L.A. Leaves 11 on Base in 7-2 loss

It was a matchup of starters who have had sub-par run support and Marlin Sergio Mitre drew the long straw, besting Derek Lowe 7-2. Mitre (3-4) was 0-2 over his previous seven outings, despite allowing only 16 earned runs in 41.1 innings. Lowe (8-8) came into the game with the sixth-lowest ERA in the National League but has only eight wins. In Lowe's eight losses, L.A. has scored just nine runs.

The young Florida team, who have won 19 of their last 29 games on the road, have done all the right things in the first two games of the series, hitting with men on base, playing tough defense and getting just enough pitching to win.

The Dodgers are struggling, both at the plate and on the mound. They collected 12 hits in the game, four of them by first baseman James Loney (boosting his average to .393), but left five in scoring position, made a pair of costly errors, each of which cost a run, and have had trouble quelling the pesky Marlin hitters.

Lowe lost to Mitre for the second time. In their first meeting, Mitre allowed only three hits in eight scoreless innings and had to settle for a no-decision but a three-run homer by Miguel Canberra in the ninth beat Lowe 3-0.

"When your run support is not up to par, it has to play on the mental side of it, because it's really tough to separate it," Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. "There's not a whole lot you can do on that side, but sometimes that leaks into your thought process. That's when you try to make pitches better than they need to be."

Honeycutt should know. In 1987 he was the one in the barrel. With the team scoring nearly four runs per game, he received 2.6 and the Dodgers were 3-17 over his 20 starts.

The Dodgers slipped two full games behind San Diego after their fourth straight loss.

The contrast in power between the two clubs is apparent. Cabrera hit a solo home run and Willingham added a two-run shot to give Florida a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Pinch-hitter Todd Linden tagged reliever D.J. Houlton with a leadoff homer in the ninth.

Los Angeles collected 12 singles and left 11 on base. The Dodgers have stranded 36 baserunners in the past three games.

In the fourth inning, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Nomar Garciaparra and James Loney had consecutive singles. And one run.

In the second inning, after Nomar Garciaparra and Loney each hit a two-out single, Andre Ethier grounded to second.

In the fourth inning, after Jeff Kent scored on Loney's single and Luis Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second, Ethier came up again with two outs and two men on. He lined back to mound.

In the eighth inning, after a single by Loney and walk to Matt Kemp, Rafael Furcal popped to short, ending another potential run-scoring inning.

"Well, it was the simple fact that we had 12 singles out there and they had a few balls that left the park," Little said. "What it was kind of like is when you used to watch those old Westerns and the guy would take a knife to a gun fight. That's pretty much how it turned out."

Lowe made 114 pitches, giving him 325 pitches over his past three outings.

"I'm very happy tomorrow is coming," Lowe said. "This All-Star break, I can't wait to get there. It will be nice to kind of get away from the game for four days."

The Dodgers play the finale of the three-game series today in the last game before the All-Star break. Hendrickson (2-4, 4.05 ERA) and almost anyone in the bullpen that isn't exhausted will face the Marlins who'll start lefty Scott Olsen (6-6, 5.01 ERA).
 Score by innings
Florida	        000 300 202-7
Los Angeles	000 100 100-2

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  0  0  0  .271
Pierre cf	5  1  2  0  .280
Martin c	4  0  1  0  .302
Kent 2b	        5  1  2  1  .278
Gonzalez lf	4  0  1  0  .292
Garciaparra 3b	4  0  2  0  .273
Loney 1b	4  0  4  1  .393
Ethier rf	3  0  0  0  .278
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Betemit 3b	1  0  0  0  .206
 Houlton p	0  0  0  0  .000
Lowe p	        2  0  0  0  .176
 Kemp rf	1  0  0  0  .349
   Totals	38 2 12 2
   Florida	34 7 12 6

 Error- Loney (4), Houlton (1). RBI- Loney (16),
Kent (41). SB- Pierre (34). LOB- Los Angeles
11, Florida 6. 

 Los Angeles	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Lowe (8-8)	6.1  10  5-4  3  6  3.12
Beimel	        1.2   1  0-0  0  1  3.96
Houlton	        1.0   1  2-1  1  0  2.70
 T- 3:00. Att- 46,177.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Tony Abreu was slated to give Jeff Kent a rest and play second base, but he was scratched from the lineup because of abdominal pain. The team could not confirm what was causing the pain, but it was serious enough that he did not participate in batting practice. ...Since June 15 when Bill Mueller took over as hitting coach, the Dodgers are batting .294 (234-for-797), tying them with Houston for the second-highest average in the National League during that span behind Colorado (.308). The club's .364 on-base percentage during that period is third-best in the NL behind the Rockies (.384) and Astros (.368). Over the last 12 games, Dodger pitchers are hitting .360 (9-for-25), raising the staff's batting average to .174 (25-for-144), the second-best mark in the NL behind the Mets (.180). ...Former Dodger outfielder and current radio broadcaster Rick Monday has been named to the Board of Directors of the Citizens Flag Alliance. Last season, at the invitation of the U.S. Congress, Monday and his wife, Barbaralee were in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 30th anniversary of an attempted flag burning at Dodger Stadium that was thwarted by the then-Chicago Cub outfielder.