Lowe and Early Explosion Drops DBacks 6-2

If you have a habit of coming late to the Dodger games, this one may have broken you of the habit. Los Angeles tacked four on the board before one could say "Gimme a beer and a Dodger Dog." Derek Lowe guarded the four runs like a mother bear with three little cubs and another game was sliced off the Arizona lead. To quote Alice, "Curiouser and Curiouser" the NL West becomes.

Before this is all over, and the Dodgers, DBacks, Padres and Rockies stop kicking each other to death, any one of the four might end up at the top of the pile, or at least at the top of the wild card scrum.

Lowe (12-12) allowed four hits and a single run, a homer in the seventh, and was removed after throwing only 74 pitches. The bullpen coughed up one more score but secured the win.

Lowe was scheduled to start Wednesday night against the Padres, but was bypassed because of the injury to his pitching hand. He was hurt while playing catch with flame-throwing in pregame warmups.

There is no truth at all to the story that other Dodger starters are lining up to play catch barehanded with Broxton on the off-chance an errant throw would give them the same powers Lowe seemed to benefit from the mishap.

By winning their second straight over Arizona, the Dodgers moved within 3 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, and trailed San Diego by one game in the wild-card race pending the Padres' game against the Giants later in the evening. The Phillies already had won against New York.

Rafael Furcal ran wild during the game. He singled, stole second and scored on James Loney's single in the first. He walked in the fifth and stole second; then singled in the seventh and stole both second and third, giving him seven in the last three games and running his total to 25 on the se

The game blew up in starter Livan Hernandez's face in the first inning when the Dodgers strung together four hits and a walk to score four times before he could get an out.

Luis Gonzalez's three run homer was the big blow after Loney singled Furcal across earlier in the inning.

And with Derek Lowe pitching on another plain altogether, the four runs were all that was needed.

Andre Ethier homered in the sixth and Nomar Garciaparra's fielder's choice was thrown away to give Los Angeles and unearned run in the seventh.

Arizona broke through on Lowe in the seventh when Tony Clark slugged a shot over the center field wall with no one on base. The Snakes added another in the eighth on a pair of doubles off Joe Beimel, then Jonathan Broxton came inn to get a weak pop to third and a strikeout to end the inning.

Broxton appeared in his 77th game, the second-highest total in the Majors behind Jon Rauch (81). Broxton passed Guillermo Mota (2003) into 10th on the franchise single-season games pitched list. He is now tied him with Charlie Hough (1976), Jeff Shaw (2001) and Eric Gagné (2002 and 2003) for sixth place on that list.

Scott Proctor was lights-out in the ninth, fanning the first two and nailing down the win with a game-ending fly to left. Since the trade deadline, the Dodgers have added three pitchers from outside the organization – David Wells, Esteban Loaiza and Scott Proctor – and the trio has combined to go 7-1  with a 4.27 ERA.

Right-handed pitcher Esteban Loaiza (1-1, 4.32) and D-backs righty Edgar Gonzalez (7-2, 4.76), two of the 13 pitchers from Mexico currently playing in the majors, will face each other today on Mexican Independence Day in the homestand finale.

Score by innings Arizona 000 000 110-2 Los Angeles 400 001 10x-6 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 2 2 0 .272 Pierre cf 3 1 0 0 .291 Loney 1b 3 1 1 1 .330 Gonzalez lf 2 1 1 3 .279 Kemp pr-rf 0 0 0 0 .337 Garciaparra 3b 4 0 2 0 .282 Martin c 4 0 0 0 .292 Ethier rf 4 1 1 1 .289 Abreu 2b 4 0 1 0 .268 Lowe p 3 0 0 0 .107 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Sweeney ph 1 0 0 0 .250 Proctor p 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 32 6 8 5 DBacks 33 2 6 2 Error- Garciaparra (10). 2B- Abreu (13). HR- Gonzalez (14). RBI- Loney (54), Gonzalez 3 (64), Ethier (61). LOB- Los Angeles 7, Arizona 4. SB- Furcal 4 (25). DP- Furcal, Abreu and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er b so era Lowe (12-12) 7.0 4 1-1 1 5 3.71 Beimel 0.1 2 1-1 0 0 4.09 Broxton 0.2 0 0-0 0 1 2.35 Proctor 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 3.60 T- 2:39. Att- 48,366.

Dodger Blue Notes-- James Loney has 14 RBIs in his last nine games, giving him 54 in 82 games, exactly half of a major league season. ... Even with their two straight losses to the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks have an NL-best 36-23 record since the All-Star break. ...Second basemen Jeff Kent received a scheduled day off on Saturday because of the day game after a night game. Tony Abreu played in his place and Luis Gonzalez, who drilled a three-run homer in the first inning, batted in Kent's customary fourth spot in the lineup. Juan Pierre has 38 infield hits this season, which is the sixth most by a Dodger in the last 20 seasons. Brett Butler had 72, 67 and 52 infield hits in 1992, 1991 and 1993, respectively. Pierre also had 58 stolen bases entering Saturday, second most in the Majors behind Jose Reyes, who had 76. ...Catcher Russell Martin caught his 135th game of the year, tying moving past John Roseboro and into 10th place on the L.A. Dodgers list. But he won't be in the lineup today, because Little said he wants to give his catcher two days off, with the off-day Monday. ...The Dodger affiliates recently completed their minor league season with a combined 393-366 record (.518), the fourth-best winning percentage in the National League behind the Giants (.575), Brewers (.565) and Pirates (.521).

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories