Dodgers 8, D-backs 1

Actress Eliza Dushku greeted the National League’s first 10-game winner, who also happens to be her boyfriend, with a huge smile in a service tunnel outside the Dodgers clubhouse. Some guys have all the luck. Brad Penny went eight innings for the first time this season, allowing only a run on four hits. This after manager Grady Little pushed him back a day so he could pitch in this game, which had much more significance in the NL West than Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay, when Hong-Chih Kuo pitched in Penny’s stead and the Dodgers got pounded 9-4. “I wasn’t feeling too good about (the decision) yesterday,” Little said, “but it turned out pretty good tonight.” It always seems to when the Dodgers play the Snakes. They have beaten Arizona five of six now, including all three at Chase Field. And offensively, the Dodgers now have 99 hits in 10 games since Eddie Murray was ousted. I asked Bill Mueller before the game if he was enjoying the role, and he said he definitely was. I then asked if he is warming up to the possibility of doing it long-term, and while he didn’t answer directly, he clearly backed off on his enthusiasm. So this is a long way from being resolved. But the improvement is already undeniable. Oh, and Manny Mota has been helping Mueller get acclimated, too, as well as helping him communicate with the Spanish-speaking players and even helping him find ways to get his points across to the English-speaking players. Even though the Dodgers are 5-5 since the change, the offense clealry is on a roll. … Russ Martin’s lead over Paul Lo Duca in All-Star voting is down to 110,000, but there are only three days left before the polls close. That makes Martin close to a lock, and Penny will undoubtedly be there with him. The Dodgers should be well-represented this year, which will make all those San Franciscans in attendance boo even louder. … Dodgers go to 43-33 and pull within a half-game of the Snakes. Pods and Giants are still playing, 3-3 bottom 11. Pods will pull even with Arizona if they win and stay a game back if they lose. … Speaking of some guys having all the luck, I’m heading back to the Westin now. The Pi-Phis are waiting. Not waiting for ME, necessarily, but they’re still waiting.

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