Padres Howard takes the loss
The LA Dodgers scored five runs on Sunday, all of which came from four home runs the team hit. The Padres had two homers of their own, but it was not enough to close the gap in a 5-2 loss and series sweep by LA.
Every run in this game was scored off a long ball, not leaving much to the imagination. The only other excitement was provided by Mark Kotsay. Kotsay prevented a run in the first with a perfect throw to the plate after Dave Roberts tripled and tried to score on a flyout to right-center by Cesar Izturis.
Three of the Dodgers four home runs came in the third inning. Robin Ventura started it off with a two run shot, his third with LA. Jeromy Burnitz added a solo shot, his 28th of the season and 10th since joining the Dodgers and David Ross hit his first of two homers on the day to put the Dodgers up 4-0 on Ben Howard and the Padres.
Howard (1-2) allowed four runs, one earned, and nine hits in five innings.
Brian Giles finally ended a scoreless streak of 36 innings by Dodgers’ pitching with a home run of his own in the fourth. It was his second home run since joining the Friars and 18th overall.
Sean Burroughs added a solo shot in the sixth. It was his sixth of the season.
Hideo Nomo (16-11) pitched 5-2/3 innings, allowing two runs, and four hits, while striking out six.
Ross added his second shot off Scott Linebrink in the sixth to provide the final margin of victory, 5-1.
Eric Gagne got the final four outs for his 51st save of the season, and 59th straight save opportunity converted.
Los Angeles won for the 13th time in 17 games and closed within 2 games of Florida, the NL wild-card leader. The Dodgers, whose 26-13 record since Aug. 3 is the best in the major leagues, outscored the Padres 15-2 in the series after losing nine of 12 previous meetings this season.
Linebrink will head back to San Diego to have his right knee checked out after it swelled with fluid 3-4 days ago. He will undergo an MRI and have his knee drained on Monday. Linebrink could miss the rest of the season.
Kevin Jarvis will miss his next scheduled start after being pulled from the rotation. The right-hander has not won since July 29. Jarvis has lost six of his last eight starts, posting an 8.27 ERA.
Khalil Greene went 0-4 on the day, striking out three times, including the last out of the game.
Humberto Quintero went 0-3, lining out, grounding out and flying out.
Denis Savage can be reached at email@example.com