LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have won consecutive
home games for the first time this season, and they have Nomar
Garciaparra to thank for that.
Garciaparra hit a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning
for the second day in a row and also had a pair of run-scoring
doubles, leading the Dodgers to a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee
Brewers on Saturday night.
"What I really enjoy about wins like that is that everybody's
doing their job," Garciaparra said. "Kenny getting that double
gave us a huge boost, because that was going to give us a chance to
knock him in -- whether it was me or the guy behind me. We produced
runs all night long -- getting doubles, moving runners over and
doing the things to get the runs across."
Milwaukee's Dan Kolb relieved in the eighth, giving up a leadoff
walk to Jeff Kent and a double to left-center by Olmedo Saenz. Jose
Cruz Jr. delivered Kent with a fly ball to left. However, the
Brewers tied it in the ninth when Carlos Lee doubled and Bill Hall
drove him in with his second RBI single of the game.
Dodgers starter Brad Penny labored through 5 1-3 innings,
throwing 116 pitches and allowing three runs and seven hits. The
right-hander gave up a walk in each of the first six innings, after
allowing just seven over his previous 37 innings this season. Penny
has not allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts,
but is just 0-1 in his last five outings after winning his first
"I think he was kind of effectively wild, to a point," Brewers
center fielder Gabe Gross said. "When you see a guy
semi-struggling with command, you think at some point you're going
to get a cookie to hit. And he never really did that. He might have
missed, but then when he came back and made his pitch, it was a
good pitch on the corner somewhere. We just never could deliver the
Brewers starter Ben Hendrickson allowed three runs and four hits
over five innings on the same mound where he made his big league
debut in June 2004 with a 5-2 loss. The right-hander was making a
spot start in place of Tomo Ohka, who is on the disabled list
because of a partial tear in his rotator cuff.
After falling behind 3-1 in the third inning on two-out RBI
singles by Hall and Gross, Penny had a chance to help himself at
the plate in the fourth. However, Hendrickson struck him out with
the bases loaded.
The Dodgers tied it in the fifth. Lofton and Garciaparra both
doubled with one out, Garciaparra took third on a wild pitch and
came home on J.D. Drew's grounder.
Garciaparra, a five-time All-Star shortstop who has made a
remarkably smooth transition to first base this year, was involved
in a disputed play that left a Milwaukee runner stranded at third
in the sixth inning.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal took the throw from second baseman Kent
for the force on J.J. Hardy, and his relay throw to first nearly
pulled Garciaparra off the bag. But the 11-year veteran stretched
out on his stomach to complete the double play. Jenkins, manager
Ned Yost and first base coach Dave Nelson argued in vain with
umpire Ramon Armendariz, whose call appeared to be supported by
"On that play, you just want to catch the ball. That's first
and foremost, and I was able to keep my foot on the bag,"
Garciaparra said. "I hope I can keep making plays like that. I
just try to make my infielders feel as comfortable as they can when
they go out there, and hopefully I'm doing that little by little."
Penny stumbled out of the gate in the first inning, giving up a
leadoff double to Rickie Weeks, a two-out walk to Lee and an RBI
single by Fielder on an 0-2 pitch. The Dodgers tied it in the
bottom half when Furcal walked, stole second and scored on
Penny is a part-owner of a horse named Excess Temptations,
who won the fourth race at Hollywood Park on Friday. The 4-year-old
California-bred colt has three wins from seven career starts (43
percent) and has earned $116,772. Penny has won 58 of 169 big
league starts (34 percent), and is in the first year of a $25
million contract extension. ... When RHP Aaron Sele makes his
Dodgers regular-season debut Sunday in a spot start for Odalis
Perez, he will become the 81st player and 36th pitcher to play for
both the Dodgers and Angels. RHP Jeff Weaver became No. 80 on April
5 when the Angels played at Seattle. ... Hendrickson was recalled
from Triple-A Nashville four days before Ohka's last start and
threw 78 pitches over 4 2-3 innings of relief on Tuesday against
Houston. ... Saenz, starting at 3B for the first time since last
Sept. 9 because of Bill Mueller's sore right knee, made a sliding
catch of Gross' foul pop in the second inning.