Big Padres Fourth Inning Sinks L.A.

With the search for addition batting punch seemingly solved, the Dodgers are now searching (again) for a fourth/fifth starter after Hong-Chic Kuo had an ugly, three inning effort -- his third bad outing in a row -- in which he allowed all seven runs in a 7-6 loss to the Padres.

Over a 162-game schedule, it is sometimes difficult to get your three important departments, pitching, fielding and hitting, clicking at the same time. This night the hits came (14) but the fielding (two errors) wasn't what was needed and the pitching was so-so: after Kou imploded in the fourth, Rudy seanez, Mark Hendrickson, Joe Beimel and Chin-hui Tsao were lights out, allowing only five hits and no runs over the final 5.2 innings

The loss dumped the Dodgers back into third place as the ever-churning division continues to punish each other, a condition that will probably continue all season long. That leaves the standings this way:
  N.L. West	  w-l   pct  gb
San Diego	45-33  .577  --
Arizona	        46-35  .568  0.5
Los Angeles	45-34  .563  1.0
Tsao's rehab inning at Las Vegas (one inning, one run) was apparently good enough for the Dodgers and he was handed a ticked to Los Angeles. They designated good-guy Marlon Anderson for assignment and have 10 days to trade, release or attempt to talk him into dropping down to AAA.

The Dodgers got to Padres starter Chris Young for seven hits and a pair of runs but the big fourth was an obstacle they could not jump over. They tried, chipping away and when they scored three in the eighth and one in the ninth, it looked as if they might make it, getting the tying run to second in the ninth.

They couldn't.

Kuo slid to 1-4 and his earned run average swelled to 7.42 after allowing six hits and six earned runs, all coming in the fourth inning. Errors by Rafael Furcal and James Loney didn't help.

The Dodgers did run wild on the bases, stealing five bases against Young and scoring twice in the first two innings but they trailed 7-2 going into the bottom of the eighth.

Pierre stole three, his season's best, and running his total to 29. Furcal nabbed his eighth and Martin boosted his L.A. catcher's record to 14.

The Dodgers scored in the first when Juan Pierre singled with one out in the first inning, stole second and third and scored on a groundout by Jeff Kent. In the third, Pierre, who has three hits, singled to score Furcal who had singled and stolen his eighth base.

Trailing 7-2, Russell Martin led off with double, followed by a Kent single. Wit one out Nomar Garciaparra, who had three hits in the game, and Loney knocked in runs. In the ninth, Furcal doubled and scored on a groundout by Martin, putting the Dodgers behind by just one run. Kent followed with a two-out double but Trevor Hoffman weathered the rally to pick up his 22nd save of the season.

The Padres are 6-4 against the Dodgers this season, including 2-2 in Los Angeles.

A pair of aces face each other tonight when when Brad Penny (10-1, 2.04 ERA) takes on and Jake Peavy (9-2, 2.14) in the second game of a three-game series.
	
 Score by innings
San Diego	010 600 000-7
Los Angeles	101 000 031-6

 Los Angeles	
Furcal ss	5  2  2  0  .274
Pierre cf	5  1  3  1  .277
Martin c	4  1  1  1  .298
Kent 2b	        5  1  2  1  .269
Gonzalez lf	5  0  0  0  .295
Garciaparra 3b	4  1  3  1  .273
Loney 1b	4  0  2  1  .478
Kemp rf	        4  0  0  0  .393
Kuo p	        1  0  0  0  .167
 Seanez p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Ethier ph	1  0  0  0  .276
 Hendrickson p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Abreu ph	1  0  1  0  .264
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Betemit ph	1  0  0  0  .194
 Tsao p	        0  0  0  0  .000
    Totals	40 6 14 6
    San Diego	35 7  9 6

 Error- Loney (3), Furcal (10). 2B- Martin (19), 
Furcal (14), Kent (18). RBI- Kent (39), Pierre (18), 
Garciaparra(39), Loney (14), Kemp (8), Martin (52). 
LOB- Los Angeles 8, San Diego 7. SB- Pierre 3 (29), 
Furcal (8), Martin (14).

 Los Angeles 	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kuo (1-4)	3.1  6  7-6  3  3  7.42
Seanez	        0.2  1  0-0  0  0  3.38
Hendrickson	3.0  2  0-0  1  2  4.08
Beimel	        1.0  0  0-0  0  2  4.50
Tsao	        1.0  0  0-0  0  0  2.34
 T- 3:25. Att- 52,050.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers hated to designate Marlon Anderson for assignment to make room for Tsao. Anderson, who helped the Dodgers make the playoffs last season, was mainly used as a pinch-hitter this season and was hitting .231 (6-for-26) with three runs scored and two RBIs. ...The Padres added Milton Bradley to their roster by trade and he will be in uniform on Sunday. Former Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta acquired him for the Dodgers and now DePodesta is a special assistant in the San Diego front office. ...Nomar Garciaparra made his third start at the third base for the Dodgers and his first at Dodger Stadium. He broke out of an 0-for-15 slump[ with three hits. ...Randy Wolf, who had two hits on Thursday, raised the pitching staff's batting average to .160, the fourth-best mark in the National League behind the Mets (.192), Cardinals (.181) and Phillies (.165). ...Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt turned 53 yesterday. He shares his birthday with former Dodgers Pedro Guerrero and Wilbert Robinson. It also marked the 17th anniversary of Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela's no-hitter against St. Louis at Dodger Stadium.  In winning 6-0 on June 29, 1990, the southpaw walked three batters and struck out seven.  On that same Friday night, Dave Stewart, a former Dodger, tossed a no-hitter for Oakland at Toronto. Today is the 45th anniversary of Sandy Koufax's National League-record fourth no-hitter.  On June 30, 1962, the Hall of Famer recorded 13 strikeouts in no-hitting the New York Mets. ...Since Bill Mueller took over as Dodger hitting coach, the team has posted a .295 batting average, .367 on-base percentage and .434 slugging percentage in 13 games. Prior to that, those figures were .260-.329-.381. ...Loney singled in the fourth inning and now has an eight-game hitting streak. Loney is now hitting .478 overall and .548 (17-for-31) during the streak. Martin doubled in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to nine games, which ties his season high. Martin is hitting .350 (14-for-40) during those nine contests. ...An announced crowd of 52,050 made the 14th time the club has gone over 50,000 in attendance this season.

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