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Dodgers Seek Offense, Any Will Do

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The Man In This Picture Has Been Given Today Off (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
It was supposed to be an easy week at Chavez-Ravine. The NL West’s two cellar-dwells were coming to face the Dodgers for seven games.

Instead, the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to gain ground in the West, finding a 2 - 2 tie against the fourth place Arizona Diamondbacks. And last night, the Dodgers struggling offense did just that as they were blanked by the fifth place San Diego Padres.

They enter tonight's contest with a 4.5 game lead over the Colorado Rockies.

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“It’s frustrating. Especially last night,” said Dodgers Manager Joe Torre. We had a couple of opportunities and this kid [Wade LeBlanc] got us out.”

Dodger bats are surfacing with the frequency of sequestered OJ Simpson jurors. So Boss Torre’s shaking up tonight's lineup.

He says tonight's lineup is "more small and aggressive." Perhaps this crew will "try to manufacture [offense], more so than sit around and wait for something big to happen.”

World Class Slugger -- who certainly hasn’t been acting the part -- Manny Ramirez, gets his typical Sunday off a night early. The super-reliable Juan Pierre fills the big shoes in left field (something he's not had a problem with all year.)

Second baseman Orlando Hudson returns after a few games in the dugout. Newcomer/veteran Ronnie Belliard fills in for Casey Blake at third base. Belliard’s got a hot bat and Blake’s got a tight left hamstring.

“Probably going to be a couple of days,” said Torre of Blake’s time to mend. “He can probably hit but the problem is we can’t pine anybody to run to first for him.”

The Dodgers hottest arm, Randy Wolf (9-6, 3.25), takes the hill, chasing his 100th career win. He’s 4-0 his last five starts with a 2.00 ERA.

Perhaps he’ll keep the Padres bats quiet. And maybe the Dodgers won’t need score many runs for a win.

Then again, the Dodgers pitching staff gave up just one run in last night’s loss. Lousy fielding gave up the other.

The Padres throw Mat Latos (4-4, 4.53).

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And Whatnot

Coming off the disabled list to pitch tomorrow's 5:10 p.m. start is Hiroki Kuroda.

The Dodgers are tied for the best record in the National League with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jim Thome's a perfect Dodger. With last night's pinch hit single, he's 1-for-1.

Before the game Juan Pierre and Matt Kemp met Dodgers organ player Nancy Bea for the first time. Their child-like excitement resembled that of the kids they gave autographs the same afternoon.

"Nancy Bea be bringing it every night," said Pierre through a big grin.

Los Angeles Dodgers (80-56)

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Juan Pierre, LF
  3. Andre Ethier, RF
  4. Matt Kemp, CF
  5. James Loney, 1B
  6. Ronnie Belliard, 3B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  9. Randy Wolf, P

San Diego Padres (60-76)

  1. Everth Cabrera, SS
  2. David Eckstein, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
  5. Chase Headley, LF
  6. Oscar Salazar, RF
  7. Nick Hundley, C
  8. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
  9. Mat Latos, P

Pick 'em: Dodgers or Pads? Comment Below!