SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Three cities and nine games into their longest
trip of the year, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally got a win.
Jayson Werth had a tying homer among his three hits, and Olmedo
Saenz had three hits and scored three runs as the Dodgers beat the
San Diego Padres 6-4 Wednesday night to snap their season-high
eight-game losing streak.
"It's a big win for us," manager Jim Tracy said. "The effort
was tremendous. The effort has been that way throughout the course
of the entire road trip."
But the offense hadn't been, until Wednesday night. It was just
the second time on the trip that the Dodgers scored more than three
runs. The trip began with three-game sweeps at Kansas City and the
Chicago White Sox, and continued with losses in the first two games
of this four-game series.
"We've been scraping for a while now," said Jeff Kent, who was
ejected after being called out at third during the Dodgers' two-run
rally in the sixth that put them ahead 4-3.
"It's been a tough road trip, where we've been swept in two
series and then coming in here and getting beat twice now by a team
that's playing good baseball, the best in our division so far. It's
not something we want to have happen. We were able to score some
Kent's ejection seemed to spur the Dodgers. He was called out in
a close play on pitcher Chris Hammond's throw on a bunt by
pinch-hitter Antonio Perez. Kent had to be restrained by manager
Jim Tracy and third base coach Jim Lett as he argued with umpire
Dan Iassogna. Kent pointed to his own eyes, and was tossed.
"He gave me a few minor league explanations, the reason why he
made that call," Kent said. "So I gave him the gesture that he
needed to use his eyes, because he mentioned to me that he heard
the play and he anticipated the play, which I thought were very odd
being a major league umpire.
"But I guess my pointing to the eyes suggested a minor league
gesture, and that's why he threw me out of the game."
Yhency Brazoban pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15
chances. It came one day after the Dodgers announced All-Star
closer Eric Gagne will have season-ending surgery on Friday to fix
a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Gagne pitched in just 14
games this season, going 1-0 with eight saves.
NL West-leading San Diego had its four-game winning streak
snapped, and lost for the 13th time in 20 games this month.
Antonio Perez singled in Saenz to make it 5-3 in the eighth. The
Padres twice loaded the bases in their half of the eighth but got
just one run, on Khalil Greene's groundout. Werth had an RBI
ground-rule double in the ninth.
Werth tied the game at 3 when he hit his first homer of the
season, to left-center on a 1-1 pitch from rookie Tim Stauffer
leading off the sixth.
After Kent made the first out of the inning, Jason Phillips
walked to load the bases. Saenz scored the go-ahead run when Jason
Grabowski's grounder bounced off second baseman Damian Jackson's
glove and leg and rolled to second, where Greene picked it up and
Rookie D.J. Houlton (3-1) went five innings, allowing three runs
and six hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Stauffer (1-3) hasn't won in seven starts since getting a
victory in his big league debut on May 11 at Cincinnati. Chased
with one on and no outs in the sixth, he allowed four runs on six
hits, struck out three and walked one.
Houlton also got his first two major league hits. He beat out an
infield single to third in the second, then singled to right-center
in the fifth.
The Padres stranded 10.
"We did a good job of getting men on, but we just didn't get
that big hit," Brian Giles said. "You're not always going to get
that big hit."
Dave Roberts hit a leadoff homer for the Padres, the first of
three extra-base hits Houlton allowed before getting his first out.
Roberts hit Houlton's second pitch into the porch down the
right-field line, his fifth. Robert Fick doubled to right and
scored on Ryan Klesko's double into the left-field corner, and
Giles singled before Houlton retired the side.
With his first-inning single, Giles broke his own club record by
reaching base in 12 straight plate appearances. He extended his
record by hitting an RBI triple in the third for a 3-2 lead, before
flying out to left in the fifth.
Phillips hit a two-run single for the Dodgers to tie it at 2
with one out in the second. Kent and Saenz were aboard on
Perez extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a
season-high for a Dodger. ... Giles was the first big leaguer to
reach base 13 straight times since Barry Bonds Sept. 11-14, 2002.
... San Diego's Paul McAnulty, recalled earlier Wednesday from
Double-A Mobile, made his big league debut as a pinch-hitter in the
eighth, lining to second with the bases loaded for the second out.