Garciaparra Injures Knee in Loss

Dodgers infielder Nomar Garciaparra reinjured his left knee while attempting to score from second on a two-out single in the fifth inning of the 15-7 loss in Pittsburgh. He was playing first base in place of James Loney with left hander Zach Duke on the mound for the Pirates.

Garciaparra had knocked in a run in the fourth inning and singled with two out in the fifth before the incident.

Leading 4-3, Matt Kemp and Pablo Ozuna followed with singles. Garciaparra got the green light from third base coach Larry Bowa, then the Pittsburgh right fielder came up with the ball quickly and Bowa changed his mind and tried to hold him up.

Garciaparra was about halfway down the third base line and slammed on the brakes to go back to third. His right foot slipped on the grass as he turned and his left knee twisted. He fell to the ground, writhing in pain.

The throw came in to home plate and Pittsburgh catcher Ryan Doumit trotted down the third base line and tagged the crumpled Garciaparra for the hird out to end the inning.

"It looked like he tried to stop himself and his spike got caught in the turf," manager Joe Torre. "But he's all right, it's probably going to be sore for a couple of days. He's moving around all right. He seemed pretty upbeat about it."

Garciaparra remained on the ground for several minutes before he walked back to the dugout without assistance. He was replaced in the bottom of the inning by James Loney.

A minute or so later, he was able to walk off the field unaided. But for a player who is 35, who is a free agent after the season and whom the club isn't expected to re-sign, there was no guarantee that this wasn't the final chapter of his three-year hitch with the Dodgers.

"I'm sure it's going to be a lot more painful tomorrow," Garciaparra said. "It definitely got my ligament again. I think it could have been a lot worse. Everything else feels pretty solid. It just feels like I sprained it again, but I don't know how bad it is."

The former Red Sox shortstop has played in only 50 games this season. He had previously been on the disabled list three times with a broken right hand, a strained left calf and left knee irritation caused by a sprained ligament.

"It was already strained and sore before," Garciaparra said. "I could have sprained it again, but I don't know how bad it is."

The 35-year-old Garciaparra has had injury problems for years, and was limited to 81 games with Boston in 2004 and 62 with the Cubs in 2005. He has not played in more than 122 games in any of his three seasons with Los Angeles.