Dodgers Trail Padres by .001

The rolling and tumbling scramble in the N.L. West continued and in a game so numbingly long that one could have read (but not understood) "Pilgrims Progress", Los Angeles used 16 hits and six walks to out-last the Diamondbacks 9-5 and take home three wins in the four contests, finish the long-distance road trip 6-4 and move back into first place along with San Diego.

Russell Martin slugged a 434-foot home run on an 0-2 pitch into the seats in dead center off Randy Johnson who has just spent 18 days on the disabled list to set the pace of the game in the first inning. Johnson, well off his location through 77 pitches, left after three innings trailing 4-0.

James Loney singled in a run in the third and an error cost the DBacks the fourth run. Two more rolled across in the fourth on Jeff Kent's single and when the Dodgers had recorded yet another two-run inning, this one in the sixth on a passed ball and Wilson Abreu's sac fly, the Dodgers were seemingly home safe with an 8-1 lead.

Kent's third RBI of the game made it 9-1 in the top of the inning before Arizona finally drove Randy Wolf (9-6) out of the game in the seventh. Wolf, who was difficult to hit, walked six to keep the game interesting but needed Brett Tomko to get out of the seventh when the DBacks scored twice.

Two more runs in the ninth off Brett Tomko cut the lead to four and, reluctantly, manager Grady Little called in Takashi Saito to (finally) get the the last two outs for his 22nd save and end the game just short of the 3 1/2 hour mark.

The Dodgers again left 13 men on base, as they had the night before in a 2-0 shutout, but they put a total of 23 on base to make up for it.

The top four in the lineup -- Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, Martin and Kent -- went 10-for-21 with Martin and Kent collecting three of the hits each eight of the runs and five of the RBUs.

Loney's RBI single was hit only hit and it "dropped" his average to .476.

"It is really amazing what Loney has done since he came up," said Wolf . "When he is up there, it almost feels like he is going to get a hit every time, or at least have a good at-bat. A guy like that has a big impact."

Los Angeles again went 11-games over .500 (45-34) and moved into a virtual tie for first place, trailing idle San Diego by .001 percentage points. Things don't get any easier tonight when they face the Padres' Chris Young (7-3, 2.08) with Hong-Chih Kuo (1-3, 6.33) on the mound in the opener of a 10-game Dodgers homestand.
 Score by innings
Los Angeles	202 202 100-9
Arizona	        000 100 202-5

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi ave
Furcal ss	5  1  2  0  .272
Pierre cf	6  2  2  0  .272
Martin c	6  3  3  2  .299
Kent 2b	        4  2  3  2  .266
 Tomko p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Saito p	0  0  0  0  .000
Gonzalez lf	3  0  0  0  .301
 Ethier lf	0  0  0  0  .279
Kemp rf	        5  1  2  0  .421
Loney 1b	4  0  1  1  .476
Abreu 3b-2b	4  0  1  1  .277
Wolf p	        4  0  2  0  .172
 Betemit 3b	1  0  0  0  .195
    Totals	43 9 16 6
    Arizona	34 5  9 5

 Error- Martin (7). 2b- Martin (18). 
HR- Martin (9). RBI-Martin 2 (51), Loney (13), 
Kent 2 (38), Abreu (9). SF- Abreu. LOB- Los 
Angeles 13, Arizona 10. SB- Kemp (3). 
DP- Kent, Furcal and Loney.

 Los Angeles	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Wolf (9-6)	6.0  4  3-3  6  4  4.33
Tomko	        2.1  5  2-2  1  2  5.56
Saito (sv 22)	0.2  0  0-0  0  1  1.38
 HBP- Gonzalez. T- 3:29. Att- 26,526.
Martin to Start-- And although the results not be announced until Sunday, Russell Martin will be the National League's starting catcher for this year's All-Star Game on July 10 at San Francisco, making him the first Canadian-born backstop ever to start a Midsummer Classic. Martin led the former Dodger Paul Lo Duca by more than 200,000 votes in the most recent polling data released last Monday.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Reliever Chin-hui Tsao, who has been on the 15-day disabled list for more than a month with a strained right shoulder, worked his second one-inning stint for Las Vegas on Wednesday night. throwing 17 pitches. Dodgers manager Grady Little is ready to add another rested arm to the bullpen and it may mean infielder Tony Abreu, despite his first game-winning home run in the 10th just three nights ago. Abreu became the 11th Dodger and fourth since moving to Los Angeles to hit his first Major League homer in extra innings. The only other L.A. Dodgers to accomplish the feat were Dioner Navarro (8/12/05), Raul Mondesi (7/31/93) and Gordie Windhorn (9/11/61) while Brooklyn notables include Pee Wee Reese (5/26/40) and Johnny Roseboro (7/19/57), according to David Vincent of SABR. ...The Dodgers are expected to hit 175 million in home attendance since 1901 on Tuesday night against Atlanta, making them the first professional sports franchise in history to reach that figure. "It has been said for many years that the Dodgers have the greatest fans in the world, and after this, there will be no doubt," Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said in a release issued by the club. "The Dodgers are one of the greatest franchises in all of sports, and we can not thank the fans enough for helping us reach this incredible milestone." ...The 39-year-old Luis Gonzalez leads Dodgers regulars with a .304 average, is tied for the club lead with 10 homers and 17 doubles and is second with 39 RBIs. He's played 74 of 78 games and has played at least 148 games in nine of the last 10 years. ... Infielder Ramon Martinez, healing from a pulled back muscle, said he likely will go out on a rehab assignment early next week.  

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