Dodgers Shut Out For Third Time in Four Games

Manager Grady Little said it all after the game. "There isn't much to say" as his team slipped into a tie with Colorado for third place. The game was actually over when Adam Dunn lined an RBI single in the first inning to score the first and only run the Reds needed. It was Cincinnati's first win over the Dodgers since July 25, 2005, and broke a string of nine-straight Dodger wins over the Reds.

San Diego beat St. Louis to move into a tie with Arizona, who lost to Pittsburgh. And when Colorado topped Milwaukee, they caught the Dodgers.
 N.L. West	 w-l    pct   gb
Arizona	        63-51  .553   --
San Diego	61-51  .545   1.0
Los Angeles	58-54  .518   4.0
Colorado	58-54  .518   4.0
San Francisco	48-63  .432  13.5
It was the second consecutive shutout suffered by Los Angeles, a team that hasn't been blanked two games in a row since 2004, and the third whitewash in the last four games.

Tonight they face the Reds' ace, Aaron Harang, and in the worst-case scenario, if they are shutout again it will be the first back-to-back-to-back since the 1966 World Series

A manager can do very little at a time like this. He can read them the riot act, which he did after the game, and can shake up the batting lineup, which he said he would but wanted to think about it overnight.

The losing streak is five in a row, eight of nine and 14 of 18, erasing a comfortable Dodger lead and dropping them into a tie for third.

The fact that second baseman Jeff Kent returned to the lineup after a week on the sidelines with a hamstring injury didn't change anything, except extend the second baseman's hitting streak to 12 games and his consecutive times reaching base to 39, after a first-inning single.

The Dodgers stranded eight baserunners, and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. That gives them a 1-for-38 record with with runners in scoring position over the losing streak.

Opponents feel that if you keep the top two speedsters (Furcal and Pierre) off he bases, the Dodgers can be beaten. This game disproved that after the two of them reached base five times and were still there when the inning ended.

The Reds banged Hendrickson for three in the first and a single run, one a home run to dead-center, in the fourth but without any runs, the pitching angle is a non-issue.

They put two runners on in the first, two in the third, two in the sixth, and two on in the seventh and eighth.

Luis Gonzalez left two on in the first and seventh, Russell Martin and Kent hit into double plays with two men on base and the number 3-4-5 hitters (Martin, Kent and Gonzalez) left 14 on base between them.

Juan Pierre had three of the eight hits, but he popped up in his other at-bat when he came up with runners on the corners and no outs in the third inning. Furcal reached base twice on errors but popped up with two runners on in the seventh.

This is an equally opportunity slump, no one has exclusive rights on it.

The game started with the temperature of 97 degrees, a record for the five seasons the Reds have called Great American Ball Park home, but even on television you could see frost on the Dodgers bat handles.

Hendrickson allowed three runs, started by Norris Hopper's 33rd successful bunt single, and Brandon Phillips' solo homer leading off the third inning ended the scoring in a game --that for Dodger fans-- was as exciting as watching your bumper rust. His record dropped to 4-6 and he has won only one of his last 11 starts and also has the least run support of anyone on the staff

The only bright spot, and you had to squint to see it, is the fact that there are 50 games left in the season to reverse things. Then again, the bad thing is that if he club continues the way they are now, there are 50 games like last night's to suffer through.

Chad Billingsley (7-2, 3.43) opposes Aaron Harang (10-3, 3.54) tonight.
 Score by innings
Los Angeles	000 000 000-0
Cincinnati	301 000 00x-3

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  0  0  0  .281
Pierre cf	4  0  3  0  .281
Martin c	4  0  1  0  .296
Kent 2b	        4  0  1  0  .304
Gonzalez lf	4  0  0  0  .280
Ethier rf	4  0  0  0  .300
Loney 1b	4  0  1  0  .321
Hendrickson p	2  0  1  0  .040
 Young ph	1  0  1  0  .286
 Seanez p	0  0  0  0  .000
   Totals	35 0 8 0
   Reds	        31 4 8 4

 2B- Hendrickson (1). LOB- Los Angeles 6,
Cincinnati 6.

 Los Angeles	  in  h  r-er bb so  era
Hendrickson (4-6) 6.0  7  4-4  3  5  4.63
Seanez	          2.0  1  0-0  0  2  3.88
 T- 2:40. Att- 22,057.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Manager Grady Little believes the return of Jeff Kent should help, not only in what he provides, but "Players have tried to do too much, especially when you lose your hottest hitter for a week," he said. "Some people have tried to do too much with a lot of negative results. The day Kent left [the lineup], he had four hits. You can't expect that every day. But his presence should take the pressure off a lot of guys." ...Chin-hui Tsao's shoulder became sore again and was not on the road trip. ...Hong-Chih Kuo is on the trip and said he hopes to resume throwing next week. But he told trainer Stan Conte the same thing in the operating room before he underwent (again) surgery on his left elbow to remove bone chips two weeks ago. It was Kuo's fourth elbow operation. ...Tony Abreu, placed on the restricted list at Las Vegas, was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday after seeing Dr. Craig Smith on Monday. Smith is a specialist in sports hernia injuries. ...Derek Lowe came up stiff and sore after his Saturday start, and will be given two extra days of rest, making his next start on Saturday in St. Louis. ...Brett Tomko will start on Thursday in Cincinnati, with Brad Penny remaining on a five-day cycle and starting Friday night in St. Louis. ...The Dodgers traded reliever Elmer Dessens to Milwaukee for outfielder Brady Clark during the spring. He was released by the Dodgers on June 20, signed a Triple-A contract with Boston, then went home last week when he wasn't promoted to the Major Leagues. Clark has a newborn baby. ...Before the game, Los Angeles had won 12 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams. ...Seattle is beginning to appreciate Adrian Beltre's defensive expertise at third base. David Andersen wrote in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "The way Beltré has patrolled his gap -- and then some -- has his manager wondering whether we're seeing the end of the six-year stranglehold on the American League Gold Glove Award by Oakland's Eric Chavez." ...The Atlanta Constitution reports infielder Willy Aybar has rejoined the Braves' minor-league system after "successfully completing a rehabilitation program for substance abuse." Aybar hasn't played a game all year after opening the season on the disabled list with a hand injury and in the weeks that followed entering rehab. Aybar reported to the Braves' complex in Orlando a few days ago to begin working back into baseball shape and will head into a minor league assignment from there. ...Oh, an one other thing, that fellow from San Francisco homered last night off Washington pitcher Mike Bacsik to set some sort of a record.