The only Tiger with a winning record, Armando Galarraga, improved to 6-2 by limiting Los Angeles to three hits and his teammates smacked a couple home runs. Opponents are hitting just .173 against him. He must think there is nothing to this Friday the 13th thing.
For Dodgers starter Derek Lowe, however, it was just another night at the office. The 35-year old starter has gone at least 7.0 innings in each of his last five outings and is only 2-2 despite a 1.86 ERA over that time during which he has received only 1.6 runs per game in support during the starts. In his 15 starts the Dodgers are 8-7. He has received 6.6 runs in his wins and 1.1 runs in the losses.
This game, Lowe (4-6) allowed eight hits and three runs in seven innings, walking none and striking out five.
After a 65-minute rain delay, the Dodgers sent out a lineup that didn't have Matt Kemp (who was completing his two-game suspension for fighting) but did have four batters with fewer Major League RBIs this year than Lowe, left fielder Delwyn Young, third baseman Andy LaRoche, shortstop Angel Berroa and designated hitter Mark Sweeney.
It was the Tigers' fourth-straight win and their sixth victory in the last seven. They've only allowed six runs in the four wins, just two in their last three.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, don't seem to be able to hit no matter who is pitching. Well, that isn't exactly true. Russell Martin (fourth) and Juan Pierre (sixth) singled off Galarraga's legs. James Loney got the only authentic hit when he tripled to deep right-center in he second. The last 12 Dodgers went down in order.
"We didn't have many scoring chances tonight. That's been our problem for a while," manager Joe Torre said. "We have to get better at-bats. We need to get our confidence back before we can start winning again."
Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Lowe allowed a homer, and single and a double. Loney's error allowed a third run to score in the sixth.
A mini-confrontation in the eighth awakened both benches and the bullpens emptied after reliever Cory Wade hit Carlos Guillen with a pitch. "The ball just slipped," said Wade. "I wouldn't throw at a batter when were down by three runs."
Guillen yelled at Wade and the Dodgers pitcher yelled back, then pointed to first base and the Tigers took exception. After the usual milling around, Wade served up a home run to make it 5-0.
Martin said, "It looked like his hand was bothering him and we tried to throw up and in, make him use the hand. He's frustrated. I understand, you get hit, you never like it. But you've got to know the game."
"The need to win, the desire to win, is apparent. But again, you feel like whatever you're doing now, you're trying to develop, get a feel for the team, for its ability, for what ingredients you may need," Torre said. "So in the meantime, you're obviously trying to win as many games as you can. Certainly, you know this isn't a free. We're very fortunate the team that looked like it would run away has been sputtering and we're within arm's length."
Torre was asked if winning was any less important in Los Angeles.
"It's always dangerous to say it's not that important," he said. "Nothing is further from the truth, but the fact of the matter is, it's not 110 mph all the time [like New York]. When you have a young team, they're going to get better through playing. You've got to figure out how good they're going to be, and that takes time."
Arizona beat Kansas City 1-0 in 10 but both San Diego and San Francisco lost. Dodgers fall to 31-36, a season-worst five games below .500 and now trail the DBacks by 5 1/2 games.
Brad Penny will get a chance to stop the losing streak this afternoon but is winless in his last seven starts, dating back to May 2. He pitched well for the second straight outing against the Cubs, yielding three runs on six hits in six innings.
Penny and the Dodgers face rookie Eddie Bonine who has worked his way up the Detroit farm system and had a 9-2 record this season at Toledo. This will be his Major League debut.
Score by innings Los Angeles 000 000 000-0 Detroit 000 021 20x-5 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Pierre cf 4 0 1 0 .282 Young lf 4 0 0 0 .268 Ethier rf 4 0 0 0 .282 Kent 2b 4 0 0 0 .240 Martin c 3 0 1 0 .314 Loney 1b 3 0 1 0 .290 LaRoche 3b 2 0 0 0 .200 Sweeney dh 3 0 0 0 .118 Berroa ss 3 0 0 0 .133 Totals 30 0 3 0 Detroit 32 5 9 4 Error- Loney (6). 3b hits- Loney. SB- Pierre (26). LOB- Los Angeles 4, Detroit 5. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Lowe (4-6) 7.0 8 3-2 0 5 4.03 Wade 1.0 1 2-2 0 1 2.18 HBP- by Wade. T- 2:34 (1:05 delay). Att- 40,430,Ailing Bats?
Although James Loney tripled to hit safely in his 11th consecutive game, and Juan Pierre in his sixth in a row, Brad DeWitt is hitting .189 in June, Andre Ethier has hit 1-for-5 in his last four games, Jeff Kent is 1-for-13 in his last four, Luis Maza is 1-for-21 in his last nine.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Right-hander Jason Schmidt is still "uncomfortable" and marked the one-year anniversary of the last time he pitched in a major league game. Torre said. "We have invested all this time, so we certainly want him to be as good as he can be before he begins a rehab." ...Torre didn't deny a published report that said shortstop Rafael Furcal has a bulging disc in his lower back, and Furcal has been shut down from all baseball activity until further notice. The Dodgers aren't talking about surgery for Furcal, who is in his free agent season, but that often the case when strengthening exercises and injections don't resolve bulging disk issues. Furcal missed the last 12 games of the 2007 season with the same injury and thought a winter strengthening program would prevent a recurrence. ...Nomar Garciaparra (left calf) is expected to start his own rehab assignment Tuesday with Las Vegas against Tacoma. He is expected to play shortstop, his original position in the majors, so he can fill in for Furcal until he returns. ...The Dodgers and Tigers have played just seven times in their history and Los Angeles has won five of the seven contests. ...Old friend Jeff Weaver was released by the Brewers after posting a 6.22 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A. Weaver was 27-25 with the Dodgers during 2004 and 2005. ... The Dodgers will hold their fifth-annual Father's Day Catch presented by Macy's next Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT. To ensure safety, Macy's will provide foam souvenir balls. Farmer John will also provide complimentary Dodger Dogs for the event. Father's Day Catch at Dodger Stadium is free and open to the public. Fans can arrive as early as 9:30 a.m. to partake in the special day.