Wells Goes Out With a Bang ... Maybe

David Wells, the third oldest player in baseball, made a strong statement for the elderly without saying a word, pitching the Dodgers to an 8-3 win, their second victory in the last dozen games, giving the club their 81st win and assuring them of at least a break-even season.

Wells fourth victory in five decisions didn't slow the youth movement much as Matt Kemp (23), James Loney (23), Andy LaRoche (24) and Chin-Lung Hu (23), none of which were born yet when Wells began his professional career in 1982, each knocked in a run, with Loney belting his 15th home run (for his 32nd run batted in during September, best in the majors) and LaRoche adding a double. In all, seven different Dodgers collected an RBI, with Wilson Valdez having a pair.

Wells worked six innings in what might be his final game in Dodger Blue. He allowed seven hits and a pair of earned runs after his error on a wild pickoff accounted for the third S.F. run.

The victory was No. 239 for Wells, tying him with Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown for 53rd on the all-time wins list. He finished the season 4-1 in seven starts for Los Angeles and 9-9 overall.

When he wasn't allowed to pitch the seventh inning, he said it dawned on him that if nothing happens, this might have been the last time.

He was picked two weeks after San Diego had released him and gave Los Angeles a shot in the arm. When asked if he had pitched his final game in the major leagues, he said, "It could be, you never know," he said. "Hopefully, I'll entertain offers, if there are any. I told Ned Colletti, earlier today, I wouldn't mind coming back here. I gave him my number and told him to give me a call if he wants. But I won't be disappointed if I don't play.

"It's nice to go out with a win. It shows I've still got a little bit of life and something left in the tank."

Wells' 239th career victory moved him past Hall of Famer Whitey Ford and put him alone in 13th place among lefties.

"He did what we expected him to do and what we needed him to do," Little said of Wells. "He's an amazing human being. Anything he does wouldn't surprise me."

Scott Proctor, Jonathan Broxton and D.J. Houlton each added a scoreless inning.

The Giants will pack their bags after the season-ending game Sunday having recorded the worst San Francisco season since 1996 when they also finished in last place. And it is only the second time since divisional play started that the Dodgers and Giants finished in the bottom two spots in the standings.

"It's disappointing in all aspects -- for both organizations," former Dodger outfielder Dave Roberts said. "I mean, you look at the schedule before the season, and you figure that these three games are going to have some type of impact. But as it stands now, it doesn't. In my opinion, the NL West is the toughest division in baseball, top to bottom."

Los Angeles used RBI doubles from Matt Kemp and Andy LaRoche in the first and an RBI single by the "Old Slugger" himself, Well, in the second to take a 3-2 lead they would hold the rest of the game. Wells moved to third on Juan Pierre's single and scored on Valdez's sac fly.

On the anniversary of his nine-RBI game against Colorado, Loney continued to confuse his detractors who clained he had no power, slugging his 15th homer into the right field bullpen on an 0-2 pitch to extend the Dodgers' margin to 5-2 in the third. The rookie first baseman is hitting .402 in September with nine homers and 32 RBIs, the most in the majors.

Barry Bonds, who wanted his final home game with the Giants to be his swan song with the team he spent the past 15 years with, joined his teammates for the start of their final series together although he was wearing a boot to protect his injured toe.

Chad Billingsley (12-5, 3.09 ERA) opposes Travis Blackley (1-1, 3.60 ERA) tonight in Game 2 of their final series of the season.
 Score by innings
San Francisco	110 010 000-3
Los Angeles	221 000 21x-8

 Los Angeles	ab  r   h  bi  ave
Pierre cf	4   0   2   1   .293
Valdez 2b	2   1   1   2   .209
Kemp rf	        4   1   1   1   .332
Loney 1b	4   1   1   1   .336
LaRoche 3b	3   1   1   1   .226
Ethier lf	3   0   0   0   .286
Moeller c	3   2   1   0   .167
Hu ss	        3   0   1   1   .227
Wells p	        2   1   1   1   .151
 Proctor p	0   0   0   0   .000
 Sweeney ph	1   1   1   0   .262
 Broxton p	0   0   0   0   .000
 Young ph	1   0   0   0   .407
 Houlton p	0   0   0   0   .000
   Totals	30  8  10  8
   Giants	32  3   9  2

 Error- Wells (3). 2B- Kemp (10), LaRoche (5).
HR- Loney (15). RBI- Kemp (41), LaRoche (10),
Wells (1), Valdez 2 (7), Loney (67), Pierre
(48), Hu (5). S- Hu. SF- Valdez. CS- Pierre (15).
LOB- Los Angeles 4, San Francisco 5. DP- 4 Valdez,
Hu and Loney; Hu Valdez and Loney 2; Loney.

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Wells (4-1)	6.0  7  3-2  1  3  5.43
Proctor	        1.0  0  0-0  1  1  3.69
Broxton	        1.0  0  0-0  1  1  2.65
Houlton	        1.0  2  0-0  0  0  3.60
 HBP- Moeller. TD- 2:38. At- 47,696.
Dodger Blue Notes-- With two games left in the season, center fielder Juan Pierre needs four runs to reach 100 for the fourth time in seven seasons and seven hits to reach 200 for the fourth time in five years. And All-Star catcher Russell Martin, who is hitting .295, has an outside chance to finish with a .300 batting average. ...Eric Stults will draw the start on the final day of the season Sunday. ...Chad Moeller is being considered as the backup to starter Russell Martin. This year's backup, Mike Lieberthal, has a $1.4 million club option for next year or a $100,000 buyout and is a very longshot to be invited back.

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