in five games, recalled first baseman-outfielder James Loney from Las Vegas and designated outfielder Brady Clark for assignment.
Loney, who just turned 23, hit .279 for Las Vegas with a homer and 32 RBI n 32 games. He arrived at Dodger Stadium just two hours before game time and then suddenly he was starting, batting sixth, in place of Nomar Garciaparra.
Manager Grady Little said that they had planned on giving Garciaparra more time off and haven't been able to do so. The moved will alleviate that.
Loney, the dodgers first round pick in the 2002 draft, hit .284 for the Dodgers in 48 games last season with four homers and 18 runs batted in. He drove in a club record nine runs against Colorado late in the season. He also led the team by hitting .414 during spring training.
"It feels great to be here," he said. "I' glad to get any opportunity to help the team in any way I can." Loney had played part of the time in Las Vegas in the outfield to increase his versatility.
Clark, 34, was acquired from Milwaukee in the spring. He played in 47 games and hit .224 (13-for-58) with no home runs and five runs batted in. The Dodgers have 10 days to either trade or release him.
"It's a business," Clark said. "And it's all part of the game. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise for me. Everything happens for a reason and there are 19 other teams that might have a place for me."
Martin Sets a Record-- Sophomore Russell Martin swiped his 10th base of the season in the first inning, becoming the first Dodger to move into double figures in consecutive seasons since Lew Ritter nabbed 16 in 1904 and 1905. No Los Angeles catcher has ever accomplished it. John Roseboro holds the L.A. record for catchers, collecting 12 in 1962 and 11 in 1958.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Longtime Dodgers fan Virginia Brickell, celebrating her 100th birthday, received an ovation when shown on Diamond Vision in the middle of the third inning.