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LAst Night's Action: Unbeaten Saunders Lifts Halos

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LA Angels (17-11) over Oakland A's (17-11) 2-0. While a lot has been said about Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy and Chien-Ming Wang, Joe Saunders (5-0) has been lights out with little fanfare. Saunders pitched an eight-inning shutout giving up four hits and five strikeouts. Francisco Rodriguez notched a league-high 11th save despite walking the lead-off man Mark Ellis and the Big Hurt. Meanwhile for the A's Greg Smith (2-1) pitched a strong complete game despite the loss.

LA Dodgers (13-13) over Florida Marlins (15-11) 7-6. The Marlins are a team that capitalizes on mistakes, and that was more than evident in tonight's game. They jumped on every mistake Derek Lowe made notching a run in the second, third and fourth innings. Then Lowe broke down giving up three runs in the fifth inning to tie the game. Now I haven't said this a whole lot so far this season, but the Dodger's offense came to save the day. Jeff Kent hit an RBI single in the ninth inning for the winning run, and Takashi Saito struck out two in the ninth inning to get his third save. Maybe the Dodgers are heading in the right direction. Maybe.

Notable Notes

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Tony Jackson from the Daily News reports that Dodger reliever Jonathan Broxton went for an MRI. It sounds like he has some arm or shoulder soreness and is getting an MRI just as a precaution.

Besides the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks made key acquisitions before the trading deadline this season with Shaquille O'Neal and Jason Kidd respectively. And last night both teams were eliminated in the first round four games to one by the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets respectively. As a footnote the Lakers are the only team to sweep their first round series.

In news bits that are more hyped than anything, former UCLA basketball and Clipper head coach Larry Brown is coaching again and something big happened in the NFL this past weekend. Unfortunately I don't really care about either story.

Tonight's Action

LA Dodgers at Florida Marlins. Chad Billingsley (0-4) is looking for his first win against the Marlins' Scott Olsen (3-0). 4:10 pm FSN Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

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Oakland A's at LA Angels. A's Dana Eveland (3-1) will face the dominant Ervin Santana (4-0). 7:05 pm KCOP 13, AM 870 KLAA.

AP Photo by Chris Carlson