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LAst Night's Action: Dodgers Continue to Roll

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LA Dodgers defeat San Francisco Giants 4-2. James Loney’s stats might not be shiny, but he continues to get the job done for the Dodgers. His three RBI, including a two-RBI two-out single in the fifth inning to give the Dodgers the 3-1 lead, helped give the Dodgers the win and keep Giants’ starter Matt Cain winless against the Dodgers. Prior to the game Matt Kemp and manager Joe Torre met behind closed doors about Kemp’s recent performance (batting .236 with 68 strikeouts since April 23.) Torre held Kemp out for a third consecutive game while assuring that Kemp would start in Wednesday afternoon’s getaway game. However those plans had to be accelerated when Manny Ramirez came up hobbling with a pulled right hamstring as he tried to get back to second base on James Loney’s single in the first inning. Giants’ shortstop Edgar Renteria could not hold on to the ball to tag Manny out allowing Kemp to come in to pinch run. By the way that Loney single scored Andre Ethier from third base to give the Dodgers the quick 1-0 lead, however the Giants tied the game in the bottom of the first when Aubrey Huff hit a sacrifice fly to score Andres Torres. With both Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo unavailable to pitch, Justin Miller came on to close the game in the ninth and gave up a lead-off homer to Pat Burrell. After getting the next two outs he gave up a single to Renteria and was taken out for Belisario who got the final out. Miller in his 176th relief appearance failed to get his first save of his career.

LA Angels defeat Texas Rangers 6-5. When Bobby Abreu hit a three-run double in the bottom of the sixth to give the Angels a 6-3 lead, it looked like it would be enough. But the Rangers scored twice to respond in the seventh inning to get within a run and make the hearts at Angel Stadium beat a bit faster. With the heart of the Rangers’ order up in Ian Kinsler, Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton in the ninth inning, closer Brian Fuentes challenged them with his shot put fastball and retired them in order to get his 14th save of the season. Joel Pineiro (8-6) got the win despite being a bit shaky in his six innings of work giving up three runs on eight hits including a homer by Kinsler in the first inning to give the Rangers the quick 1-0 lead.

South Carolina Gamecocks defeat UCLA Bruins 2-1. It took extra innings, but the Gamecocks got the last laugh sweeping the Bruins out of the College World Series Finals. With Dan Klein pitching his fourth inning of relief for the Bruins, he walked Scott Wingo to lead off the inning and threw a wild pitch to send Wingo to second. After a sacrifice bunt by Evan Marzilli sending Wingo to third, Whit Merrifield hit a walk-off single for the win. Responding to their loss in Game 1 of the best-of-three series, the Bruins brought in left-handed starter Rob Rasmussen to get things back under control in a must-win situation. Rasmussen responded by pitching six strong innings giving up six hits and four walks while striking out five Gamecocks while not allowing a run to cross the plate. His opposite Michael Roth was almost as good in his five innings of work, but almost only counts in horseshoes. In the top of the fifth inning Trevor Brown led off the inning with a single for the Bruins. After Steve Rodriguez sacrificed, Niko Gallego lined a single to center field scoring Brown for the 1-0 Bruin lead. But in the eighth inning, the Gamecocks finally cashed in a run when Bobby Haney scalded a ball to the first baseman Dean Espy who committed an error which allowed pinch runner Robert Beary, running for pinch hitter Brady Thomas who in turn was hitting for designated hitter Adam Matthews, to score from second and tie the game.

NOTABLE NOTES

  • NBA FREE AGENCY. So the Celtics forward and Inglewood great Paul Pierce is opting out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent. While the word is that he is restructuring his contract to backload the money, anything can happen. Ask Elton Brand and the Clippers. Free agency officially begins 9:00 p.m. PDT Wednesday and players can begin to sign on July 8. So let’s add him to the pile along with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki and a whole slew of others. Rumors have been circulating like crazy on the landing spot of LeBron James. Last week he was destined for the Chicago Bulls. Earlier on Tuesday he was going to the Miami Heat with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Later Tuesday night word was he was staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As of yet there are no rumors of LeBron coming to the Clippers.
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TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Dodgers (42-35) at San Francisco Giants (40-36). Vicente Padilla (1-2, 5.82 ERA) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (6-5, 3.03 ERA). 12:45 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Texas Rangers (46-30) at LA Angels (44-35). Omar Beltre (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Scott Kazmir (7-6, 5.42 ERA). 7:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.