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07/18/07 3:30 AM ET
Phillies shut down Dodgers' win streak
Los Angeles pitching yields 26 hits for first defeat in six games
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- While statisticians pored over the record books to see where the Phillies' 15-3 pounding of the Dodgers on Tuesday night ranked on the all-time hit parade, Dodgers manager Grady Little went with the positive spin. "At least nobody got seriously injured," he said. "It's a part of history we'd like to forget." But it was historic, nonetheless. The 26 Philadelphia hits equaled the most a Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff had ever allowed (1958, to the Giants at the Coliseum) and was one shy of the 67-year-old Dodgers franchise record. The 15 runs were the most the Dodgers had allowed all season, and the loss snapped their win streak at five. Ryan Howard slugged two of his club's four homers. Former Dodgers farmhand Shane Victorino and Aaron Rowand (three doubles, a homer and single) had five hits each. Even winning pitcher J.D. Durbin had three hits, the first of his career. Jake Peavy and the Padres lost to the Mets, so the Dodgers still cling to first place. But the rout was a painful reminder of the Dodgers' ongoing pitching crisis. Starters Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf and Hong-Chih Kuo are on the disabled list, along with relievers Chin-hui Tsao and Yhency Brazoban. There aren't enough healthy arms to pick up the slack, so efforts toward a deadline trade for pitching undoubtedly will intensify. Mark Hendrickson, who inherited the fifth-starter job, took the ball on only two days' rest after being pressed into emergency relief on Saturday. He and Little said the recent workload wasn't to blame for the results, but the Phillies sent him for cover without retiring a batter in the fourth, charged with seven runs on 11 hits. Little said it was too early to say whether Hendrickson would make his next start on Sunday. Not that Little has many obvious alternatives. Eric Stults followed Hendrickson and allowed both of Howard's two-run blasts. Rudy Seanez, who had allowed only three home runs in 42 1/3 previous innings, served up back-to-back shots to Rowand and Pat Burrell in his one inning. Little was forced to use Jonathan Broxton and Joe Beimel to mop up, the fourth appearance in five days for both. Little tried to avoid that scenario when he left Stults in to bat with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth. The crowd booed when Stults came to the plate, then Stults struck out, and the crowd booed some more. "We were just trying to put a Band-Aid on and get as many innings as we can, and we weren't in any shape to pinch-hit there," he said, comparing it to Phillies manager Charlie Manuel letting Jamie Moyer bat with the bases loaded in the fourth inning the previous night while trailing, 6-0. "Sometimes, you've got to do it, or you'd see [Takashi] Saito and Broxton for two innings. We couldn't stop the bleeding." Little has been talking about needing to increase his pitching staff to 12 during this 17-game stretch without a day off, and he anticipated the question. "Are we ready for 12 pitchers? We're more ready for the pitchers we have to do the job when they're called on to do it," he said. The Phillies wasted no time in grabbing the lead, posting three runs in the first inning. They loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but Hendrickson escaped that jam and retired the Phillies in order in the third inning. "I didn't have much today, but I tried to battle through it," he said. "After the second inning, I thought I had tamed them a little, but they're a hot team and they swung the bats well." The first four batters in the fourth inning had hits, including a two-run triple by Victorino, and that was all for Hendrickson. "A couple times I made decent pitches that found holes, and other times I didn't make the pitches and they made me pay," he said. Stults, who pitched a clutch 1 2/3 innings in relief of Brett Tomko during Sunday's win in San Francisco, was greeted with a two-run shot by Howard, who duplicated the blast off Stults the next inning. "As a baseball player, you've got to have a short memory," said Stults. "Pitching is a game of execution, and I didn't do it tonight." The Dodgers had 14 hits, double-digits for the seventh consecutive game, and were led by three from former Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.