Braves Sweep Dodgers Into The Basement

The Dodgers dropped another 6-1 decision to Atlanta and the three-game sweep dumped them into the N.L. West basement, a half-game behind the Giants. Russell Martin's home run was the third run of the series, one in each game, and Hiroki Kuroda certainly pitched well enough to win.

The puzzling slump the Dodgers have suffered in Georgia touched off the Severe or Red level on the Los Angeles Team Security Advisory Level and the club flew on to Cincinnati knowing that they were only 2-for-44 (.046) with runners on base during the three game series.

Here are the individual batting averages over the three games:
                     hits-ab   ave
Andre Ethier	        2-10  .200
Rafael Furcal	        3-10  .300
Jeff Kent	        2-7   .286
Juan Pierre	        2-7   .286
Andruw Jones	        2-8   .250
Matt Kemp	        1-7   .143
Russ Martin	        1-8   .125
Andre Garciaparra	0-0   .000
James Loney 	        0-12  .000
Kuroda picked up his second loss of the season against a single win after working six innings (116 pitches) and allowing two runs on seven hits. He left the game trailing 2-1.

Joe Beimel got one out in the seventh but allowed a pair of hits (a deflected single off his foot and a bloop into center field) and Scott Proctor bailed him out.

Proctor let the game get away in the eighth, surrendering a single, two doubles, a triple and a home run good for four runs, all of them coming with two out.

Jones' home run in the fourth was the second Los Angeles hit and the third came 14 batters later in the eighth.

The NL West standings, excluding the Arizona-San Diego game still in progress:
		 w-l    pct  gb
Diamondbacks	13-4   .765  --
Rockies          9-9   .500  4.5
Padres	 	 8-10  .444  5.5
Giants           8-11  .421  6.0
Dodgers		 7-11  .389  6.5
Missed Chance
Like each of the games in the series, the Dodgers had a chance to get on the board first. In the opening inning, Rafael Furcal walked, stole second but held as Juan Pierre was unable to bunt him to third, then struck out.

James Loney's ground ball, that would have scored Furcal, only moved him to third and Andruw Jones, optimistically slotted in the fourth spot, struck out.

A walk and three singles gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the third. Russell Martin's second homer of the season into the left-center field seats tied the game but Kelly Johnson put the Braves back in front in the last of the fifth.

Kuroda seemed to be visibly tiring and served up a long double to Chipper Jones and walked Mark Teixeria, then managed to get out of the inning without further damage. Jones left the game with a slightly pulled quad muscle.

Kuroda battled in the sixth, allowing an opening single, saw Martin pounce on a bunt and throw a one-hopper to second that Furcal couldn't handle.

Then in his 118th pitch of the game and with two out and the bases loaded, Andre Ethier went back on a line drive by Martin Prado (who replaced Chipper Jones) and made an over the shoulder diving catch to save three runs and keep the Dodgers in the game.

In the eighth, Pierre beat out a hit that the Atlanta shortstop got a hand on but was unable to stop. It was only the fourth Dodger hit of the game.

He stole second before Loney, who was 0-for-11 in the series, struck out. Pierre then stole third.

Jones, who had struck out the first three times at bat, bounced to short with the infield in and Pierre had to hold.

Ethier walked and Martin, who had homered in the fourth inning for the only Dodger run, bounced into a force play at second to end the threat, the inning and the game as it turned out.

Scott Proctor came in to get Joe Beimel out of a jam in the eighth but was battered in the eighth.

Proctor gave up a one-out double and a two-out triple in the eighth and then Mark Tiexeira slammed a ball into the right-center field seats. Jeff Francoeur doubled and Mark Kotsay singled him in and just like that Atlanta took a 6-1 lead into the ninth.

The dazed Dodgers fly to Cincinnati and play the Reds in a two-game series starting tonight. Brad Penny will start the first game of the series and Hong-Chih Kuo the second.
 Score by innings
Los Angeles	000 100 000-1
Atlanta	        001 010 04x-6

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	3  0  0  0  .391
Pierre lf	4  0  1  0  .282
Loney 1b	4  0  0  0  .299
Jones cf	4  0  0  0  .169
Ethier rf	2  0  1  0  .290
Martin c	4  1  1  1  .197
DeWitt 3b	4  0  1  0  .260
Hu 2b           4  0  1  0  .214
Kuroda p	2  0  0  0  .125
 Garciaparra ph	0  0  0  0  .100
 Beimel p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Proctor p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Kemp ph        1  0  0  0  .280
  Totals	33 1  5 1
  Atlanta	39 6 14 6

 Error- Martin (3). HR-Martin (2).
RBI- Martin (6). SB- Furcal 2 (4),
Pierre 2 (5). LOB- Los Angeles 10.
Atlanta 13.

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kuroda (1-2)	6.0  7  2-2  4  4  2.92
Beimel	        0.1  2  0-0  0  0  1.29
Proctor	        1.2  5  4-4  0  3  9.00
 T- 3:11. Att- 36,722.

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