Dodgers Inside Pitch - September 12

   Dodgers right-hander Derek Lowe seemed almost embarrassed to talk about his latest bout with bad luck this season. Lowe injured his right hand while playing catch prior to Tuesday's game and had to be scratched from his Wednesday start. He is hoping to be back and ready to pitch Saturday when the Dodgers host Arizona.

   "This kind of caps the year off for me," said Lowe, who is 11-12 and has already struggled through a five-game losing streak and an irritated left hip. "It's been a real thriller."

   X-rays taken of Lowe's right hand -- he was hit in the fleshy part, between his thumb and forefinger -- were negative.

   "I was just playing catch with (reliever Jonathan) Broxton," Lowe said. "We weren't messing around. He threw it to the side and I missed it. He never lobs anything."

   If there is a bright side to Lowe's latest adventure, it lies in the fact that the ball thrown by Broxton hit Lowe's glove first. So, it did slow the ball down somewhat.

   With Lowe out for Wednesday's game against the Padres, manager Grady Little moved right-hander Chad Billingsley into that day's slot, with left-hander David Wells slated for Friday. Little is keeping Saturday open in case Lowe is able to pitch. He did say that pulling someone out of the bullpen is another option.

   Little has to keep a close watch on his rotation in the coming days because the Dodgers are scheduled to play a doubleheader Tuesday in Colorado.

   "It's unfortunate that it happened," Little said. "Hopefully he can come back in a few days. That's our No. 1 concern with him."

Notes & Quotes
   --1B James Loney hit a home run in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game, giving him five homers in his last six games. He has eight RBIs during that stretch.

   --INF Chin-Lung Hu became the first Dodgers player to hit a home run in his first career at-bat at Dodger Stadium since OF Jason Repko did it on April 12, 2005. Hu hit a ninth-inning home run off former Dodgers RHP Brett Tomko, now with the Padres, on Tuesday.

   --3B Andy LaRoche has been hampered by recurring back pain, and it's not clear when he'll start again. His back bothers him when he plays in the field, so that opens the possibility that the Dodgers could use him as a pinch hitter. "He seems to be OK swinging the bat, but fielding groundballs is a little bit of a bother right now," manager Grady Little said.

   --RF Andre Ethier threw out Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez at third base Tuesday night for his 10th assist of the season. That tied him with Eric Byrnes and Shane Victorino for fifth place among in National League outfielders.

   --RHP Derek Lowe (11-12) is one of five active pitchers to have at least 11 victories in six consecutive seasons, matching Roy Oswalt, Tim Hudson, C.C. Sabathia and Greg Maddux. Lowe has 91 victories since the 2002 season, which puts him into a tie for second place, with Roy Halladay, in that category. Oswalt leads all pitchers with 98 victories since the 2002 season.

By the Numb3rs
: 2 -- The number of pinch-hit home runs hit by OF Andre Ethier this season. Both were hit against the Cubs.

Quotes to Note
""This guy hits the ball hard enough for some of them to leave the ballpark. He's just a young man. He's stronger this year than he was last year, and he'll be stronger next year than he is this year."-- Dodgers manager Grady Little, on first baseman James Loney.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
   RHP Derek Lowe (bruised right hand) missed his Sept. 12 start, but should pitch on Sept. 15.

   3B Andy LaRoche (back pain) hasn't played since Sept. 6. He is day to day.

   LHP Randy Wolf (tender left shoulder) went on the disabled list July 4. He pitched on a rehab assignment July 25 but emerged with more shoulder irritation. He had season-ending surgery Sept. 5.

   OF Jason Repko (torn left hamstring) opened the season on the disabled list. He had surgery March 28 and is expected to be out for the season. He was moved to the 60-day disabled list Aug. 29.

   LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (sore left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to July 1. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow July 25. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 4. It's possible that he may not pitch for the rest of the season.

   RHP Chin-hui Tsao (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list July 15. He was ready to start a throwing program in early August, but renewed pain put those plans on hold.

   RHP Jason Schmidt (sore right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 17. He underwent exploratory surgery on June 20, and a torn labrum was discovered. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 13 and will miss the rest of the season.

   RHP Yhency Brazoban (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list June 1. He cut short a throwing session June 15, and he was subsequently diagnosed with a torn labrum. He underwent surgery June 22 and is out for the season.

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