Dodgers Will 'Stay the Course' With Kids

Manager Grady Little said before the game, yet another loss to the Rockies, that the Dodgers need to "stay the course" with their young players and their plan and not stray from it. The Diamondbacks and Rockies are a perfect example of what happens when you have patience and let your young talent develop.

"The Rockies are a good example of that," said Little. "At this point, it's paying off for them. L.A. may be a little different than Denver, Colorado. It's going to take some time."

Little pointed out that what the Dodgers had been doing since they last won the World Series in 1988 -- signing high-priced free agents -- has obviously not worked.

The talented young Dodgers scored enough runs to win the final game of the series, scoring four run, but Esteban Loaiza was battered, along with members of the bullpen, making a close game into a runaway.

Frighteningly, Loaiza's fastball never hit 90 mph, he is owed $7.35 million next year and says his arm feels great. However, surgery on his right knee weakened it and is the cause of his decrease in velocity.

As a Dodger, Loaiza is 1-4 with an 8.34 ERA, and has lost his last four starts, reaching the fifth inning in none, while posting a 10.34 ERA and allowing eight homers in 15 2/3 innings.

He didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning but after Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe slugged home runs, Little went to the bullpen with decidedly mixed results.

The Dodgers have lost 10 of their last 11 games while the Rockies are going the other direction, moving into Arizona on the wings of an 11-game winning streak. They took the season series from L.A. 12-6, the most wins they've ever had against the Dodgers a season.

One bright spot of the club's free-fall has been James Loney, who knocked in three runs with a single and a triple to run his batting average to .337 and his RBI total to 66.

Loney extending his hitting streak to six games and has driven in 26 runs over his last 19 contests. Loney's 31 RBI in September are the most in the Major Leagues and he becomes just the fifth player in Los Angeles Dodger history to have at least 31 ribbies in a month, joining Frank Howard (41, 1962), Mike Marshall (37, 1985), Tommy Davis (1962) and Kal Daniels (1990).

He's hitting .500 over his last six games and among National League rookies, Loney ranks in the top 10 in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, home runs, RBIs and extra-base hits.

The Dodgers needs two wins in their final three games against last-place San Francisco just to finish with a winning record. They came out of the All-Star break with four victories that gave them a 53-40 record and put them 13 games above .500, but have slipped to a 33-39 and a .409 percentage since.

"We had a little trouble with this ballclub in the last week and kind of glad they're gone," said Little.

Chad Billingsley (12-5) goes against the Giants tonight in search of his 13th win of the season.
 Score by innings
Colorado	000 301 240-10
Los Angeles	000 201 010- 4

 Los Angeles	ab  r   h   bi   ave
Pierre cf	4   1   1   0   .292
Young lf	3   1   0   0   .423
Kemp rf	        4   1   2   0   .333
Loney 1b	4   1   2   3   .337
Martin c	4   0   0   1   .295
 Moeller c	0   0   0   0   .157
LaRoche 3b	4   0   1   0   .222
Valdez 2b	4   0   0   0   .200
Hu ss	        4   0   0   0   .211
Loaiza p	1   0   0   0   .143
 Stults p	0   0   0   0   .364
 Saenz ph	1   0   0   0   .000
 Proctor p	0   0   0   0   .000
 Beimel p	0   0   0   0   .000
 Meloan p	0   0   0   0   .000
 Sweeney ph	1   0   1   0   .256
 Houlton p	0   0   0   0   .000
   Totals	34  4  7  4
   Rockies	39 10 15 10

 3B- Loney (4). RBi- Loney 3 (66), Martin (86).
SB- Young (1), Pierre 2 (63). LOB- Los Angeles
4, Colorado 9.

 Los Angeles	in   h r-er bb so   era
Loaiza (1-4)	3.2  5  3-3  2  4   8.34
Stults	        1.1  0  0-0  0  0   4.93
Seanez	        0.2  4  1-1  0  1   3.82
Proctor	        0.1  2  2-2  1  0   3.74
Beimel	        1.0  0  0-0  0  0   3.90
Meloan	        1.0  4  4-4  0  1  11.81
Houlton	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1   3.75
 T- 3:18. At- 51,999.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Mark Sweeney singled to right field in the eighth inning for his Major League-leading 23rd pinch hit of the season. Since coming to the Dodgers, Sweeney is hitting .280 (7-for-25) as a pinch-hitter. ...Juan Pierre recorded his 10th multi-steal, swiping bags 62 and 63 in the sixth inning. Pierre is now two shy of his career high and tied with Davey Lopes (1976) for seventh on the franchise's single-season list. He is tied with Lopes for fourth on the Los Angeles Dodger single-season list. ...Russell Martin was honored prior to the game with the Dodgers' Heart & Hustle Award, which is chosen by the MLB Players Alumni Association. Martin will receive the award from former Dodger Maury Wills and becomes eligible for the league-wide award that is selected from all 30 team nominees. ...Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Dusty Baker hrew out the symbolic first ball and were honored, along with Reggie Smith, as the first quartet to hit 30 homers in Major League history when Baker homered 30 years ago, October 2, on the final day of the season against the Astros. Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, Todd Zeile and Raul Mondesi duplicated the feat for the Dodgers in 1997. ...Coach Manny Mota will serve as an analyst for Fox Sports International during the postseason for the third consecutive season. Mota will work the NLDS, ALCS and World Series alongside Adrian Garcia, who is in his first season as a reporter with FSN Prime Ticket.  

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