Dodgers 13, Marlins 1

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.

Broxton plays catch, twice in fact, but still unavailable

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.

SS Furcal
LF Ethier
RF Kemp
2B Kent
C Martin
1B Loney
CF Jones
3B DeWitt
RH Billingsley

A perfect South Florida day …

… 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.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 6

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.

Broxton taken for MRI

Saw him being driven away by Rick Lembo, one of the Dodgers’ assistant trainers, as I was getting out of my car in the parking lot. They just kept driving, right out of the parking lot and, apparently, to a local clinic so Brox could have an MRI done on his latissimus dorsi (I have no idea if I’m spelling that correctly, but in the interest of speed, I’m not going to take the time to check). That’s the side muscle underneath the arm pit. This doesn’t SOUND serious, just the result of some recent soreness he has, but he isn’t available tonight. I’ll update when I know more. … Tonight’s lineup is fairly basic. Sweeney will play 1B on Thursday in the series finale.

SS Furcal
LF Ethier
RF Kemp
2B Kent
C Martin
1B Loney
CF Jones
3B DeWitt
RH Lowe

Gray skies are (not) going to clear up

Expecting lots of rain for tonight’s game. It’s pretty gray right now, 3 1/2 hours before the game. Jason Schmidt just finished his sim game, everything SEEMED OK from up here, but we won’t know for sure until we go down and find out. Marlins are taking BP right now. Luis Gonzalez just took some grounders at first base, and although he also did that in spring training, the Marlins beat guys tell me this was the first time they have seen him do it since then. I’ll check back when I know something more.

Midnight in Miami

I just arrived here about an hour ago after a very long day of flying. Doesn’t appear to be any significant news, although I did receive word via email from Dodgers PR staffer Mark Rogoff that Yhency Brazoban was, indeed, promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, a move we knew was coming soon. … I notice some major differences in posting on the blog since I last posted yesterday, so I’m guessing they did some work on it today. I’m not sure if that means you can post your comments now or what, but I’m crossing my fingers and holding my breath in hopes that it does mean exactly that. … Staying in Coral Gables on this trip, just for something different, and I was able to get a decent rate at the Westin down here. Was already late at night when I got in, but it looks like a really neat area. I guess this is where the University of Miami is, although I saw no evidence of its presence when I arrived. This is actually south of the Miami airport, so it was quite a haul from the Fort Lauderdale airport, where I landed, and it’s going to seem like an even longer haul when I head back for that crack-of-dawn flight out of here on Friday morning, but that’s OK. I believe this is the first time I have actually come into Miami since Super Bowl XXXIII (Jan. 1999), when I was a backup on the Broncos beat at the Rocky Mountain News. It’s way different from Lauderdale, I know that. … I’ll check in tomorrow from whatever they’re calling that stadium now. It won’t be nearly as full as it was that night, when the Broncos pounded the Falcons in what turned out to be the last game of John Elway’s career. Nighty-night.

Dodgers 3, Rockies 2

Loney singled through the right side with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 10th, and that was that. The Dodgers had their first series sweep of the season, as well as their first three-game winning streak, and they are actually on a little bit of a hot streak now, having won five of their past seven. They’ll travel tomorrow, the start a three-gamer with the Marlins on Tuesday night at Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin/whateverthehecktheyarecallingitthesedays Stadium. … Loaiza blew a 2-0 lead in the fifth and was gone, but really, he gave the Dodgers everything they could have asked for considering they have shuffled him in and out of the rotation all season. The bullpen came up huge, especially Cory Wade, who retired six of seven in his third big-league appearance. Broxton pitched out of a huge jam after he walked the leadoff man in the eighth and Hu committed what could have been a costly throwing error, and Saito and Beimel got into and out of trouble in the eighth and ninth, as well. … Dodgers go to 12-13 and now have a comfortable 1 1/2-game lead over the third-place Giants, but they still trail the Snakes by six. … I’ll try to post tomorrow, but it takes pretty much a full day to get from here to Fort Lauderdale, so I might not. And thanks to Doug Padilla for covering the series for me. I was ready for a weekend off, and even though I was at all three games working on this blog and a few other things, it was refreshing not to have to worry about deadlines and the like. Have a good Sunday evening, everyone.