Blue Needs Late Kick

With time running out, the Dodgers desperately need a late run after trekking to Atlanta and Philadelphia, where they went 2-4, with a game being played Monday.

The Dodgers (60-58) are in fourth place in the National League West by falling 13-1 last Sunday to the Braves, with Troy Glaus and Alex Gonzalez both driving in four runs, and losing to Tim Hudson, 1-0, in the opener.

The club managed a 2-1 win Saturday behind Ted Lilly (6-8), who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs. He allowed three hits, no runs, with four strikeouts and two walks across six innings. This is his third straight victory with the Dodgers.

On Friday, Hudson shut out the Dodgers over eight innings, and Brooks Conrad’s solo homer in the seventh was the difference.

Hudson (14-5) was stupendous, tossing a three-hitter, striking out six, and walking one.

Philadelphia wasn’t kind to the Blue Crew, and never more so than in the series finale on Thursday.

In that game, the Dodgers blew a seven-run lead with two innings left, and lost 10-9. On Wednesday, the club was blanked by Roy Oswalt 2-0, after taking the opener 15-9.

In what looked like a laugher, the Dodgers built a 3-0 advantage after one inning, were ahead 4-2 through five, and added two runs in the seventh, and three in the eighth for a 9-2 cushion.

In the bottom of the eighth, Ronald Belisario gave up hits to Placido Polanco and Mike Sweeney, and they moved to second and third on a wild pitch. Jayson Werth drove in both with a hit to center.

Belisario balked Werth to second, and he scored on a double by Ben Francisco. Wilson Valdez plated Francisco with a single, and the Phillies trailed 9-6.

In the ninth, closer Jonathan Broxton, who has been demoted, hit Polanco, and walked Sweeney and Werth. Francisco reached on an error by third baseman Casey Blake, trimming the lead to 9-8. Carlos Ruiz drilled a double off the left-center field wall for the game-winner.

The bright spot was Matt Kemp’s three-for-five night, with four runs batted in, and one run scored. Kemp walloped his team-best 19th homer in the seventh inning.

Pitcher Clayton Kershaw went six and two-third innings, gave up two runs (earned), struck out four and walked two.

Oswalt (7-13) came over from the Houston Astros, and held the Dodgers in check over seven innings, walking two, fanning five, with five hits and no runs.

Raul Ibanez doubled and singled, drove in a run, while Polanco and Sweeney each scored a run.

In the opener on Tuesday, the Dodgers compiled 18 hits, as Andre Ethier (four hits) drove in three and scored four runs, with Blake (homer and single) driving in four runs and scoring one, and Jay Gibbons (homer and two singles) knocking in three runs with a run scored.

Vicente Padilla (6-3) was the winner, striking out two, walking two, allowing four runs (earned) with six hits in five frames.

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