Dodgers Limp To Mid-Season Break

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It’s fortunate for the Dodgers the All-Star Game was held this week at Angel Stadium, if for no reason than to rest and prepare for the second-half grind.

For now, the Dodgers (49-39) are keeping pace with San Diego in the National League West after going 4-3 on their recent home stand.

All things considered, there are several positives, like shortstop Rafael Furcal, first baseman James Loney, and their outfield trio of Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

The Dodgers posted a 7-0 win over Chicago last Sunday, as Vicente Padilla (4-2) tossed a two-hitter over eight innings, striking out six and walking one.

Loney’s three-run homer in the first inning was more than enough offense. Loney added another run batted in and has 63.

On Saturday, the Cubs scored three runs in the second and third to secure a 7-3 triumph with Tom Gorzelanny limiting the Dodgers to one run over six innings.

Geovany Soto blasted a two-run home run in the second to make it 3-0, and singled to right in the third that made it 6-0.

Ethier had a run-scoring single in the fifth, and a hit in the ninth that plated a run.

The night before, the Dodgers drilled Ted Lilly for seven hits, seven runs (five earned), while he walked two and struck out one, waltzing to a 9-7 victory.

Chicago led 1-0, but the Dodgers tallied three runs in the second and third. Russell Martin’s three-run homer in the second was his fifth. Ethier had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored a run, while Loney went two-for-three, drove in a run and scored two runs.

Chad Billingsley (7-4) fanned nine, walked four, allowed seven hits and four runs (earned) during his seven-inning stint.

Clayton Kershaw (9-4) is the Dodgers’ most consistent starting pitcher, striking out 12 without issuing a walk across eight innings of a 3-2 win Thursday over the Cubs. The young lefty gave up two runs (earned) and seven hits.

Furcal had three hits with two runs scored, but saved the heroics for the seventh inning when he lined a two-run rocket down the right-field line.

The Dodgers were blanked by the Florida Marlins’ Josh Johnson on Wednesday, 4-0, mustering six hits. Johnson (9-3) struck out eight and walked one over eight frames.

Rookie right fielder Mike Stanton, who attended Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, clubbed a home run with two runners on base in the second inning, and former Dodger Cody Ross drove in the other run with a double.

Padilla added another strong performance, this time allowing six hits, whiffing nine and walking none while traversing six and two-third innings during a 7-3 win over the Marlins.

Padilla was aided by homers from Kemp (16th), Casey Blake (ninth), and Ethier (14th).

Florida took the series opener 6-5 on Monday, with Wes Helms hitting a two-run single with the bases loaded in the third that gave the Marlins a 6-1 lead.

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