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Ejector seat: Dodgers lose cool as Padres finish sweep

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Los Angeles manager Grady Little still had his
sense of humor intact after a rough night in which tempers flared,
he and starting pitcher Brad Penny were ejected and the Dodgers
were swept again by the San Diego Padres.

"The L.A. Dodgers came into San Diego. They beat us three
games. We have to get the hell out of town as long as everybody is
still safe," Little said after the Padres got back into the NL
West race with a 7-2 win to complete a three-game sweep.

Geoff Blum had four hits and three RBI as the Padres pulled
within one game of the division-leading Dodgers. Mike Cameron had
three hits, including his 19th homer, and 40-year-old Woody
Williams threw seven solid innings to win his third straight start.

The Dodgers have lost five of seven games since a 17-1 run
vaulted them from last to first.

Little and Penny were ejected during a lengthy argument with
plate umpire Rick Reed in the fifth inning.

With the Padres leading 4-2 in the fifth, Adrian Gonzalez walked
on a 3-2 pitch to give San Diego runners on first and second with
none out. Little came out to the mound to confer with Penny.

Penny said Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent told catcher Russell
Martin that the pitch was a strike.

"The umpire said something derogatory to Kent," Penny said.
"If he never would have said anything to Kent, it wouldn't have
happened."

Reed confirmed that he responded to Kent.

Little turned and walked off the mound to talk to Reed.

"I'm trying to defuse the situation that could have gotten out
of hand earlier than it did," Little said. "But it got out of
hand anyway, so what are you going to do?"

Little returned to the mound, then went back to the dugout.

San Diego manager Bruce Bochy came out to argue with Reed that
Little had made two mound visits.

"He's got to come out of that game. That was my argument,"
Bochy said. "If he doesn't come out, I have to protest the game."

Reed, however, said afterward that Penny would have to leave
after pitching to the next batter.

The four umpires huddled for a few minutes before Reed walked
toward the Dodgers' dugout to tell Little he had indeed made two
mound visits.

"He understood but he wasn't real happy. He was ejected over
that play," Reed said.

Reed went to the mound and handed the ball to Penny. Mixing in
some expletives, the big right-hander told Reed: "If you called
that a strike, that never would have happened."

Penny was tossed, and had to be pulled away by first base coach
Mariano Duncan and bench coach Dave Jauss.

The entire sequence lasted about 15 minutes. San Diego scored
twice off reliever Elmer Dessens to take a 6-2 lead, on an RBI
single by Josh Bard and an RBI groundout by Mark Bellhorn.

Penny (13-7) walked the bases loaded with two outs in the first
and allowed three runs, the first two on Blum's single to right
field on a hanging curveball. When the inning ended, Penny said he
told Reed: "You called a pitch a ball and you cost me three
runs."

"That was the best my fastball has been all year," Penny said.
"To give up six runs like that and for it to be controversial
makes you more sick than anything."

Said Blum: "For him to hang a breaking ball was a gift."

Dodgers right fielder Julio Lugo was tossed in the fourth for
slamming down his helmet after being called out on a close play at
first base.

The defending division champion Padres have swept two straight
series against the Dodgers and improved to 11-3 against Los Angeles
this season, including 11 wins in their last 12 games. The teams
will meet for a final time this year in a four-game series at
Dodger Stadium on Sept. 15-18. The Padres swept the Dodgers in Los
Angeles on July 24-26.

"A week or 10 days ago, I think we couldn't have hit any lower
in the bottom of the pit," Williams said. The Padres have won four
straight and five of six after starting the homestand by losing
four straight to San Francisco.

Blum hit an RBI single in the third.

Williams (7-4) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings,
struck out four and walked none. Penny allowed six runs and seven
hits in four innings, struck out five and walked four.

Los Angeles' Wilson Betemit homered leading off the third, his
14th, and rookie Andre Ethier hit an RBI triple in the fourth.

Cameron homered off Giovanni Carrara leading off the eighth.

Game note
Penny is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three starts against San
Diego this year.