Braves Calm Dodger Bats in 5-2 Loss

The three-day all-star break can't come soon enough. The shuttle between Dodger Stadium and Frank Jobe's hospital has put a driver on permanently, waiting outside the clubhouse with the motor running. Lefthanders Randy Wolf and Hong-Chih Kuo have been placed on the disabled list and Joe Beimel spent the night in the hospital. In between,

Atlanta finally cooled off the Dodger bats and won a 5-2 decision despite a strong start by Mark Hendrickson.

Hendrickson has received the worst run support of any pitcher in baseball with a minimum of 163 innings since the start of 2006, getting just 3.24 runs. This night was no different.

Hendrickson's first start in more than a month, lasted 77 pitches during which the big lefthander allowed seven hits, a pair of runs and recorded four strikeouts. He left the game trailing 2-1 and manager Grady Little waived in Brett Tomko.

One of the things that Little's players like about him is his loyalty and this move was an example of just that.

Tomko, who struggled as a starter, struggled for his fourth consecutive relief appearance, retiring only one of the five batters he faced. Three hits, a walk and he was back in the clubhouse and the Dodgers were down 4-2.

In his past four appearances, Tomko has allowed seven runs on 14 hits over 5.1 innings, giving him an ugly 11.82 ERA over that stretch and raising his overall figure to 6.14.

"Everybody goes through times like Brett is going through right now, and more times than not, they get out of it," Little said. "But the only way they do get out of it is by getting back on the mound and having success. We will continue to give him opportunities, because that is the only way to get him going."

He's allowed runs in six of his last eight appearances, and the fans boo when he appears out of the bullpen and when he leaves the field.

Overall, it was a day of bad news for the lefthanded department of the pitching staff. Randy Wolf was placed on the disabled list with what the club says is a minor shoulder problem. Hong-Chih Kuo joined him on the DL with pains in his often-patched pitching elbow and Joe Beimel was hospitalized overnight with an irregular heart.

The Dodgers struggled with the Atlanta pitching staff, collecting seven hits and a pair of runs after losing a couple opportunities in the first two innings.

They left Juan Pierre on third with one out in the first, and left the bases loaded in the second.

After Hendrickson gave up a two-run single in the fifth to Chipper Jones, doubles by Andre Ethier and Juan Pierre cut the margin to 2-1.

The in the sixth, Jeff Kent led off with a double, and James Loney followed with a single, putting Kent on third. Nomar Garciaparra walked on four pitches to load the bases with none out but Matt Kemp bounced into a double play, scoring one and Andre Ethier bounced back to the pitcher killing the inning.

Rudy Seanez, the approaching-forty year old who surprised many when he earned a spot on the pitching staff, again smoothed the waters by getting out of the inning and keeping the score relatively close. He was was appearing in his third consecutive game and on pace for 72 for the season.

Chin-hui Tsao followed Seanez and allowed a solo home run to Andruw Jones in the seventh before Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito added two more scoreless innings.

San Diego won to drop the Dodgers just a bit over one game behind. Brad Penny (10-1, 2.00) starts against Tim Hudson (8-5, 3.18) tonight.

The all-star break just can't come soon enough.
	
 Score by innings
Atlanta	        000 022 100-5
Los Angeles	000 011 000-2

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  0  1  0  .277
Pierre cf	4  0  3  1  .278
 Saenz ph	1  0  0  0  .215
Martin c	4  0  0  0  .301
Kent 2b	        4  1  1  0  .266
Loney 1b	3  0  1  0  .381
Garciaparra 3b	3  0  0  0  .269
Kemp rf	        4  0  0  0  .382
Ethier lf	4  0  2  0  .280
Hendrickson p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Gonzalez ph	1  0  0  0  .290
 Tomko p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Seanez p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Tsao p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Abreu ph	1  0  0  0  .284
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Betemit ph	1  0  0  0  .208
    Totals	34 2  8 1
    Atlanta	38 5 11 5

 Error- Garciaparra (5). 2B- Pierre 2 (13), Ethier
(15), Kent (20). RBI- Pierre (20). SB- Pierre (33).
LOB- Los Angeles 9, Atlanta 8.

 Los Angeles	        ab  h  r-er bb so  era
Hendrickson (2-4)	5.0  7  2-2  0  4  4.05
Tomko	                0.1  3  2-2  1  1  6.14
Seanez	                0.2  0  0-0  0  0  3.15
Tsao	                1.0  1  1-1  0  0  3.00
Broxton	                1.0  0  0-0  0  1  2.86
Saito	                1.0  0  0-0  0  2  1.26
 T- 3:08. Att- 56,000.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Reliever Joe Beimel was hospitalized before Tuesday night's game with the Braves with an irregular heartbeat. Beimel experienced the episode during batting practice on Tuesday and was taken to Centinela Hospital, where he will remain undergoing tests until at least Thursday. ...Randy Wolf, who left Tuesday night's game with shoulder bursitis that began bothering him a month ago and worsened considerably this week, was put on the disabled list and replaced on the roster by left-handed starter Eric Stults, who was 5-5 with a huge 7.11 ERA at Las Vegas. ...Hong-Chih Kuo was optioned to Las Vegas on Saturday after getting knocked around Friday night by the Padres and before leaving had an MRI exam on his left elbow on Sunday, and the option was cancelled. Instead, he was placed him on the DL. Head Trainer Stan Conte said "it doesn't appear to be the ligament at all, and that's good news." Kuo will be shut down for seven to 10 days then will resume a light throwing program. .... The Dodgers fell to 85-81-2 on the Fourth of July, including 25-25 since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. ... Dodgers All-Star starting catcher Russell Martin went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, snapping his career-high 12-game hitting streak.

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