Jason Schmidt Thumped in Second Start

Jason Schmidt was tapped for five runs and five hits in three-plus innings, leaving the game in the third inning when his 51st pitch was hit out of the park as the Dodgers dropped the third game and the series 8-6 to Florida.

In his second start since undergoing two shoulder surgeries that sidelined him most of the 2007 and 2008 season, he lost to the Marlins for the first time in nine career decisions but his future as a starter for the Dodgers may be in jeopardy.

Over a pair of starts, Schmidt has been hit hard, allowing eight runs on 10 hits over 10.1 innings in his two starts.

Jeff Weaver, who hadn't pitched in a week, came in to help out and ended up pouring gasoline on the fire and the Dodgers found themselves down 8-0 after four innings.

With nearly two full years of injuries, rehabs, setbacks and more rehabs, he improbably pitched quite well in his opening game, working four shutout innings after giving up five in the first and the Dodgers went on to win.

However, with the Dodgers hitters struggling somewhat and the fifth starter position still up for grabs after almost four months of the season, time may be running out for the 35-year-old.

Much of his troubles resulted in the inability to keep his pitches out of the belt to shoulder zone where most hitters feast.

"That was my biggest problem," Schmidt said after the game. "My curveball left me today and my changeup was up in the zone. I had a tough time getting the fastball down, getting the fastball in to anybody. It was pretty much about everything, anything that could have went wrong pretty much did.

"It was sort of hit or miss. Usually you have one or two pitches to work with like I did last game. Today, I really didn't have anything that I could get over, and that makes for a tough day."

The Dodgers battled back to close to gap late in the game, in fact, after Russell Martin hit a two-run home run and Ethier and James Loney knocked in runs, it gave Matt Kemp with a chance to tie the game but he fouled out to end things.

Asked if there would be a third start, Schmidt replied, "I don't know. That's up to them. I'm kind of playing every game like it's my last start. That's the nature of the beast right now."

And manager Joe Torre wasn't much more positive. "I'm going to have try to think this through right now," Torre said. "Today, his first inning was wonderful, after that I know he was as frustrated as everyone else when he just couldn't locate it. It really hasn't been a big sampling, that's the only thing that makes it's tough to make a decision on."

Trailing by eight in the sixth inning, Orlando Hudson doubled to center and Andre Ethier dropped a single into short center. James Loney ripped a double to right center to score them both and with one out, Martin smacked his third homer of the season.

Pinch-hitter Brad DeWitt doubled but Pierre lined out to end the inning.

Claudio Vargas took over for Weaver and worked a pair of scoreless innings and Ramon Troncoso worked around a double in the ninth to keep the game close.

Rafael Furcal tripled to open the ninth, Ethier singled him in and Loney drove in his third run of the game with his third hit before Kemp popped up to end the game.

The Dodgers actually out-hit the Marlins 13-11 but they couldn't overcome the early deficit. Ramirez is 2-for-9 since being hit.

Manny Ramirez sat the game out with a sore left hand, still feeling the effects of being hit in the first game of the Cincinnati series.

Torre said that Hong-Chih Kuo, who has missed extensive time with a left elbow strain, would probably be called up to the club during the Dodgers' upcoming seven-game road trip to St. Louis (four) and Atlanta (three). After the game, Blake DeWitt took the shuttle back to Albuquerque after being optioned to in anticipation of Kuo's activation.

Torre also said that Cory Wade (on the DL with a right shoulder strain) will make a rehab appearance with Albuquerque on Monday and that Ronald Belisario (strained right elbow) should throw rehab later this week.

The relentless Rockies chipped another game of the Dodgers' lead after beating the Giants for the second time in a row and trail by eight games.

Tonight in St. Louis the Dodgers will start LHP Randy Wolf (5-4, 3.45 ERA)?who scattered four hits over 7.1 innings for his first home win. He's 3-4 lifetime against St. Louis.

The Cardinals counter with their ace RHP Chris Carpenter (8-3, 2.26 ERA)?who allowed two runs over eight innings in his last start but didn't get a decision in a Cardinals loss. Carpenter has a 1.86 ERA in July.

 Score by innings
Florida	        013 400 000-8
Los Angeles	000 004 002-6

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  1  1  0  .258
Hudson 2b	4  1  2  0  .294
Ethier rf	4  2  2  1  .272
Loney 1b	5  1  3  3  .285
Kemp cf	        5  0  2  0  .314
Martin c	4  1  1  2  .259
Loretta 3b	2  0  0  0  .233
Schmidt p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Weaver p	0  0  0  0  .333
 DeWitt ph	1  0  1  0  .156
 Vargas p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Blake ph	1  0  0  0  .274
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
Pierre lf	4  0  1  0  .313
 Totals	        35 6 13 6
 Florida	35 8 11 7

 Error- Furcal (13). Two-base hits- Hudson 
(26), Loney (18), DeWitt (1). 3B- Furcal (3). 
HR- Martin (3). RBI- Loney 3 (62), Martin 2 
(13), Ethier (62) S- Weaver. LOB- Los Angeles 
8, Florida 8. SB- Kemp (21). CS- Pierre (9). 
DP- Loretta, Hudson and Loney.

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Schmidt (1-1)	3.0  5  5-4  1  1  7.86
Weaver	        3.0  4  3-3  2  2  3.86
Vargas	        2.0  1  0-0  0  2  1.00
Troncoso	1.0  1  0-0  0  0  1.92
 HBP- Hudson, by Schmidt, b Weaver, by Vargas.
T- 3:15. Att- 48,597.
No Deal With Cleveland
One of the rumors that have swirled around as the trading deadline approaches is actually a no deal, sources say. The FOX reported that the Dodgers were in talks with Cleveland on a deal that would bring left-hander Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez to Los Angeles for first baseman James Loney, a young starting pitcher such as Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley and some combination of third baseman Josh Bell, outfielder Andrew Lambo, left-hander Scott Elbert and right-hander Josh Lindblom as part of the proposed trade.

The Dodgers are reportedly in the mix in an attempt to trade for Toronto ace Roy Halladay but apparently the Jays are asking for "two or three players off our current club, including a young pitcher, or five or six prospects," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told KABC Radio in Los Angeles. However, could be made with Toronto that would return reliever and former Dodgers farmhand Jason Frasor reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Dodger Blue Notes-- With the loss, Los Angeles dropped its seventh series of the season and its fourth at Dodger Stadium. ...Dodgers pitchers allowed a season-high eight extra-base hits (seven doubles, one home run). ...Andre Ethier has hit in seven straight games and is hitting .577 over that stretch.

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