Although I learned many years ago to never fill out my scorecard this far in advance of game time, because when you do, it’s all but guaranteed that someone will be late scratch, and you will have to get out the whiteout. But these are the lineups as of right now, three hours, 38 minutes before first pitch.
Anybody who could have imagined these Dodgers beating Joe Saunders before the game started would have seemed delusional at the time. But now, they seem prescient. Russell Martin homered in the first inning, a solo shot, and Andre Ethier hit a three-run blast in the seventh after entering defensively to start the inning. It marked the first time the Dodgers homered twice in the same game since June 7, the day they beat the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano. Only three of the runs came off Saunders, because the Dodgers drove his pitch count to 92 by the end of the fifth inning, so Scioscia had to pinch hit for him in the sixth. Chan Ho Park was magnificent, shutting out the Halos on four hits over six innings, and he now has allowed a run on seven hits over 11 innings in two starts since being inserted into the rotation. Brian Falkenborg, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito retired the final nine Angels batters in order, Broxton and Saito striking out the final six. Dodgers go to 37-42 and move within 2 1/2 of the Snakes, the closest they have been since May 30. The Snakes are now leading the division at 40-40. Unbelievable.
… even if it’s delivered with crossed fingers and held breath. … Rafael Furcal, Andruw Jones and Nomar Garciaparra all are scheduled to begin minor-league rehabilitation assignments on Monday at Las Vegas, and Furcal and Garciaparra are expected for now to rejoin the team in time for the final homestand of the first half, which begins a week from Monday. Jones is expected for now to rejoin the team in time for the start of the second half on July 18 at Arizona. His rehab will be split into two segments, the first four days to test his knee and make sure it holds up to the stress, then a three-day break back in Los Angeles, then eight more days at Vegas to get his swing back in midseason form. … Jason Schmidt will start his second rehab assignment by pitching for Las Vegas tonight at Fresno. His previous assignment was spent entirely with Single-A Inland Empire. He’ll throw 45 pitches. … Brad Penny will NOT throw a simulated game tomorrow, but he will throw a bullpen, as will Hiroki Kuroda, and Kuroda might even pitch batting practice to one or two batters.
Finally, here’s today’s lineup