Tonight’s lineup … and a BIG announcement coming Thursday

That announcement is that the 2009 World Baseball Classic semifinals and finals will be held at Dodger Stadium, with one semi March 21, the other semi March 22 and the final March 23. The press conference will be held on Thursday in the Stadium Club, several hours before that night’s showdown with the Snakes. I’ll be contentedly chronicling the daily doings of the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz., on those days — that’s right around the time the opening-day roster should be starting to take shape — but some people actually find this WBC thing interesting. MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy will be on hand Thursday, along with several Dodgers officials, broadcasters and players.

Here’s tonight’s lineup. Jones still sitting. Martin also is sitting because Joe wants him to rest for one game before the Arizona series, because he is playing all four of those.

Pierre. LF
Kemp. CF
Ethier. RF
Kent. 2B
Loney. 1B
Blake. 3B
Berroa. SS
Ardoin. C
Johnson. RHP

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Giants 7, Dodgers 6

The boys looked for all the world like they were going to come back from a 7-0 deficit and win. But after scoring five in the fifth and one in the sixth — and leaving the tying run on third when Juan Pierre flied out — they never had another baserunner. Pierre’s fly ball began a string of 10 consecutive outs from that point until the end of the game. The last Dodgers’ hit was by, of all people, Andruw Jones, who delivered a pinch-hit, RBI single to drive in the final Dodgers run. Hiroki Kuroda was pretty much awful, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings. In three second-half starts, he is now 0-2 with a 13.11 ERA. Dodgers fall to 52-53, but the Snakes and the Rox both lost, so the standings remain unchanged, at least at the top. Dodgers stay one game back.

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Tonight’s lineup

It’s pretty basic, or at what is now considered pretty basic with Andruw Jones having taken a seat. Padilla covering the game tonight, so I probably won’t blog much until postgame unless there is breaking news.

Dodgers:

Pierre. LF
Kemp. CF
Martin. C
Kent. 2B
Loney. 1B
Blake. 3B
Ethier. RF
Berroa. SS
Kuroda. RHP

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Dodgers 2, Nationals 0

Clayton Kershaw finally gets his first big-league win, giving the Dodgers six-plus shutout innings in which he allowed just four hits. Dodgers outscored the hapless Nats 11-2, holding them scoreless for the final 19 innings. This Washington team is, to put it mildly, not very good. Dodgers got a home run from James Loney, and an RBI single from Russell Martin, and that was more than enough to complete the three-game sweep. Dodgers finally get back to .500 at 52-52, first time since they were 27-27 on May 30, and since then they had fallen as many as seven games under — 31-38 on June 15 after getting predictably swept in Detroit. That’s the good news. The bad news is that while the Dodgers were sweeping the Nats, the Snakes were sweeping the Giants, so the boys stay a game back in the standings, and the Rockies were sweeping the Reds, so they stay six back. They’ll be a factor before it’s all said and done.

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