Furcal May Be Able to Help Out

Dodgers trainer Stan Conte made a day trip to Phoenix on Wednesday to check in on shortstop Rafael Furcal, who continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired lower back there. Club officials hope to have a more definitive idea by this weekend on whether Furcal has a chance to play again this season.

The plan right now is for Furcal to return to Los Angeles and work out with the team this weekend before each of the three games with the Arizona Diamondbacks. There was a similar plan in place last weekend, when the Dodgers played the Diamondbacks in Phoenix, but Furcal wound up returning to the Dominican Republic to take care of personal business instead.

"Stan watched him go trough his routine and he seemed very comfortable," manager Joe Torre said. "To me, I don't want to put a timetable on (his return) because I think it's all guesswork at this point and time."

With the Dodgers' Class A affiliate at Inland Empire (San Bernardino, Calif.) earning a playoff spot with an extra-inning victory Tuesday, it's possible that Furcal could play some rehab games with the 66ers.

"We talked to Stan about that, and I'm sure it's a possibility," Torre said. "But again, we'll see what we see here this weekend and have a better picture and figure out what we're going to do."

Notes and Quotes
--OF Juan Pierre's lower back injury doesn't appear serious, but manager Joe Torre said before Wednesday's game that Pierre would be available only in an emergency. Pierre was said to have some mild, lingering soreness, but he appeared to be walking unhampered around the clubhouse. Pierre pulled up in obvious pain after grounding out in the seventh inning on Tuesday night.

--RHP Hiroki Kuroda won his eighth game of the season, beating the Padres for the second time. Kuroda improved to 6-2 with a 3.54 ERA at home this season. Kuroda walked just one batter and now has walked two batters or fewer in 22 of his 27 starts this season, with an average of 2.12 walks per nine innings for the season.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton worked a perfect ninth inning for his 12th save in 14 opportunities since Takashi Saito went onto the disabled list. Since he last blew a save on Aug. 24 at Philadelphia, Broxton has made four appearances, retiring 12 of 13 batters with eight strikeouts. He has posted saves in two of those appearances.

--2B Blake DeWitt homered for the second game in a row after going 47 games without hitting a home run. DeWitt is batting .316 (6-for-19) since his most recent major-league call-up on Thursday. In the three-game sweep of the Padres, he went 3-for-10 with two homers, three walks and three RBIs.

--SS Angel Berroa went 2-for-4 and belted his first home run in the major leagues since Sept. 25, 2006. Berroa, who also doubled and scored two runs, is now hitting .364 (12-for-33) in the past 10 games in which he has had an at-bat. His home run immediately followed DeWitt's, giving the Dodgers their first set of back-to-back home runs this season.

--Rocky Hall, agent of second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, reported that both the Dodgers and Phillies are interested in the second baseman who was released by the San Diego Padres recently.

--Andruw Jones told the Los Angeles Times he started looking forward to next year. "This year," Jones said, "it's basically over." Jones, who is hitting .161 with three home runs and 14 runs batted in in 74 games, was activated from the disabled list the day major league teams could expand their rosters. But he is still bothered by his surgically repaired knee, which he re-injured while on a rehab assignment in Las Vegas. Jones, who signed a two-year, $36.2-million contract with the Dodgers last winter, again called this season the toughest of his career. "I've got one more year with the Dodgers," he said. "This year, it's been a frustrating year. It's one of those things that you have to put behind you and look forward to next year."

By The Numb3rs: 26 -- Seasons since Dodgers manager Joe Torre had been at the helm of a team that lost eight consecutive games, a streak that was broken when the Dodgers dropped eight in a row to Philadelphia, Washington and Arizona in late August. Torre's most recent eight-game losing streak prior to that had come with the Atlanta Braves in 1982.

Quote to Note
: "He can do so much with his presence in our lineup. He is an absolutely great teammate, and he always has so much energy. To be able to bring that to the clubhouse and onto the field, and with what he can do on a field, he can make a team so much better." -- RHP Chad Billingsley on LF Manny Ramirez, who has been a refreshing, smiling presence on a club that, at times this season, has been noticeably tense.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Medical Watch OF Juan Pierre (lower back spasms) left the Sept. 2 game and sat out Sept. 3.

2B Jeff Kent (torn cartilage in left knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 30. He had arthroscopic surgery Sept. 2, and he might be able to return before the end of the season.

RHP Brad Penny (shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 14, just six days after he came off of it following a stint of almost two months. If he does return this season, it might be as a reliever.

RHP Takashi Saito (sprained right elbow ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 13, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 2. He had no after effects following a bullpen session and will throw the first of two simulated games on Saturday. The Dodgers are hoping he can be activated on September 12 in Colorado.

SS Rafael Furcal (lower back tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 6, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 4. He was expected to be activated May 23 but was sore that morning. He started a rehab assignment with Class AAA Las Vegas on June 30, and he felt discomfort in his back the next morning. He had surgery July 3 to have a disk in his lower back partially removed. The Dodgers hope to know whether he will return this season or not in early September. --Takashi Saito had no after effects following a bullpen session and will throw the first of two simulated games on Saturday. The Dodgers are hoping he can be activated on September 12 in Colorado.

RHP Yhency Brazoban (sore right shoulder) was called up from the minors and placed on the 60-day disabled list July 22. --Takashi Saito had no after effects following a bullpen session and will throw the first of two simulated games on Saturday. The Dodgers are hoping he can be activated on September 12 in Colorado.

RHP Jason Schmidt (right shoulder surgery in June 2007) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 20. He began a rehab assignment May 11. He was hit in the calf with a line drive during a rehab start on May 31, and the "new injury" extended his stay in the minors. He began a new rehab assignment with Class AAA Las Vegas on June 28, but had a setback in mid-July. He threw off a mound Aug. 20, and he pitched one inning for Las Vegas on Aug. 29. If Schmidt returns to the Dodgers this season, it would be as a reliever.

C Gary Bennett (plantar fasciitis in left foot) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 19, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 25. He had a setback in mid-June, and there was no timetable for his return.

INF Tony Abreu (sore right hip) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 13. He had season-ending surgery May 28.

Player stats:

    HITTERS

Danny Ardoin, C
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  SB
Last Game   	.000     1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .267    15   2   4   0   0   1   1   1
Season        	.231    39   3   9   1   0   1   4   1

Angel Berroa, SS
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  SB
Last Game     	.500     4   2   2   1   0   1   1   0
Last 7 Games    .375    24   4   9   2   0   1   3   0
Season        	.235   162  16  38   9   1   1   9   0

Casey Blake, 3B
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  SB
Last Game       .500     4   1   2   0   0   1   2   0
Last 7 Games    .321    28   5   9   1   0   3   6   1
With Cleveland  .289   325  46  94  24   0  11  58   2

Blake DeWitt, 3B
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RB   SB
Last Game       .250     4   1   1   0   0   1   2   0
Last 7 Games    .316    19   2   6   0   0   2   5   0
Season        	.261   299  33  78  11   2   7  40   3

Andre Ethier, RF
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game       .500     4   1   2   1   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .393    28  10  11   3   1   2   3   3
Season        	.284   457  78 13   31   4  1   60   6

Rafael Furcal, SS
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  H  RBI  SB
Last Game       .250     4   1   1   0   0   1   1   0
Last 7 Games    .375    32  12  12   2   0   2   5   2
Season        	.366   134  34  49  12   2   5  16   8

Nomar Garciaparra, SS
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3   H  RBI  SB
Last Game       .000     1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .143    21   1   3   0   0   0   0   0
Season       	.234   141  18  33   5   0   6  21   1

Chin-lung Hu, SS
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  H  RBI  SB
Last Game       .000     0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .105    19   3   2   0   1   0   1   0
Season        	.159   107  13  17   1   2   0   7   1

Andruw Jones, CF
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2   3B  H  RB   SB
Last Game       .000     1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .167     6   1   1   0   0   1   1   0
Season        	.161   205  2   33   8   1   3  14   0

Matt Kemp, CF
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  H  RBI  SB
Last Game       .250     4   1   1   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .208    24   5   5   0   0   1   3   3
Season        	.288   527  80 152  36   4  16  69  32

Jeff Kent, 2B
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  H  RBI  SB
Last Game       .000     2   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .179    28   0   5   0   0   0   1   0
Season        	.275   432  41 119  23   1  11  57   0

James Loney, 1B
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game       .000     4   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .379    29   0  11   0   0   0   4   0
Season        	.304   516  59 157  33   6  11  76   6

Russell Martin, C
            	  BA    AB   R   H  2B  3B  H  RBI  SB
Last Game       .333     3   0   1   0   0   0   1   1
Last 7 Games    .207    29   2   6   0   0   0   2   2
With NLS      	.333     3   0   1   0   0   0   0   0

Juan Pierre, LF
            	  BA    AB  R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game       .000    4   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .125    8   0   1   0   0   0   0   0
Season        	.274  339  40  93   9   2   0  25  38

Manny Ramirez, LF
            	  BA   AB  R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game       .000   2   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .524  21   9  11   3   0   4   8   1
With ALS      	.000   2   0   0   0   0   0   0   0

Jason Repko, CF
            	  BA   AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game       1.000   1   0   1   0   0   0   0   1
Last 7 Games  	.125    8   0   1   0   0   0   0   1
Season        	.125    8   0   1   0   0   0   0   1

Mark Sweeney, 1B
            	  BA  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game        .000   1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games     .000   5   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Season        	 .134  82   2  11   3   0   0   5   0

Delwyn Young, LF
            	  BA   AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB
Last Game        .000    1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games     .167   12   0   2   1   0   0   1   0
Season        	 .248  113   9  28   7   0   1   6   0


  PITCHERS

Joe Beimel, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G  IP   H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   2   1   0   0   0   1
Last 7 Games    0.00   0-0   0   3   3   3   0   0   1   1
Season        	2.20   4-1   0  60  41  44  10   0  20  25

Chad Billingsley, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G   IP    H   ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       2.57   1-0   0   1    7    9    2   0   2   6
Last 7 Games    3.32   1-1   0   3   19   21    7   1  11  15
Season        	3.13  13-10  0  30  176  159   61  11  72 177

Jonathan Broxton, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G  IP   H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   1   1   1   0   0   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    0.00   0-0   2   3   3   1   0   0   0   5
Season        	3.47   3-5  12  60  60  47  23   2  21  77

Scott Elbert, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP   H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   0.2   0   0   0   1   0
Last 7 Games    3.86   0-0   0   3   2.1   1   1   1   2   5
Season        	3.86   0-0   0   3   2.1   1   1   1   2   5

Jason Johnson, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G  IP    H  ER  H   BB   K
Last Game       9.00   0-0   0   1   1    1   1   0   3   2
Last 7 Games   11.57   0-0   0   3   2    2   3   1   4   2
Season        	4.61   1-1   0  12  27   25  14   5  11  18

Clayton Kershaw, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G   IP   H   ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       3.86   1-0   0   1    7   3    3   0   3   6
Last 7 Games    9.45   1-2   0   3   13  15   14   3   8  13
Season        	4.50   3-5   0  17   86  89   43   9  44  77

Hong-Chih Kuo, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G  IP   H   E   HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   2   0    0   0   0   3
Last 7 Games    0.00   0-0   0   3   5   2    0   0   0   9
Season        	2.07   4-2   1  40  78  55   18   4  19  94

Hiroki Kuroda, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G   IP    H  ER  HR  BB    K
Last Game       6.75   1-0   0   1    5   10   4   1   1    4
Last 7 Games    3.86   1-1   0   3   16   16   7   1   4   13
Season        	3.96  8-10   0  27  161  159  71  13  38  102

Derek Lowe, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G   IP   H   ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   1-0   0   1    6    4   0   0   1    2
Last 7 Games    1.33   2-1   0   3   20   14   3   1   4   15
Season        	3.69  11-11  0  29  181  177  74  14  39  128

Greg Maddux, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP   H   ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       3.18   1-0   0   1   5.2   6    2   0   0   4
Last 7 Games    5.94   1-2   0   3  16.2  23   11   2   2   8
With LAD      	5.94   1-2   0   3  16.2  23   11   2   2   8

Chan Ho Park, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP    H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game      81.00   0-0   0   1   0.1    3   3   0   1   0
Last 7 Games   23.14   0-0   0   3   2.1    7   6   1   1   1
Season        	3.05   4-3   2  43  86.0   86  29  12  32  68

Brad Penny, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G  IP    H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game      18.00   0-0   0   1   3    6   6   3   2   4
Last 7 Games   10.80   1-1   0   3  12   14  14   5   7   4
Season        	6.05   6-9   0  17  94  108  63  12  41  51

Scott Proctor, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP   H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   0.1   0   0   0   1   0
Last 7 Games   27.00   0-0   0   3   1.1   4   4   0   3   3
Season        	6.75   1-0   0  34  32.0  36  24   6  2   36

Takashi Saito, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP   H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   0.2   0   0   0   0   2
Last 7 Games    0.00   0-0   1   3   3.2   0   0   0   1   4
Season        	2.18   3-3  17  39  41.1  3   10   1  12  53

Eric Stults, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP    H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       7.36   0-0   0   1   3.2    6   3   1   3   4
Last 7 Games    4.61   0-1   0   3  13.2   19   7   4   8  14
Season        	3.18   2-2   0   6  34.0   34  12   5  13  25

Ramon Troncoso, P
        	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP   H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   0.0   2   1   0   0   0
Last 7 Games    9.82   0-0   0   3   3.2   7   4   0   1   3
Season        	4.64   1-1   0  27  33.0  34  17   1  12  33

Cory Wade, P
             	 ERA   W-L  Sv   G    IP    H  ER  HR  BB   K
Last Game       0.00   0-0   0   1   1.2    1   0   0   0   1
Last 7 Games    0.00   0-0   0   3   3.0    1   0   0   0   2
Season        	2.54   2-1   0  44  56.2   45  16   7  13  39


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