Kids Take Over in Tampa Bay Win

Baseball teams schedule any number of special "nights" to boost their attendance but an unscheduled "Kids Night" saw a glimpse of the future when five of the clubs Best and Brightest collected 10 hits, three runs and four runs batted in during a 6-3 win over Tampa Bay. Veterans Derek Lowe and Luis Gonzalez helped considerably as L.A. slipped back into first in the congested N.L. West

San Diego, Arizona and the red-hot Rockies lost, tightening things up considerably and leaving the standings this way:
 N.L. West	w-l   pre   gb
Los Angeles	42-31  .575   --
San Diego	41-31  .569   0.5
Arizona	        42-32  .568   0.5
Colorado	38-35  .521   4.0 
San Francisco	30-42  .417  11.5
Contributing toward the win were catcher Russell Martin (2-for-4, 2 RBI), first baseman James Loney (3-for-5, one RBI), right fielder Matt Kemp (2-for-4), Andre Ethier (2-for-4) and third baseman Tony Abreu (1-for-4).

"Old Folks" Luis Gonzalez, who had a large group of friends and relatives from the area in attandance, smacked a triple and a single, knocking in a pair of runs and second baseman Jeff Kent tripled and singled.

Derek Lowe worked into the seventh inning, allowing all three Devil Ray runs while winning his eighth game and Takashi Saito saved his 20th.

Gonzalez's ninth homer got the team on the scoreboard in the second, and he became only the fourth Dodgers (Olmedo Saenz, Mike Kinkade and Chad Kreuter) to homer in interleague play.

James Loney was able to score from second on a routine flyout later in the inning, helped by a throwing error by shortstop Brendan Harris.

Martin gave the Dodgers a temporary 4-0 lead in the fifth when he whacked a two-run single that scored a pair of rabbits, Rafael Furcal and Juan Pierre.

He also stole his 12th base of the season after drawing a walk in the first inning, to tie John Roseboro for the Los Angeles record by a catcher, set in 1962. The franchise record is 17, set by Lew Ritter in 1904.

Lowe allowed one hit over the first four innings before walking Carlos Pena in the fifth and he later scored the first TB run. Carl Crawford's RBI triple in the sixth made it 4-2 and after Delmon Young homered with two outs in the seventh, he gave the ball to Rudy Seanez, who got the final out of the inning.

Now leading by a single run, Kent and Gonzalez each slugged a triple in the eighth, with Loney knocking Gonzo in to close the scoring.

Gonzalez's eighth-inning RBI came was his 119th in Interleague Play, which saw him pass the Yankees' Jason Giambi and put him in sole possession of seventh on the all-time list.

The veteran, who'll turn 40 in September, has had a remarkable June, hitting .294 (20-for-68), with eight doubles, a triple, three homers and 16 RBIs.

Joe Beimel pitched a hitless eighth and Takashi Saito allowed a pair of hits in the ninth but saved his 20th of the season in 21 opportunities.

Lowe improved to 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA in June, with 25 strikeouts compared to just three walks.

"This guy has probably pitched well enough to have 11 or 12 wins so far this season," Little said after the game. "A lot of days, we haven't scored very many runs for him. A couple of times, he's pitched a complete game and gotten a loss. He certainly deserves a better fate than what he's gotten so far this year."

Tonight left-hander Randy Wolf (8-5, 4.24 ERA) oppose Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.10) in the second game of the series.
 Score by innings
Los Angeles	020 020 020-6
Tampa Bay	000 111 000-3

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  1  1  0  .274
Pierre cf	5  1  1  0  .274
Martin c	4  0  2  2  .291
Kent 2b	        5  1  2  0  .266
 Betemit pr-3b	0  0  0  0  .198
Gonzalez dh	5  2  2  2  .292
Loney 1b	5  1  3  1  .400
Kemp rf	        4  0  2  0  .432
Ethier lf	4  0  2  0  .276
Abreu 3b-2b	4  0  1  0  .273
   Totals	41 6 16 5
   Tampa Bay	34 3  7 3	

 Error- Loney (1). 2B- Loney (2), Ethier (12).
3b- Kent (1). HR- Gonzalez (9). RBI- Gonzalez
2 (28), Martin 2 (47), Loney (5). SB- Martin-
(12). LOB- Los Angeles 9, Tampa Bay 5. 

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Lowe (8-6)	6.2  5  3-3  1  5  3.14
Seanez	        0.1  0  0-0  0  0  3.71
Beimel 	        1.0  2  0-0  0  2  3.23
Saito (sv 20)	1.0  2  0-0  0  2  1.45
 T- 2:45. Att- 14,961.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Chin-hui Tsao will begin a rehab assignment soon, manager Grady Little said. The right-handed reliever is recovering from the shoulder irritation he experienced at the end of May. He will throw a final bullpen session either Sunday or Monday, and then head off to one of the team's Minor League teams. ...Both teams will wear throwback jerseys on Saturday night as part of the celebration of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. The current Dodgers will wear replica jerseys from 1955, while the Rays will sport threads identical to those of the 1950s-era St. Petersburg Saints of the Florida State League. Former Dodger infielder Don Zimmer, now a Tampa Bay coach, will be honored with bobblehead giveaway as three of Zimmer's 1955 teammates will also be on hand including Hall of Famer Duke Snider, as well as Johnny Podres and Carl Erskine. ...The Dodgers' win on Thursday over the Jays clinched the first Interleague road series win for L.A. since July 2-4, 2004, against the Angels. ...Los Angeles CF Juan Pierre played in his 345th consecutive game.

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