Derek Lowe Stops Dodgers on Five Hits

Former Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe, in is first meeting with his old team, gave up five hits and three runs over six innings as Atlanta evened the series with a 4-3 victory. Andre Ethier continued to swing a hot bat, slugging his 22nd homer gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Ethier also homered and drove in four runs in Los Angeles' 5-0 win over the Braves in the first game of the series.

It wasn't the Dodgers brightest hour and with both Colorado and San Francisco winning, the loss, their sixth in nine games, cost them a game in the standings. Baserunning errors, wild throws and fumbled catches seemed to be the order of the day.

Orlando Hudson was doubled off second base after a sliding catch in center field. Russell Martin threw the ball into right field on an attempted pickoff at first base and later dropped the ball on a play at the plate that had the runner by yards.

Even First base umpire Scott Barry admitted he made a mistake on Ethier's drive down the right field line in the first inning that appeared to be fair on television replays but was called foul at the time. He later apologized.

Randy Wolf allowed four runs, one of them unearned, on nine hits over his six innings and too his fifth loss against five wins. He struck out seven and walked a pair.

Atlanta took a 1-0 led in the third inning on a single, a stolen base and Chipper Jones' two out double.

Los Angeles came back in the top of the four with a pair of runs when Rafael Furcal walks, Ethier singled and Manny Ramirez walked to lead off the inning. The came out of that remarkable start with only a pair of runs on Casey Blake's sac fly and James Loney's infield hit. Matt Kemp struck out (he would finish the game 0-for-4 with three strikeouts) and Marlin lined out to end the inning.

Jones' second RBI of the game in the fifth tied it 2-2 before Ethier homered (#22) leading off the sixth to briefly put L.A. on top 3-2.

Atlanta erased the brief Dodgers advantage in the last of the inning. Adam LaRoche (Andy's brother), singled and with two out moved to second on Martin's errant pickoff throw bounced past Loney, then scored on a single to right field when Martin couldn't hold Ethier's throw to the plate.

Hudson doubled with one out in the seventh, then was doubled off when Nate McLough made a sliding catch in center field and nailed the over-anxious Hudson attempting to get back to the base.

The final six Dodgers went down in order and everyone felt they had let this one get away.

"It was a weird game," said Torre after the game. "Even how we lost the lead happened so strangely. You feel you just let one get away. We've played better ball than that defensively but Wolfy pitched well."

Ethier, who should have had a three-hit day, was at .248 three days after the All-Star break. He has hit .411 since then and is 4-for-9 since Torre moved him in front of Ramirez to the second spot in the batting order.

Ramirez, however, was 0-for-3 in the game and on the road trip is 4-for-25 (.200) and hasn't hit a home run since his pinch-hit grand slam July 22. Outside of that homer, he's 5-for-33 (.152) since being hit by a pitch on the left hand July 21.

The Dodgers send Chad Billingsley to the mound in a rare Sunday night game. He's 0-2 lifetime against Atlanta with a 5.93 ERA. In his last start against the Cardinals he took a one-hitter into the sixth, then gave up six runs. He is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA lifetime against the Braves.

The Dodgers will face right-hander Jair Jurrjens (9-7, 2.69 ERA). Despite the unusual name, the 23-year-old right-hander has become one of the Braves best pitchers. He was 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA in July and was 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers last year.

  Score by Innings
Los Angeles	000 201 000-3
Atlanta	        001 012 00x-4

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	3  1  0  0  .265
Ethier rf	4  2  2  1  .270
Ramirez lf	3  0  0  0  .268
Blake 3b	3  0  1  1  .286
Loney 1b	4  0  2  1  .288
Kemp cf        	4  0  0  0  .312
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .261
Hudson 2b	3  0  1  0  .290
Wolf p	        2  0  0  0  .116
 Pierre ph	1  0  0  0  .314
 Kuo p         	0  0  0  0  .000
 Mota p        	0  0  0  0  .000
---------------------------------
  Totals  	30  3  6  3  
  Atlanta	33  4 10  4

  Error- Matin (5). 2B- Blake (21),
Hudson (27). Ethier (22). RBI- Blake
(59), Loney (64), Ethier (67). SF- Blake.
LOB- Los Angeles 3, Atlanta 7. PO- Kemp.
DP- Hudson, Furcal and Loney.

  Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Wolf (5-6)      6.0  9  4-3  2  7  3.47
Kuo         	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  4.00
Mota          	1.0  1  0-0  0  0  2.98
T- 2:41. Att- 49,843.
Belisario Near Ready
Rookie workhorse Ronald Belisario, one of the Dodgers' most effective pitchers in the first half of the season before going on the disabled list with a sore elbow, seems close to returning. He threw a successful 20-pitch simulated game and is likely to start a rehab assignment next week.

With Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo healthy, the Dodgers bullpen is filled to the overflowing with Ramon Troncoso, George Sherrill and closer Jonathan Broxton. Add Guillermo Mota, James McDonald and Jeff Weaver to the mix along with Cory Wade and Scott Elbert and you have a real logjam.

"We have to make some decisions," said Torre.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Kuo came in and pitched a perfect seventh inning against the Braves and since coming off the disabled list, he has made four appearances, and in 3.2 innings, he has struck out four without allowing a hit while lowering his ERA from 6.75 to 4.00. ...Rafael Furcal was 0-for-3 and his hitting streak stopped at 11 games.

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