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Dodgers defeat Arizona to Win Weekend Series

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"Baseball is a team sport," or so the old adage says. Ready to contribute are the 9 men out in the field, a bullpen filled with potential firemen and a bench ready to climb into the box at a moment's notice. As you know, one player cannot carry a team throughout a season. It takes a strong effort by the entire organization to earn a playoff birth.

Yesterday afternoon's game is an example of a team-sport mentality. It was like hearing a sweet song on the only radio channel that comes through clearly. Rookie pitcher Chad Billingsley continues to impress and every starter in the line-up had a hit this past Sunday (even Chad). Last night Billingsley went 7 innings and gave up only 2 runs. More impressive is his dwindling walk totals. Over the past 3 games Chad has given up only 3 walks total; furthermore, since the All-Star break Billingsley has posted a 1.87 ERA with 5 wins and just 1 loss.

Takashi Saito is our new express train in the bullpen. He has Gagne-like effectiveness with pitches that dart in and out of the strike zone. The opposition is batting .170 for the year against him. He recorded his 16th save yesterday.

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Furcal drove in the first two Dodger runs with a triple over the head of Eric Byrnes. Since the All-Star break Rafael Furcal has been batting .318 with an OPS of .879 on 3 homeruns and 27 runs scored.

Kenny Lofton had one hit and an RBI, driving in Furcal, to help the Dodgers take a late lead in the 5th inning. Kenny has been hitting .344 since the All-Star break.

J.D. Drew had two hits to raise his average to .279. In the month of August Drew has been hitting .291 with 3 homeruns and 17 RBI.

Andre Ethier had two hits and Russell Martin had one hit to help spearhead the Dodgers' first runs in the 5th inning. Wilson Betemit hit a 2-run homerun in the 6th inning that helped put a couple of more nails in Arizona's coffin. Jeff Kent hit a double to drive in Drew in the 7th inning. Julio Lugo contributed with a bunt single and a walk.

By the end of the afternoon the Dodgers had won the game 6 to 3 and had won the weekend series 2 games to 1. The Dodgers now have a 2-game lead on the Padres and head home tonight for a 3 game set against the wild card-leading Cincinnati Reds.

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AP photo by Tom Hood