Peavey, Padres Crush Dodgers

If Jake Peavey isn't the best pitcher in the National League, the Dodgers would rather not the one who is. The San Diego ace limited Los Angeles to a pair of hits and struck out nine and fanned Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Martin and James Loney twice each. He was supported by a six run sixth inning and the Padres knocked another large chunk out of the Dodgers' pennant hopes.

There was little noise in the clubhouse after the game, but had their been a radio on, it might have been playing, "The Party's Over."

The Dodgers Los Angeles slid to 70-65 and dropped five games back in both the division and the wild-card race.

There seem to be no answers why things suddenly seem so hopeless for a Dodgers team that boasted the best record in the NL as recently as six weeks ago.

They have been outscored 13-4 through the first two games of this most crucial series of the season to date. They dominated by Peavy, but that is understandable but it is hard to explain how the night before Jack Cassel, who had lost 14 games in the minor league and was making his first major-league start, held them to three runs although they collected 10 hits.

"It is a little bit disappointing," Little said, certainly underplaying the losses. "But we have to keep playing. We still have a month to play."

The only spark the team exhibited came in the seventh inning, when Martin took a questionable called third strike from Peavy, turned to argue with plate umpire Dan Iassogna and immediately was ejected.

Martin explained, "I said something and to Iassogna and he thought I was talking about a call, and he started talking to me during the at-bat. I told him I wasn't talking to him, but he kept talking to me in the middle of an at-bat against Jake Peavy. That was annoying, getting talked to when you're in an 0-2 count."

Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe (11-12) a grand slam in the fifth that led to a six-run inning for the Padres and that provided much more than the Padres staff needed to put the game away.

In fact, the game was over from when Adrian Gonzalez crushed Lowe's first pitch of the second inning far over the wall in right-center, giving the Padres a 1-0 lead that was enough to win.

Peavy (16-5) pitched around a one-out double by Juan Pierre in the first inning and a two-out single and stolen base by Pierre in the third. After Andre Ethier struck out to strand Pierre, he retired the final 13 batters he faced en route to establishing a new career high for wins.

Peavy also leads the NL in ERA and strikeouts. And the division-leading Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks both lead the third-place Dodgers by five games in the NL West.

Lowe had little luck in the fifth inning when six runs scored, but he gave up a walk, a single and a ground ball that third baseman Shea Hillenbrand threw away. An intentionally walk loaded the bases and Mike Cameron, who had never had an RBI lifetime against Lowe, unloaded them quickly.

The one bright spot of the evening was the Major League debut of both reliever John Meloan and shortstop Chin-Lung Hu. Meloan pitched two scoreless innings, going 1-2-3 in the seventh, walking the bases loaded but escaping unscathed in the eighth, making one wonder why it too so long for him to get a ticket from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

The Dodgers, who came to Petco Park hoping for a sweep, now must scramble to avoid one. Chad Billingsley (9-4, 3.50 ERA) starts for the Dodgers, hoping to win his third straight. Justin Germano (7-7, 4.25) will get the start for San Diego. The right-hander won for the first time in eight starts by yielding three runs over six innings in a 6-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He was 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA in his previous seven games.

Score by innings Los Angeles 000 000 000-0 San Diego 010 060 00x-7 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 1 0 0 0 .000 Pierre cf 3 0 2 0 .291 Martinez 2b 1 0 0 0 .189 Ethier rf 4 0 0 0 .288 Kent 2b 3 0 0 0 .296 Lieberthal c 1 0 0 0 .242 Gonzalez lf 3 0 0 0 .276 Martin c 2 0 0 0 .297 Meloan p 0 0 0 0 .000 Loney 1b 3 0 0 0 .304 Hillenbrand 3b 3 0 0 0 .251 Lowe p 2 0 0 0 .118 Hendrickson p 0 0 0 0 .038 Kemp cf 1 0 1 0 .328 Totals 30 0 3 0 Padres 32 7 8 6 Error- Hillenbrand (4). 2B- Pierre (18). SB- Pierre (53). LOB- Los Angeles 4, San Diego 7. DP- Kent, Furcal and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Lowe (11-12) 4.1 6 7-6 3 4 3.78 Hendrickson 1.2 2 0-0 0 1 5.08 Meloan 2.0 0 0-0 3 1 0.00 WP- Hendrickson. T- 2:34. Att- 42,605.

Our Apologies for the misaligned box scores. New softwear has been introduced by Scout and apparently it isn't too statistically-friendly. We are working to adapt and ask your patience while we struggle.

September Callups-- The Dodgers recalled pitcher D.J. Houlton and purchased the contracts of pitcher Jonathan Meloan, catcher Chad Moeller and infielder Chin-lung Hu. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club transferred to the 60-day disabled list Yhency Brazoban, Chin-hui Tsao and Randy Wolf. Meloan and Hu made their major-league debuts in the game yesterday. Third-base prospect Andy LaRoche and and Tony Abreu weren't among the Dodgers' callups but will probably will join the big club after the minor-league season ends."

Dodger Blue Notes-- David Wells dropped his appeal of a seven-game suspension stemming from an incident July 7 with San Diego when he was ejected and fired the ball off the backstop. Wells began serving the suspension immediately and will be eligible to return Saturday at San Francisco, although he might not start until Sunday. Wells declined to discuss his decision with a group of reporters. "If I did, I would just get myself in trouble," he said. Then added, "I had no choice (but to drop the appeal)." Lefty Eric Stults, who is expected to be recalled from Las Vegas after the 51s' season ends Monday, is a strong possibility to start that game against the Cubs...Third baseman Nomar Garciaparra returned to Los Angeles for an MRI on his strained left calf. Little said it was because the injury has been slow to heal. ...The Triple-A Las Vegas 51s announced their 2007 season awards on Thursday. Delwyn Young was named the team's MVP as chosen by the 51s coaching staff. Young is hitting .334 with 17 homers, 90 RBI and a franchise record 50 doubles, four shy of tying the modern-day Pacific Coast League record. The switch-hitter was named the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the month in June and went 7-for-14 in his brief stay with the big club. John Lindsey won the Mayor's Trophy, voted on by the fans, after driving in 82 runs in just 74 games at Las Vegas. Overall, Lindsey is hitting .338 with 19 homes for the 51s. Catcher Octavio Martinez took home the Community Service Award and has participated in various kids and charity events during the 2007 season. ...With his next run batted in, catcher Russell Martin, with 79 RBIs on the season, will become just the sixth catcher in Dodger history to collect 80 RBI in a season, joining Roy Campanella (6 times), Mike Piazza (5 times), Paul Lo Duca, Joe Ferguson and Bruce Edwards (one time each). Lo Duca currently holds down the 10th spot on the all-time single-season RBI list for a Dodger catcher with 90, well within reach for Martin. Campanella and Piazza have the other nine spots in the top-10, including Campanella's 142 RBI in 1953, which is the second highest total in Dodger history (Tommy Davis, 153-1962).