Blake Gets First Hand Feel of Rivalry

It didn't take that long for newly-minted third baseman Casey Blake to get into the Dodgers-Giants rivalry that has existed for over 100 years. He was ejected after vocally protesting being rung up on a checked swing for the second time in the game. Joe Torre was booted later, a fan ended up in the Giants dugout and the usual time was had by all.

Oh, yes, San Francisco pounded Hiroki Kuroda and the Dodgers lost 7-6.

Kuroda was smacked for seven earned runs in the first four innings and in three second-half starts, he is now 0-2 with a 13.11 ERA. The Dodgers nearly came back from a 7-0 fourth-inning deficit. They lost their hottest bat in Nomar Garciaparra, who has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and after the smoke cleared and the parking lot emptied, Kuroda was found running wind sprints in the outfield.

Los Angeles missed yet another chance to move into a first place tie after Arizona lost to San Diego. Colorado also lost so they remain one game back and one game under .500 at 52-53.

After Kuroda gave up two in the third and five in the fourth before leaving with two out, the Dodgers scored five of their own in the fifth and one in the sixth, leaving a runner at third base when Juan Pierre flied out, but then the final 10 batters in a row were retired.

After Kuroda's meltdown, the Dodgers bullpen of Ramon Troncoso, Brian Falkenborg, Cory Wade and Hong-Chih Kuo held the Giants hitless over the final 5.1 innings.

It was one of those unusual nights when it appeared to be safer on the field than in the stands, with confrontations breaking out like California wildfires.

The climax came when a fan climbed on the roof of the Giants dugout and was jerked into the dugout proper by security, a drop of some eight feet and was arrested.

Blake, who was 2-for-4 on the evening, was ejected after being called out on a checked swing for the second time in the game. And this one came didn't come until he had returned to the Dugout.

Almost on the anniversary of George Brett's charge out of the dugout in Yankee Stadium when the umpires ruled his three-run home run was nullified by too much pine tar too high on the bat, Blake showed the same emotion.

The newest Dodger ran down to first base to loudly state his case with umpire Greg Gibson and was given the rest of the night off for his interest in the matter. Torre was tossed after an argument of his own.

The older Dodgers and Giants fans in the stands just smiled and nodded their heads.

After the game, Blake said he liked the positive energy he was feeling from his new team, even after it fell behind by seven runs.

"Oh man, that was good to see," Blake said. "We almost got it down right there and put together a pretty good inning. It was fun to be a part of. Coming from Cleveland, it seemed like it was tough for us to get innings like that. To be a part of it here was fun."

Kuroda, after a pair of scoreless innings, allowed two in the third and then started his own downfall in the fourth.

He couldn't make up his mind on a double-play comebacker that might have ended the inning and ended up not getting an out at all. He came within one out of escaping but a play at the plate was a tick slow, a throw by Angel Berroa on a slow roller to short was just a bit late and Andre Ethier's catch a sinking line drive in left field was ruled a trap and the Giants had five runs when it was all over.

Gibson made the calls against the Dodgers on Berroa's and Ethier's plays and also ejected Blake and Torre later in the game.

Blake was booted after being rung up on what seemed to be an overly-emphatic motion by Gibson at first base. When Blake reached the dugout he imitated Gibson's call. Apparently the umpire was watching to see Blake's reaction to the call and ejected him.

Blake had a brief argument at first base and Torre offered his opinion that Gibson should not have been watching Blake in the dugout and he got the heave-ho also.

"My contention is, he's just looking for trouble," said Torre. "You have a tense game and somebody checking their swing and you realize it's the heat of the game. All of a sudden you're looking to get rid of a player in a close ballgame. That doesn't make sense to me."



The first five Dodgers in the lineup finished the game 2-for-21 and they received some offense from unexpected places.

Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth, James Loney was save on an error and Blake singled to left. Andre Ethier singled in the first run and Berroa singled in the second. Mark Sweeney (who was 0-for-19), pinch-hitting for Troncoso smacked a two-run double and Pierre beat out a bunt as Sweeney scored.

Blake doubled in the sixth and scored on a two-out single by Andrew Jones to close out the scoring for the evening.

"I haven't been throwing my pitches lately and I haven't had good outings," Kuroda said after the game. "I'm putting a lot of burden on the rest of the team." Then at 11 p.m. he went out to run wind sprints in the outfield.

Tonight, Jason Johnson gets his first Dodgers start and in the bargain, he gets to face Giants ace Matt Cain.

Johnson (0-0, 2.57 ERA), who pitches with an insulin pump, has started 214 Major League games and gone 55-98 with a 4.98 ERA in his career.

Cain (6-8, 3.82 ERA) has never beaten the Dodgers, posting a 0-4 record against them with a 5.30 ERA lifetime. This year, he pitched 5.2 innings in an April 1 no-decision and lost to Los Angeles on July 6, allowing five runs and eight hits in six innings.

 Score by innings
San Francisco	002 500 000-7
Los Angeles	000 051 000-6

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	4  0  1  0  .279
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Ozuna 3b	1  0  0  0  .279
Kemp cf-rf	4  0  1  0  .292
Martin c	4  0  0  0  .294
Kent 2b	        4  0  0  0  .248
Loney 1b	4  1  0  0  .299
Blake 3b	4  2  2  0  .293
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .333
Ethier rf-lf	3  1  1  1  .275
Berroa ss	4  1  1  1  .297
Kuroda p	1  0  0  0  .061
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
  Sweeney ph	1  1  1  2  .106
 Falkenborg p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Jones ph-cf	2  0  1  1  .169
  Totals	36 6 8 5		
  San Francisco	36 8 9 7

 2b hits- Sweeney (3), Blake (26). 
RBI- Ethier (46), Berroa (4), Sweeney
2 (5), Jones (13).

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kuroda (5-8)	3.2  9  7-7  0  2  4.40
Troncoso	1.1  0  0-0  0  2  5.68
Falkenborg	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  5.23
Wade	        2.0  0  0-0  1  2  2.78
Kuo	        1.0  0  0-0  0  2  1.83
 T- 3:06. Att- 37,438.
Nomar Out Indefinitely
Garciaparra has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, suffered in a play at third base on Sunday. He will have "very little" activity over the next few days, then will "progress to baseball activity as tolerated."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Matt Kemp singled in the fourth inning Monday to extend his career-high hitting streak to 15 games, tied with Seattle's Jose Lopez for the best active streak in the Majors. It also tied James Loney's streak to start the season for Los Angeles' longest of the year. ... Third baseman Blake DeWitt was activated at Triple-A Las Vegas, and former Giants pitcher Jerome Williams was promoted from Inland Empire to Las Vegas. The 51s infielder Terry Tiffee and pitcher Mike Koplove were placed on the temporarily inactive list as they prepare to depart for the Olympics. ...Chad Billingsley visited with patients at Mattel Children's Hospital on Monday to commemorate the launch of his new initiative, "Chad's Champs," which will continue through the season as 10 kids from the hospital will get to attend a Dodgers game and meet with Billingsley on four different occasions, including Saturday's game against the D-backs. ...The Dodgers celebrated Japanese Community Night to honor the Japanese-American community. The Nisei Week court was introduced on the field, Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu gave a karate demonstration and consul general of Japan Junichi Ihara threw out a ceremonial first pitch. "Desperate Housewives" star Nicollette Sheridan also threw out a ceremonial first pitch. ... With the Dodgers and D-backs both losing Monday to keep Arizona's lead in the National League West at one game, the two teams have had the same result in six of their last seven contests since Los Angeles took two of three in Phoenix the series before.

Computer Repairs
The LADugout reports will be limited today because of repairs on our computer. We will put it up on the rack and have the experts check the battery, change the oil and filter and perhaps switch the tires. If possible, we will catch everyone up on the minor league games later in the day. Thanks for your patience!

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