Billingsley Wins Battle, Loses War

A lot of different things happened in the final game of the Arizona series; Jeff Kent and Joe Torre got tossed out of the game for disputing a call, Chad Billingsley fanned 12 in six innings but when it comes down to it, the Dodgers again came up short with men in scoring position and have fallen seven behind aft a 6-4 loss.

The Diamondbacks jumped to a 3-1 lead after two but the Dodgers tied the game in the fourth. Arizona tapped Billingsley for two more in the fifth and each team scored once over the final four innings.

They stranded seven baserunners, five of them in scoring position and three of them at third base, going 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and failed to score after loading the bags with one out in the sixth, when Matt Kemp struck out on a breaking pitch that broke well off the plate.

Billingsley (0-4) got the loss despite a career-high 12 strikeouts. The right-hander allowed five runs, six hits and two walks over six innings. He has 29 strikeouts in 16 innings over his last three starts— including nine against the Diamondbacks in a 1-0 loss on April 13 at Phoenix.

And as a result the league-leading Diamondbacks got out of town with a two-game split.

Kent and Torre were given the remainder of the ninth inning of for arguing an apparent double play in the eighth inning. Nomar Garciaparra fielded a ball and threw to Kent at second. Umpire Andy Fletcher said Kent had pulled his foot off second base before throwing to first.

Kent resumed his argument with Fletcher at the end of the eighth inning after taking his position, and the two had to be separated before Fletcher ejected him and Torre.

"The only thing I stressed to Andy Fletcher was that Jeff didn't have to come off the bag to catch the ball," Torre said. "Unless you're 100 percent sure and it's clear-cut, you can't make that call unless it's really blatant. It's not like a 'safe out' call. I just didn't think it was necessary.

"The guy who's out there playing defensively has a pretty good feel for when the ball is in his glove and where his foot is," Torre added. "Jeff's got a lot of passion, and that's how sure he was that he was right."

Crew chief Mike Reilly said: "He had a chance to argue the first time. Then he came out again, and we're not going to let it continue the next inning over the same call."

In the first inning, Garciaparra scored from first on Kent's double, but Kent was stranded. The Dodgers tied it 3-all in the fourth with an RBI single by James Loney and a sacrifice fly by Ethier. The numbers 3-4-5 batters in the order -- Garciaparra, Kent and James Loney -- went 6-for-11 in the game.

The Dodgers left two on in the fourth, had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth, and in the seventh they had runners on the corners before a double play ended their rally.

Loney, who had a pair of RBI singles in Wednesday's win, was 4-for-9 in the two-game set with Arizona and is hitting .417 overall against Diamondbacks pitching (30-for-72) with three homers and 15 RBIs. He is 7-for-9 lifetime against Gonzalez with four RBIs.

The Diamondbacks got to Billingsley for three runs in the first and second, but he matched his previous career high of nine strikeouts by the end of the fourth inning.

In the fifth he fanned opposing pitcher Edgar Gonzalez but gave up a single to Chris Young, a double to Stephen Drew, bounced a wild pitch that allowed Young to score and give the Diamondbacks a 4-3 lead, walked Orlando Hudson and induced what looked like an inning-ending, double-play grounder from Conor Jackson that turned into another run when Jackson ran beat the relay throw.

He retired the next four before leaving the game but the Dodgers (9-13) slipped back into third place in the National League West, seven games behind the Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers are tough at home, where they are 6-4, averaging more than 5.5 runs per game and batting .317. But on the road, they're 3-8, scoring just more than three runs per game and hitting nearly 100 points lower.
 Score by innings
Arizona	        120 020 010-6		
Los Angeles	100 200 100-4

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  1  0  0  .379
Jones cf	5  0  1  0  .162
Garciaparra 3b	4  2  2  0  .231
Kent 2b        	3  1  2  2  .279
 Hu 2b        	0  0  0  0  .278
Loney 1b	4  0  2  1  .306
Martin c	4  0  1  0  .236
Ether lf	2  0  0  1  .324
Kemp rf        	3  0  0  0  .273
Billingsley p	2  0  0  0  .200
 Sweeney ph	1  0  0  0  .071
 Proctor p	0  0  0  0  .000	
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Pierre ph	1  0  0  0  .250
  Totals	33 4 8 4
  Arizona	33 6 7 5

 Error- Kent (2). 2b hits- Kent (5). 
RBI- Kent (2) (12),  Loney (14), Ethier 
(12). SF- Ethier. SB- Garciaparra (1). 
LOB- Los Angeles 7, Arizona 5. 

 Los Angeles	  in  h  r-er bb so  era
Billingsley (0-4) 6.0  6  5-5  2 12  6.53
Proctor        	  1.2  1  1-0  0  0  7.20
Beimel        	  0.1  0  0-0  1  1  1.17
Wade        	  1.0  0  0-0  0  1  0.00
 WP- Billingsley, Proctor. HBP- Ethier, 
by Wade. T- 3:11. Att- 38.350.
DeWitt to AAA; Wade to L.A.
Los Angeles optioned rookie 3B Blake DeWitt to Las Vegas and promoted RHP Cory Wade from the Vegas club because the Dodgers needed a 12th pitcher. Wade, who turns 25 next month, made his big league debut with a hitless ninth after four-plus seasons in the minors.

Wade said he had no clue this was coming. He was only added to the 40-man this winter, and thought his best hope for 2008 was a chance at a September callup. He had six appearances at Jacksonville and in five of the six he worked more than one inning, the longest was four.

Castro Would Like to Come Home
Former Dodgers shortstop prospect Juan Castro, designated for assignment earlier this week by Cincinnati, stopped short of saying the Dodgers are the team he would prefer to be traded to or sign with as a free agent if the Reds release him.

But Castro didn't hide his affection for the organization that signed him out of his native Mexico in 1991 and first brought him to the majors four years later.

"I would be more than happy to go to any team," Castro said. "But it's always nice to come back to a great organization like the Dodgers. That was my first team, the team I came up with. I still have a lot of friends over there, and I also have a lot of good memories."

The Dodgers are believed to be one of a handful of teams interested in acquiring or signing Castro, who already has cleared waivers.