Rafael Furcal had his second career five-hit game, his first for the Dodgers, and the boys pounded out 15 hits and scored more runs TONIGHT than they did on their previous five-game road trip. Blake DeWitt had four RBI for the Dodgers, including a three-run triple to cap a five-run eighth, the second consecutive inning in which the Dodgers batted around. Chad Billingsley had a breakout game. He ran into his usual fifth-inning trouble, but this time, he hung tough and got out of it and wound up giving the Dodgers seven strong innings in which he held the Fish to three hits and saved the bullpen from another long night of work. Hong-Chih Kuo finished up with two shaky but scoreless innings, and the Dodgers moved above .500 (14-13) for the first time since April 7, when they were 4-3. Snakes came back to beat the Astros, so the boys stay 5 1/2 back in second.
He threw off flat ground, then sat around for 30 minutes, and it didn’t tighten up on him, which Torre says was a really good sign. But Brox won’t be available tonight. … The lineup is the same on back-to-back nights for the first time this year, but it WILL change tomorrow because Sweeney is playing 1B and Joe says Bennett might catch, too.
… unless you’re a reporter looking for a story, because so far, there is nothing going on with the Dodgers. Apparently, I was given some bad information, because it is TOMORROW that Juan Castro becomes a free agent, not today. Other than that, what I reported in today’s paper was accurate — if the Dodgers sign him, they want him to go to Vegas for 10 days, while the Padres are offering to put him straight into the majors. The Dodgers might change their tune if they find out they risk losing him to their neighbors. … Nothing new on Broxton so far, but I’m sure there will be, so keep checking back. … Good to see that the comments are working again, so feel free to post your thoughts — often.
Jeff Kent came through with a two-out RBI single in the ninth to win it, but the story, as it has been throughout this four-game winning streak, was the bullpen. This time, it was Scott Proctor, Joe Beimel and Takashi Saito combining for four shutout innings. This after Derek Lowe, with the help of an error by James Loney that led to three unearned runs, allowed a 5-1 lead to slip away. The Dodgers’ pen has now allowed one earned run in 21 innings over the past five games. And the best part was, Saito finally looked like Saito for perhaps the first time all year, the result of a slight mechanical tweak after he blew his last save opportunity on Friday night. … Broxton says he’ll see go through some strengthening exercises tomorrow and, “If I pass all those, I’ll toss a little bit and see how I feel.” I’m guessing they’ll keep him out at least one more day just to make sure, but he won’t be out long. … Dodgers get back to .500 at 13-13. Snakes are down four runs in the fourth inning, so this could be a chance to gain a game in the standings.