A Bad Night in Chavez Ravine

It was one of those nights that you wished Crash Davis had slipped into Dodger Stadium and turned on the watering system. The Los Angeles bullpen gave up seven runs after holding a 5-2 after six and lost 9-5 in 12 long innings, dropping a game to both Colorado and San Francisco.

Casey Blake hit his first home run in a month to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead and Chad Billingsley had allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in six innings. Then while running out a single in the bottom of the sixth, he suffered a reoccurrence of the hamstring strain that cut his last start to five innings.

He left after only 78 pitches and nothing much went right from that point on.

The meltdown was a compete team effort. The offense could manage only three hits after he fifth inning. Hong-Chih Kuo couldn't hold the 5-2 lead, issuing a walk and a two-run home run. Jonathan Broxton blew his fourth save in the ninth, Ramon Troncoso gave up two singles in the 12th and Scott Elbert, who was scheduled to start Sunday, allowed two more, including a home run, and when the smoke cleared the Braves had handed the Dodgers a bitter, 9-5 loss in a 4-hour, 20-minute nightmare.

Broxton's blown save was his fourth in 28 opportunities. Nate McLouth walked with one out in the ninth, stole his 17th base and scored with two out when Garret Anderson lined a single to right field on the first pitch to tie the game 5-5.

Only two Dodgers pitchers were unscored upon. James McDonald pitched two hitless innings and struck out three. George Sherrill struggled, allowing three hits and using 31 pitches, in completing 1.2 scoreless innings.

The Dodgers overworked relievers have spent a total of 25.2 innings on the mound in the past six games about 4 1/2 innings per game.

Torre said that Billingsley would be checked out and didn't know if the injury would affect Billingsley's next scheduled start on Wednesday in San Francisco. "We'll know tomorrow," Torre said. "Early signs are that it's not a full-blown thing."

The Dodgers' had a shot to end the game in the bottom of the 11th.

Russell Martin beat out an infield single and was bunted to second on by Orlando Hudson. Juan Pierre walked, Rafael Furcal moved both runners over with a groundout and the Braves wanted nothing to do with Thursday night's hero, Andre Ethier.

That loaded the bases for Tony Abreu, just up from Albuquerque where he was hitting .342. Abreu, who missed the entire 2007 because of injury, grounded out in his first at-bat since 2007 to end the inning and the Dodgers final threat.

Casey Blake and Russell Martin had six of the Dodgers 10 hits. The Dodgers left 10 runners on base and eight of them were in scoring position. Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez and James Loney were 0-for-10.

The loss was just the Dodgers' second in an extra-inning game at Dodger Stadium. They are 10-4 overall in extra-inning contests.

Earlier in the day, Jason Schmidt was placed back on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder. Schmidt had started four games for the Dodgers this season after missing close to two years because of arm troubles, and he was slated to start Monday's game at San Francisco.

Infielder Tony Abreu was recalled from Albuquerque to take his place on the active roster.

With the bullpen in tatters, the Dodgers are banking on young Clayton Kershaw to give them a long outing. Kershaw (8-6, 2.89 ERA) didn't allow the Brewers s hit over the first three innings in his last start but he walked six and lost for the first time since June 10.

RHP Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4.38 ERA) draws the Atlanta starting spot ?Kawakami allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings but lost 4-2, to the Padres in his most recent outing.

  Score by Innings
Atlanta	        011 000 201 004-9
Los Angeles	010 130 000 000-5

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	6  1  1  0  .267
Ethier rf	2  1  0  0  .273
Ramirez lf	3  0  0  0  .308
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	1  0  0  0  .238
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Abreu ph	1  0  0  0  .000
Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Elbert p	0  0  0  0  .200
Blake 3b	6  1  3  3  .291
Loney 1b	5  0  0  0  .285
Kemp cf        	6  1  1  0  .317
Martin C	5  1  3  0  .271
Hudson 2b	4  0  1  1  .292
Billingsley p	3  0  1  0  .209
 Kuo p        	0  0  0  0  .000
 Sherrill p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Pierre ph-lf	1  0  0  0  .313
  Totals 	43  5 10  4
  Atlanta	48  9 13  8

  Errors- Loney (4), Ramirez (2).
HR- Blake (13). RBI- Hudson (54), Blake
3 (64). S- Hudson. LOB- Los Angeles 10,
Atlanta 8. SB- Martin (9), Hudson (7).
DP- Hudson and Loney. 	 

  Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Billingsley	6.0  4  2-1  3  3  3.73
Kuo         	0.1  1  2-2  1  0  4.76
Sherrill	1.2  3  0-0  0  0  2.18
Broxton	        1.0  1  1-1  1  1  2.90
Mcdonald	2.0  0  0-0  0  3  4.14
Troncoso (4-1)	0.1  2  2-2  0  0  2.22
Elbert	0.2  2  2-2  0  1  4.80
  WP- Billingsley. T- 4:20. Att- 53,184.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Manny Ramirez, whose average has slipped to .308, is beginning to look like a 37-year-old (which he is) at the plate. ...Schmidt went 2-2 with a 5.60 ERA and threw six shutout innings over his four starts. ...The Dodgers lost for just the second time in an extra-inning game at Dodger Stadium. They're 6-2 in extra innings at home, and 10-4 overall. ...Broxton suffered his first blown save in 13 chances at Dodger Stadium, allowing only his second run in 28 2/3 innings over 26 appearances. ...Orlando Hudson has hit safely in seven straight games, batting .375 (9-for-24) with four RBIs.

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