Dodger Mistakes Costly in Loss to Giants

The Dodgers are a magnificent offensive team, with a lineup that has the ability one through eight to made opposing pitcher's pay for any mistakes they might make. But this magnificent offense unit seemingly has feet of clay that is labeled "bullpen" and that, plus bad fielding and questionable decisions, resulted in a 5-4 loss in San Francisco.

The laundry list of mistakes included an the eighth inning that turned a 4-3 Dodgers lead into the 5-4 San Francisco win. Two fielding mistakes helped the Giants score twice. Add in two catchable balls in the outfield in the first inning that cost three runs and there were five San Francisco runs that shouldn't have been put on the board.

Manager Joe Torre elected to leave Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton sitting in the bullpen. He has recently shied away from using Kou as a setup man and has gone almost exclusively to rookie Ron Belisario but twice he has cost them wins.

After the Dodgers had finally overcome San Francisco's 3-0 first-inning lead with four runs in the seventh, Belisario was allowed to pitch a second inning after he set the Giants down in order in the eighth.

A pair of hits, a tap to the mound on which Belisario threw too late to the plate as the tying run scored and then Casey Blake's fumble and that was the game.

Veteran Randy Wolf worked five shutout innings after giving up three tainted runs in the first and turned the game over to the bullpen.

The Giants got a one-out double by Edgar Renteria to open the first inning that fell between Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the howling San Francisco wind,

"We couldn't hear each other out there," Kemp said. "It was a tough ball. Hudson said we were both calling it and we didn't hear each other. I don't know what to really say about it. The wind was bad but that ball should have been caught by one of us."

Kemp also made no excuses for misjudged a drive by Randy Winn that went for a triple. A two-out double by Aaron Rowand and Pedro Sandoval's RBI single resulted in three first inning runs.

Wolf only allowed two more hits over the next five innings, singles in the third and fourth innings.

Giants starter Barry Zito was mowing the Dodgers down with regularity, allowing his first hit to Blake in the third and walking Rafael Furcal. A wild pitch put them both in scoring position but Orlando Hudson lined to right for the final out.

He hit Andre Ethier with two out in the fourth and Russ Martin singled but Mark Loretta, playing first base instead of James Loney, flew out to end that threat. Loney is 1-for-20 lifetime, with six walks and no strikeouts, against Barry Zito.

Zito pitched around a Manny Ramirez single in the sixth and took a 3-0 lead into the top of the seventh.

He walked Loretta with one out in the inning. Casey Blake then drove a long home run into the left field seats. Pinch-hitter Juan Pierre singled to knock Zito out of the game before Hudson and Ramirez added RBI singles off Merkin Valdez for a 4-3 lead.

Belisario (0-2) retired the Giants in order in the seventh but in the eighth, he allowed singles by Fred Lewis and Renteria, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Then he fanned Randy Winn.

Rich Aurilia bounced back to the mound and the deciding play of the game saw Belisario with a chance to to tag the runner instead threw too late to the plate as the tying run scored.

Belisario then threw what was officially called a wild pitch, although television replays seemed to indicate it should have been a passed ball, however, that changed nothing but the statistics.

With the infield in, Blake fielded a ground ball at third base and intending to cut off the lead runner at the plate, he had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and had to throw to first instead, allowing the eventual winning run to cross the plate.

"The ball was on the heel of the glove," said Blake. "When I got a grip on it, I didn't think I'd have a play at home and I wanted to minimize the damage. I should have made that play. I think if I made a strong throw home right away, we'd get him."

Blake, Blake DeWitt and Furcal struck out in the ninth and that was that.

After the traumatic loss, the Dodgers slip to 13-7 (2 1/2 up on San Diego with the Giants now just three back) and send Chad Billingsley against Jonathan Sanchez tonight. Billingsley is 4-0 in four starts and he is 3-0 in three starts following Dodgers losses.

  Score by Innings
LA Dodgers	000 000 400-4
San Francisco	300 000 02x-5

  Dodgers	ab r  h  bi ave
Furcal ss	3  1  0  0  .253
Hudson 2b	4  0  1  1  .346
Ramirez lf	4  0  2  1  .338
Kemp cf       	3  0  0  0  .306
Ethier rf	3  0  0  0  .301
Martin c	4  0  1  0  .239
Loretta 1b	3  1  0  0  .438
 Loney 1b	0  0  0  0  .319
Blake 3b	4  1  2  2  .246
Wolf p        	1  0  0  0  .091
 Pierre ph	1  1  1  0  .375
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
 DeWitt ph	1  0  0  0  .125
-----------------------------
  Total	        31 4 7 4 
  San Francisco	33 5 8 5

  HR- Blake (5). RBI- Blake 2 (14),
Hudson (9), Ramirez (14). S- Wolf.
LOB- Dodgers 6. San Francisco 5. 

  Dodgers 	in  h r-er bb so  era
Wolf        	6.0  6  3-3  0  4  4.31
Belisario (0-2)	2.0  2  2-2  1  3  3.68
  WP- Belisario. HBP- Ethier. T- 2:42. Att- 30,091.
Hiroki Kuroda receives cortisone shot
Head trainer Stan Conte said the shot was an effort to get over that final hurdle that is preventing him from coming back. Everyone was pleased with Kuroda's recent bullpen, but there is still that last bit of discomfort that he is feeling in his left oblique muscle, and the belief is that this will get rid of it.

He's still probably a couple of weeks from coming back, because he won't throw until this weekend and will still need a rehab start.

'Mannywood' to Open in Dodger Stadium
Manny Ramirez now has a place to call his own at Dodger Stadium. Starting Thursday, when the Dodgers return for an 11-game homestand, fans will be able to sit in "Mannywood," a section of seats in left field named in honor of the team's left fielder.

The field level seats, located on the fair side of the foul pole and closest to Ramirez's playing position, will be sold in pairs with Mannywood T-shirts for $99. The price represents Ramirez's jersey number.

On May 5, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, fans who purchase tickets in Ramirez's seating section will receive a limited edition T-shirt with the Spanish phrase "Yo estuve en Mannywood," which means "I was in Mannywood."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Loney didn't start because of his .050 average (1-for-20, six strikeouts) against Zito. ...The contest marks the seventh game in a nine-game road trip (3-3) that also featured stops in Houston and Colorado. The club will return home for a season-high 11-game homestand. Currently, the Dodgers are playing game seven in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that began Tuesday. ...The Dodgers-Giants career head-to-head record is 1,154 to 1,132 in favor of the Giants. ...Shortstop Rafael Furcal has reached base safely in all 18 games he has played in this season and currently has hit safely in nine of his last 11. He had reached base in his first plate appearance to lead off the game in nine straight starts, dating back to April 15, before grounding out to third base last night. ...Andre Ethier seems to have figured out left-handed pitching early in the season. In fact, his .842 slugging percentage against southpaws ranks second in Major League Baseball. ...The Dodgers Assistant Director of Player Development, Chris Haydock celebrated his birthday at Campo Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic, where he is visiting the Dodgers' academy on official business.

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