Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Dodgers leads 1-0 (as of 7/1)

Game 1: Friday, July 1
LA Dodgers7
Game 2: Saturday, July 2
LA Dodgers5
Game 3: Sunday, July 3
LA Dodgers3

Diamondbacks 0

(39-42, 19-22 away)

Dodgers 7

(38-41, 22-18 home)

    10:40 PM ET, July 1, 2005

    Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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    ARI 000000000 0 3 1
    LA 00012040 - 7 10 0

    W: B. Penny (4-5)

    L: J. Vazquez (7-7)

    Penny handcuffs Arizona to three hits over eight innings

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks had Brad Penny in their minor league system for 3½ years and never let him get into a big league game. The right-hander has been making them regret it ever since.

    Penny pitched three-hit ball over eight innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers got solo homers from J.D. Drew and rookie Mike Edwards to beat the Diamondbacks 7-0 Friday night.

    Penny improved to 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA against the team that picked him in the fifth round of the 1996 draft.

    "They needed a closer at that time because they were in a playoff race, so they had to do it," recalled Penny, who was dealt to Florida in July 9, 1999, for Matt Mantei. "I talked to [then-manager] Buck Showalter and the guys over there after that. They didn't want to do it. It was all ownership that made the call."

    Penny (4-5) tied a season high with seven strikeouts, walked one and retired his final 14 batters after former Dodger Shawn Green singled with one out in the fourth.

    "After the first two innings he started throwing his curveball for strikes and basically getting ahead of everybody. And when you can do that on a consistent basis, it makes you that much harder to hit," Arizona's Luis Gonzalez said.

    "I saw a lot of pitches my first two at-bats and fouled off a lot of pitches I thought I could hit. But I just couldn't get to them."

    Penny injured his right biceps last Aug. 8 in just his second start for the Dodgers after they acquired him from the Florida Marlins in the Paul Lo Duca trade. Penny didn't pitch for them again until April 24, and has a 3.49 ERA in 14 starts this season.

    "His fastball command is the biggest thing," catcher Jason Phillips said. "If he's missing, he's missing off the plate -- and not by much. So when you've got command of your fastball, you can throw your curve in there for strike one the second and third time through the lineup. That gets guys on their heels and they're not taking big swings."

    Oscar Robles started at shortstop for the injured Cesar Izturis and drove in two runs with a squeeze bunt and a double. Penny had lost his last three starts, with the Dodgers totaling only two runs.

    Javier Vazquez (7-7) lost his third straight start, allowing six runs and six hits with 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander, who pitched a one-hitter and two-hitter against the Dodgers when he was with the Montreal Expos, has a 6.70 ERA in his last seven starts after going 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his previous seven.

    The Dodgers didn't get their first hit until Drew drove Vazquez's first pitch of the fourth inning into the pavilion seats in right-center for his 13th homer.

    Edwards made it 2-0 when he sent Vazquez's first pitch of the fifth inning into the left field bullpen. It was his 30th hit in 95 at-bats since his promotion from Triple-A on May 4, when third baseman Jose Valentin went on the disabled list. Edwards' previous big league experience consisted of four at-bats with Oakland in 2003, after nine seasons in the minors.

    The defensive play of the game -- and perhaps the Dodgers' season -- was turned in by rookie right fielder Jason Repko in the sixth. Chad Tracy, best remembered in Los Angeles for ending Eric Gagne's record streak of 84 consecutive saves last July 4, led off with a drive that Repko leaped to catch a split-second before crashing into the auxiliary scoreboard.

    "I honestly didn't know that the wall was that close," Repko said. "But regardless of what it takes, I'm going to get to that ball and not let it drop. I got pretty beat up. I'll feel it more tomorrow."

    Penny tipped his cap toward right field in tribute to Repko, who received a loud ovation from the crowd of 48,302. They cheered him again after manager Jim Tracy went out to check on his condition. Repko also had an RBI double during a four-run seventh that increased the margin to 7-0.

    Gonzalez exchanged angry words with Penny in the third inning after the pitcher tagged him out along the first base line on a dribbler for the third out. Gonzalez was 0-for-3 against Penny, making him 3-for-19 lifetime.

    "It was just one of those things," Gonzalez said. "He's a competitive guy and I know him real well. I was already going to be out anyway, and I just felt like he made a rough tag on me. But it's no big deal. We've put it behind us and we'll just move on from there. Tomorrow we'll see each other like nothing ever happened."

    Game notes

    Izturis was scratched because of a strained right hamstring. He underwent an MRI exam, which came back negative, and he also received a cortisone injection. ... Vazquez and Penny entered the game 1-2 among NL pitchers in fewest walks allowed per nine innings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press