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Dodgers jump out, hang on against fading Reds

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Considering how much time Jason Repko has
missed this season, his two-run bloop single must have felt like a
line drive off the scoreboard.

Repko's seventh-inning hit gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a
five-run cushion, and they needed every one of those runs in
holding off the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Monday night.

"It's been a while, about three months now, since I've really
contributed in that way," said Repko, who was sidelined with an
ankle sprain from May 10 through July 23. "Just getting a couple
of RBI there to help out really felt great. It feels good to
contribute and help the team win. I know the hit was a bloop, but
it was placed pretty good. They find their holes, and you take them
when you can get them."

Russell Martin hit a two-run homer, Andre Ethier also had three
hits and Jeff Kent added an RBI double, helping the Dodgers
increase their NL West lead to three games over San Diego after a
4-5 road trip.

Cincinnati dropped 3½ games back of St. Louis in the NL Central
with its fourth straight loss. The Reds lead the wild-card race, a
half-game in front of San Diego and a game in front of
Philadelphia.

Brad Penny (14-7) tied a career high for victories after
overcoming early control problems and pulled even with Carlos
Zambrano and Brandon Webb for the NL lead in wins. He allowed a run
and four hits over five innings.

Todd Hollandsworth had three RBI for Cincinnati, two on an
eighth-inning single against Elmer Dessens. Brandon Phillips
followed with a two-run homer off converted reliever Brett Tomko
that cut the gap to one run.

Tomko then walked David Ross and pinch-hitter Adam Dunn before
Jonathan Broxton struck out Scott Hatteberg with runners at second
and third. Broxton finished for his third save, throwing a called
third strike past Phillips to end the game with two on.

"You certainly don't quit. But it's still a hard one to
swallow," Hollandsworth said. "Tonight's game might help us
because we got in their bullpen and scored some runs off them and
made them work a little bit. I know they've been using a lot of
bullets down there -- as have we. So if we can pull anything out of
this game, hopefully that's what it is, and maybe it'll benefit us
tomorrow."

Chris Michalak (1-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in four
innings in his Dodger Stadium debut. He spent most of the 2001
season with the Dodgers' Triple-A team, which at that time was in
Albuquerque.

Reds No. 3 hitter Edwin Encarnacion had a chance to drive in a
runner from third base each of his first three times up but was
retired all three times by Penny -- leaving Ken Griffey Jr. in the
on-deck circle twice.

"We wore Penny down and made him throw an awful a lot of
pitches," Hollandsworth said. "But we still really didn't even
get to him. I mean, we got the one run off him, but he got out of
it."

Penny threw 61 pitches over the first three innings while giving
up all five of his walks. He stranded Ryan Freel at third base in
the first, throwing a called third strike past Encarnacion and
retiring Griffey on a foul pop. He walked three straight batters
with one out in the third, then escaped the jam when shortstop
Rafael Furcal turned Encarnacion's grounder up the middle into a
double play.

"I've got to do a better job of attacking the strike zone,"
Penny said. "I just lost it there for a second. I can't remember
the last time I've done that, walking three guys in a row. But the
good thing is that they didn't score."

Griffey led off the fourth with a double, took third on Rich
Aurilia's bloop single and scored on a groundout by Hollandsworth
that trimmed the Dodgers' lead to 2-1.

Los Angeles made it 4-1 in the bottom half with ground-rule
doubles by Nomar Garciaparra and Kent, followed by Ethier's RBI
single. Repko's two-run single against Todd Coffey made it 6-1 in
the seventh.

Martin opened the scoring in the second with his eighth homer.

Game notes
Monday was the 40th anniversary of the only Beatles concert
at Dodger Stadium. Organist Nancy Bea Hefley played plenty of songs
recorded by the Fab Four. ... The Dodgers reached the 3 million
mark in paid attendance for a record 21st time and 11th season in a
row. ... Hollandsworth started in LF in place of Dunn, who is
1-for-19 against Penny. The only hit was a two-run homer on June 1,
2004, at Miami, when Penny was pitching for Florida.