Postgame: Dodgers 2, Cubs 1

The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 2-1 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full box and recap

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

* Three Dodger pitchers combined to limit the Cubs to a season-low one hit…The last time the Dodgers one-hit an opponent was July 7, 2008, when Hiroki Kuroda shut out the Braves 3-0…the Cubs were limited to one hit for the first time since August 31, 2005 by Derek Lowe and the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

* On the eve of his 33rd birthday, Randy Wolf went 1-for-1 with a double, a walk, and two RBI…With 11 RBI, he tied his career high set in 2003 as a member of the Phillies…Wolf also tied a career-best four-game hit streak, going 6-for-10 (.600) with two doubles, a home run, and five RBI in that span…Wolf’s 11 RBI are tops among Dodger pitchers and are the most RBI by a Los Angeles pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela’s 11 RBI in 1990…Don Drysdale holds the Los Angeles Dodgers record for RBI by a pitcher with 19 set in 1965.

* Wolf allowed a season-low one hit in 7.0 innings…he is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA (5 ER/22.2 IP) in his last three starts.

ETC…ETC:

* Los Angeles improved to 73-50 and leads St. Louis (70-54) by 3.5 games for the best record in the Senior Circuit.

* Juan Pierre has six hits in his last 10 pinch-hit opportunities dating to August 8…Pierre is batting .333 (10-for-30) with two walks and two sacrifices in 34 pinch-hitting appearances overall.

* The Dodgers improved to 22-16 in one-run games, 18-6 at home.

Postgame: Dodgers 7, Cubs 2

The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 7-2 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full box and recap click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS

* With the Rockies breathing down the Dodgers necks and threatening to climb one game closer in the West Division standings, Russell Martin said enough is enough, blasting a grand slam in the sixth inning to break open a tie game and give the Dodgers a 6-2 lead. The Dodgers never looked back and for one night, anyway, kept their 3 1/2 game lead over the Rockies.

* Martin slugged the second grand slam of his career and the Dodgers’ fifth bases-clearing homer of the seaso. His other granny was a walk-off shot on April 21, 2007 vs. Pittsburgh…Oddly enough, Los Angeles’ last grand slam by Manny Ramirez on July 22 vs. Cincinnati also broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning.

* Jeff Weaver tossed a season-high 5.1 innings and lowered his ERA to 3.13 (11 ER/31.2 IP) in his seven starts.

* Matt Kemp went 2-for-4 for his 39th multi-hit game of the season, one behind Andre Ethier’s 40 for the club lead. Kemp continues to pace the Dodgers with 140 hits.

ETC…ETC

* The Dodgers improved to 72-50 and remain 2.0 games ahead of the Phillies (69-49) for the best record in the National League.

* With roughly three quarters of the season completed, Los Angeles leads the National League with a 72-50 record, a nine game improvement over its 63-59 mark at the 122-game mark in 2008.

* The Dodger bullpen has allowed just one earned run over its last 15.1 innings (0.59 ERA) in five games.

* The Dodgers improved to 1,015-1,014 against the Cubs in 2,029 all-time meetings between the franchises.

ON DECK

* THe four-game series continues Friday with the Dodgers sending LHP Randy Wolf (7-6, 3.43) against RHP Randy Wells (9-5, 3.01)

Postgame: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2

The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3-2 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full box and recap click here

BARE ESSENTIALS

* Albert Pujols walked, stole second – taking third on a bad throw – then scored on Matt Holliday’s fly ball to center in the bottom of the ninth against Jonathan Broxton as the Cardinals beat the Dodgers.

* The Dodgers’ division lead shrank to 3.5 games over the Rockies, their smallest margin since May 12 when they led the Giants by 3.0 games.

* The Dodgers committed a season-high three errors for the second time this season…Los Angeles also committed three miscues on July 4 at San Diego.

* Clayton Kershaw threw 97 pitches in 3.2 innings, his second shortest outing of the season…he entered the night 1-0 with 21 strikeouts and a 1.29 (3 ER/21.0 IP) in three career starts against St. Louis.

* The Dodgers dropped their fourth straight one-run game, falling to 21-16 overall and 17-6 at home.

ETC…ETC

* Despite the loss, four Dodger relievers combined to toss 5.1 innings of one-run ball, allowing just three baserunners on one hit and two walks.

* Jonathan Broxton had his win streak snapped at seven, dropping his first decision of the season…Since his last victory, Broxton has successfully saved three of six opportunities and allowed six runs in 10.1 innings (5.23 ERA) over 10 appearances.

* Los Angeles dropped its fifth consecutive series to the Cardinals…the Dodgers last claimed a series victory against St. Louis from May 14-16, 2007, taking two of three at home.

* Orlando Hudson’s one-out single in the sixth ended Adam Wainwright’s no-hit bid, marking the longest the Dodgers had been held hitless to start a game…Los Angeles’ previous hitless drought to start a game was 4.2 innings on June 16 vs. Oakland.

* Los Angeles signed Vicente Padilla to a minor-league contract today…According to manager Joe Torre, Padilla is expected to pitch this weekend for Triple-A Albuquerque and take the hill for the Dodgers on Thursday at Colorado.

* Prior to the game, the Dodgers placed Hiroki Kuroda on the 15-day disabled list (concussion) retroactive to August 16 and recalled infielder Tony Abreu from Triple-A Albuquerque.

ON DECK

* The Dodgers open a four-game home series against the Cubs, sending RHP Jeff Weaver (5-4, 3.71) against LHP Tom Gorzelanny (5-2, 5.24).

Done deal: Padilla signed by Dodgers

The Dodgers have signed Vicente Padilla, who is expected to join their rotation next week in Colorado. Joe Torre talked about the signing moments ago, here are some of the highlights:

We are bringing in Padilla and he will probably start a week from tomorrow in Colorado. He’ll pitch this weekend in Albuquerque..

Its fair to judge a guy on the time you spend with him. I won’t judge his past. He’s here to help us win ballgames on a clean slate. If he steps out of line we’ll deal with it but right now he’s one of our pitchers.

I don’t see it as a risk. This is not a team that one bad influence could make a difference.

Like I said in an earlier post, this is a big risk, considering all the baggage Padilla brings, but the Dodgers really have no choice at the moment, considering the state of their rotation.

Report: Padilla to the Dodgers?

ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting the Dodgers are considering adding former Texas starter Vicente Padilla to their rotation.

Starks writes: Initially, the Dodgers had decided not to pursue Padilla, who was officially released this week by Texas after being designated for assignment earlier this month. However, that was before Hiroki Kuroda experienced post-concussion symptoms after being hit in the head by a line drive Saturday in Arizona.

Now the Dodgers are talking with Kinzer about Padilla, who pitched five shutout innings against the Dodgers in June during interleague play. And it’s possible a deal could be reached as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Padilla wasn’t expected to clear release waivers until Wednesday afternoon, so he can’t sign with anyone until he clears.

Padilla comes with some serious baggage, no doubt, and you always have to be concerned when former teammates celebrate your depature, as the Rangers did upon Padilla getting released recently.

He’s a guy whose been questioned on everything from his work ethic to his inability to be a quality teammate, so obviously there are risks involved.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and right now the Dodgers’ pitching staff is in flux. So, why not, right?

Postgame: Dodgers 7, Cardinals 3

The Dodgrs defeated the Cardinals 7-3 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full box click here.

* Chad Billingsley, making his first start after suffering a strained hamstring last week, went six innings while giving up two runs on three hits.

* Orlando Hudson went 3-for-4 with an RBI, his 10th game with three or more hits. He is batting .327 (17-for-52) with a homer and seven RBI in 15 August games.

* Rafael Furcal went 1-for-5 with an RBI and has reached base safely in a season-high 27 straight games dating to July 20.

* Russell Martin had two doubles to end his 10-game stretch without an extra-base hit.

* Chad Billingsley stroked an RBI single in the fourth inning and ranks second on the Dodgers’ pitching staff with four RBI, five behind Randy Wolf’s nine.

* Jonathan Broxton picked up his first save of more than 1.0 inning since June 21, when he tossed 1.1 innings to close out a 5-3 victory against the Angels at Anaheim Stadium.

ETC…ETC

* The Dodgers snapped a season-high four-game losing streak at home and improved to 24-23 at Dodger Stadium since their record-setting 13-0 stretch to start the season.

* Chad Billingsley has gone a career-high five straight starts without allowing a home run (28.1 IP) for the fourth time…do note, he did not allow a home run in his first five starts of 2009 after finishing the 2008 campaign with a homerless outing.

* George Sherrill worked 1.1 scoreless innings and has tossed 9.2 consecutive scoreless innings in nine games since his July 30 acquisition…do note, Sherrill allowed his first inherited runner (of six) to score in the seventh.

* The Dodgers improved to 994-993 in 1,987 all-time meetings with the Cardinals.

ON DECK

* In the finale of the three-game series the Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-7, 2.91) against RHP Adam Wainwright (14-7, 2.62).