Kids Day Sunday in San Diego

Everyone like to take their kids to the ball game and manager Grady Little not only took them to the game, he started most of them and they responded with a 5-0 victory over San Diego to avoid a sweep and give the Padre fans a glimpse of the future.

Chad Billingsley (22) started, James Loney (23) played first, Andy LaRoche (23), played third, Russell Martin (24) caught, Andre Ethier (25) was in left, Matt Kemp (22) in right and Jonathan Broxton (23) relieved. Of course, they had some older friends help out, including Rafael Furcal (29) at shortstop, Juan Pierre (30) in center and Jeff Kent (39) at second.

Even with Kent included, the starting lineup averaged just short of 26.5 years of age. It was a minor league aficionado's dream.

Thank heavens for the forethought of past and future general manager Dan Evans, Paul DePodesta and Ned Colletti, who resisted trading the Dodgers' future for a blowout patch or two.

Billingsley (10-4) worked seven scoreless innings and tied his career high with nine strikeouts. He allowed four hits and walked none, allowing no runner past second base for his third consecutive victory. while Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp had three hits each.

Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp had three hits each and stole four bases between them, Furcal nipping three himself.

Jonathan Broxton inherited a bases-loaded mess in the eighth inning and struck out Mike Cameron and Adrian Gonzalez to keep the shutout intact.

Kemp, who like kids will do, ran the Dodgers out of an opportunity in the fourth inning when he was doubled off first on Jeff Kent's flyout, but he ran them back into a run in the sixth. He singled, stole second, tagged to third on Kent's flyout and was singled home by Andre Ethier.

Kemp also drove in the Dodgers' second run with a single in the four-run seventh. Furcal led off with a walk, stole his third base of the game and was bunted to third by Juan Pierre, who was safe at first on reliever Kevin Cameron's fielding error. Kemp followed with a RBI single to right field, Kent added an RBI single and James Loney's second double of the game scored two more.

In a matchup of impressive sounding names, Esteban Loaiza (1-0, 1.84) makes his Dodgers debut this afternoon against the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano (14-11, 4.06).

Score by innings Los Angeles 000 001 400-5 San Diego 000 000 000-0 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 1 3 0 .279 Pierre cf 4 1 1 0 .291 Kemp rf 5 2 3 1 .335 Kent 2b 4 0 1 1 .295 Martinez pr-2b 1 1 0 0 .187 Ethier rf 4 0 1 1 .288 Martin c 5 0 0 0 .294 Loney 1b 3 0 2 2 .308 LaRoche 3b 2 0 0 0 .200 Billingsley p 4 0 0 0 .077 Proctor p 0 0 0 0 .000 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Hernandez p 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 36 5 11 5 Padres 31 0 6 0 2B- Loney 2 (13). RBI- Ethier (55), Kemp (34), Kent (72), Loney 2 (37). S- Pierre. SB- Kemp (8), Furcal 3 (16). DP- LaRoche, Kent and Loney; LaRoche Martinez and Loney. LOB- Dodgers 10, Padres 7. Los Angeles ab h r-er bb so era Billingsley (10-4) 7.0 4 0-0 1 9 3.30 Proctor 0.0 1 0-0 1 0 3.91 Beimel 0.1 0 0-0 1 1 4.08 Broxton 0.2 0 0-0 0 2 2.17 Hernandez 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 5.91 T- 3:02. Att- 40,776.

Hello Andy-- Management reversed itself and called up third baseman Andy LaRoche from Las Vegas and immediately put him in the starting lineup against the Padres. He was hitless in two trips but moved his on-base percentage to .441. "It had to do with Andy's healthy," Little told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "He missed a lot of time with his back recently and we wanted to make sure and get him another game under his belt. He made it through fine and we decided to make the move." LaRoche said his back has responded to stretching and strengthening exercises and anti-inflammatory medication and surgery will not be necessary. The Dodgers are still expected to promote Tony Abreu, Delwyn Young and Eric Stults tomorrow (Tuesday).

Hello, Jonathan-- Twenty-two year old Jonathan Meloan got through his Major League debut with two scoreless innings in the second game of the series and hopes to see significant action during September as one of the young pitchers the Dodgers are counting on. "Kids around the world are hoping to get to this level and I was glad to get the first one out of the way," said the right-hander. "My thought was, don't change anything. Just stick to my game plan and see how it goes. Sometimes it gets in your head to try to do more. Just shut it out and focus on the catcher and throw strikes and get aggressive. During the second inning I struggled, trying to make too fine pitches."

Fall League Action-- The Dodgers will have seven players participating in the Arizona Fall League -- pitchers Zach Hammes, Justin Orenduff, Greg Miller, Wesley Wright and Cory Wade, infielder Blake DeWitt and outfielder Xavier Paul -- along with coach Garey Ingram, who will all be on the Peoria Saguaros starting on Oct. 9. Headed to the Hawaiian Fall League are pitchers Steven Johnson, Garrett White and Kyle Wilson, catcher Kenley Jansen, infielders Josh Bell and Russell Mitchell, outfielders Jamie Hoffmann and Ryan Rogowski and pitching coach Ken Howell.

Reaves Hired-- Joseph Reaves, most recently national baseball writer for the Arizona Republic, has been hired by the Dodgers as director of international relations. Reaves will assist the club in various facets in baseball operations and business, but not scouting. Reaves is a former foreign correspondent based in Asia who also was a sports writer for the Chicago Tribune when Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was an official of the Chicago Cubs.

Again Apologies for the wavey box scores. Scout has installed new softwear that is not statistic-friendly and we are doing our best to solve the puzzle. --Tot Holmes, Publisher.

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