Another Late Dodger Rally Falls Short

The good news-bad news thing goes like this: The bad news is that the Dodgers left 11 on base, five on third and the bases loaded with the score tied in the ninth. The good news is the Dodgers hadn't lost to Cleveland in 89 years, the seventh game of the 1920 World Series to be exact. Clayton Kershaw got another no decision and Takashi Saito (3-3) was shredded in the 10th and took the 6-4 loss.

Although the Dodgers outhit Cleveland 12-9, they went back into the LOB mode as Kent (3), Loney (4) and LaRoche (5) left teammates standing all evening long. Juan Pierre was left on third base three times.

Jeff Kent slammed a single and a pair doubles, Juan Pierre stole two bases (#28), singled twice, James Loney hit in his 17th straight game and the club actually got a pinch-hit. It was Young, Sweeney misfired yet again and his average slid to .109.

All that action should have resulted in a win but the club didn't get on the board until the eighth inning after spotting Cleveland an early 4-0 lead.

The Dodgers nearly wriggled out of the 10th inning mess. Saito loaded the bases with none out and the Dodgers played the infield in. Former Dodger minor leaguer Franklin Gutierrez bounced into an unusual double play when shortstop Angel Berroa threw to Russell Martin at the plate for the first out and Martin's throw to Blake DeWitt at third completed the twin-killing.

But then Jhonny Peralta lined a shot to right field that Andre Ethier couldn't come up with despite a diving attempt, and the hit scored two, ending the Dodgers mini-winning streak at three.

After starter Clayton Kershaw was touched for four hits, three walks and four runs in his five-inning stint, the Dodgers finally righted themselves in the eighth and scored twice. Matt Kemp led off with a double and he scored on Kent's second two-bagger of the game, a drive that just ticked off the center fielder's glove. Loney's single cut the margin to 4-2.

In the ninth Angel Berroa singled and Martin doubled. With one out, Pierre's ground ball off the pitcher's leg made it 4-3. Pierre swiped his 28th base and Kemp was walked intentionally. Kent's ground ball drove in the tying run and Loney was intentionally walkd. Andy LaRoche was retired on a fly ball to center field and the game moved into the fateful 10th.

The Indians snapped a seven-game road losing streak against NL clubs and have now beaten all 30 teams in the regular season.

The Dodgers came in with the worst team batting average in interleague games since the format was introduced in 1997 (.255). They have lost 39 of 55 games against AL teams since 2005.

Kershaw was tagged with three runs and left after walking the first two in the sixth. Scott Proctor, who has had a miserable season thus far, struck out the first two Indians he faced before giving up an RBI single, extending Cleveland's margin to 4-0.

One inning later, rookie Ramon Troncoso, just recalled from Las Vegas, escaped his own bases-loaded jam with a strikeout, fanning Ryan Garko who had tapped Kershaw for a two-run homer in the third. Four of Shoppach's last eight hits have been homers.

With Dodger pitchers falling like rain, Saito was asked if he was healthy after he served up the winning runs in the 10th. "Nothing wrong physically," he said, although his 2.64 ERA is almost twice last year's 1.40.

"I made a bad situation for myself," said Saito. "As a closer, walking the first batter is the last thing I want to do. I dug a hole for myself."

"I don't know if it's something physical, but he's having a hard time locating the fastball on his glove side -- away to right-handers," said catcher Russell Martin, who was getting a day off but came in late in the game and finished with a pair of hits and a run batted in.

Although they lost again, the Dodgers didn't lose any ground but missed yet another chance to close in on Arizona. They fell to 34-39 and remain 4 1/2 back, just as they were May 13.

Indian starter Cliff Lee put on a pitching clinic for Kershaw, a fellow left-hander. "It was amazing to see what he could do by getting ahead of hitters," Kershaw said of Lee. "I took a step back tonight. Detroit was probably my best start, but tonight I struggled. My fastball command wasn't there. In Detroit, I thought I figured things out. Now it's back to the drawing board. I'm not helping the team.

"I'm not discouraged. I still have confidence," he said. "I belong up here. If I make better pitches, I'll get a lot of people out. I'm disappointed. I'm frustrated. But I'm not discouraged with how I'm doing as a whole."

The three Dodgers relievers, Proctor, Troncoso and Cory Wade, combined for four scoreless innings with Wade adding two, lowering his ERA to 1.80.

Things get even worse this afternoon when emergency starter Chan Ho Park (2-2, 2.95 ERA) gets his second start of the season after allowing two runs on three hits over four innings against the Angeles in May. Park has been bothered by tenderness in his shoulder but had no problem pitching in Detroit.

?He faces one of the best in the American League, LHP C.C. Sabathia (5-8, 4.26 ERA), who got off slowly but has posted a 2.39 ERA over his last 10 starts. He struck out 10 against the Padres in his last outing, marking the 14th time in his career he had posted a double-digit strikeout game.

If you believe in David and Goliath, this is a game for you.

 Score by innings
Cleveland	002 101 000 2-6		
Los Angeles	000 000 022 0-4

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	5  0  2  1  .282?
Kemp cf	        4  1  1  0  .292
?Kent 2b	        5  1  3  2  .256?
Loney 1b	4  0  1  1  .306
?LaRoche 3b	5  0  1  0  .182
 Saito p	0  0  0  0  .000?
Ethier rf	5  0  0  0  .000
?Berroa ss	4  1  1  0  .200?
Ardoin c	2  0  0  0  .143
 Martin c	3  1  2  0  .310
?Kershaw p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Proctor p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Young ph	1  0  1  0  .306
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Sweeney ph	1  0  0  0  .109
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 DeWitt ph-3b	2  0  0  0  .274
  Totals	42 4 12 4
  Cleveland	37 6  9 6

 Error- LaRoche (1). 2b hits- Kent 2 (11),
Martin (14). RBI- Kent 2 (33), Loney (36),
Pierre (24). SB- Pierre 2 (28). LOB- Los
Angeles 11, Cleveland 9. DP- Berroa, Martin
and DeWitt.

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kershaw	        5.0  4  4-4  3  5  4.34
Proctor	        1.0  1  0-0  0  3  5.68
Troncoso	1.0  1  0-0  1  3  8.10
Wade	        2.0  0  0-0  0  2  1.80
Saito (3-3)	1.0  3  2-2  2  0  2.64
 HBP- by Troncoso. T- 3:30. Att- 50,667.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers have signed second-round Draft pick Josh Lindblom, a right-handed relief pitcher from Purdue, to a bonus believed to be $600,000. He is scheduled report to Class A Great Lakes in the Midwest League. He is possibly the only player from this year's Draft not to start at the Rookie League level. ...Left-hander Eric Stults yesterday became the ninth different starting pitcher used by the Dodgers in 2008. Only the Texas Rangers have used more, sending 10 different starters to the hill. Philadelphia is the only team which has used the minimum of five starters. ...The Dodgers lost a regular-season game to the Indians for the first time after sweeping a three-game set in Cleveland in 2003. They also played two exhibition games at Dodger Stadium in 2002, losing both. ...L.A. is 16-39 (.291) in Interleague Play and is 86-96 since its inception in 1997. That includes a 13-17 mark against teams from the American League Central. ...Following the off-day Monday, the Dodgers will play 20 games in 20 days leading up to the All-Star break. That is the longest consecutive-games stretch on the 2008 schedule. ...Outfielder Juan Pierre has driven in a run in four straight games and five of six after going 10 games without an RBI. Before this stretch, he had only driven in three runs in his previous 28 games. ...Andruw Jones hit live pitching and is getting close to being ready to go on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. ...The Dodgers were honored by the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with an Award of Excellence star and commemorative plaque for their significant contributions to the Los Angeles community, world culture and entertainment. The Dodgers are the first sports franchise to receive such an honor, and many former and current members of the organization attended the event.  

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