Dodgers defeat Arizona to Win Weekend Series

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"Baseball is a team sport," or so the old adage says. Ready to contribute are the 9 men out in the field, a bullpen filled with potential firemen and a bench ready to climb into the box at a moment's notice. As you know, one player cannot carry a team throughout a season. It takes a strong effort by the entire organization to earn a playoff birth.

Yesterday afternoon's game is an example of a team-sport mentality. It was like hearing a sweet song on the only radio channel that comes through clearly. Rookie pitcher Chad Billingsley continues to impress and every starter in the line-up had a hit this past Sunday (even Chad). Last night Billingsley went 7 innings and gave up only 2 runs. More impressive is his dwindling walk totals. Over the past 3 games Chad has given up only 3 walks total; furthermore, since the All-Star break Billingsley has posted a 1.87 ERA with 5 wins and just 1 loss.

Takashi Saito is our new express train in the bullpen. He has Gagne-like effectiveness with pitches that dart in and out of the strike zone. The opposition is batting .170 for the year against him. He recorded his 16th save yesterday.

Furcal drove in the first two Dodger runs with a triple over the head of Eric Byrnes. Since the All-Star break Rafael Furcal has been batting .318 with an OPS of .879 on 3 homeruns and 27 runs scored.

Kenny Lofton had one hit and an RBI, driving in Furcal, to help the Dodgers take a late lead in the 5th inning. Kenny has been hitting .344 since the All-Star break.

J.D. Drew had two hits to raise his average to .279. In the month of August Drew has been hitting .291 with 3 homeruns and 17 RBI.

Andre Ethier had two hits and Russell Martin had one hit to help spearhead the Dodgers' first runs in the 5th inning. Wilson Betemit hit a 2-run homerun in the 6th inning that helped put a couple of more nails in Arizona's coffin. Jeff Kent hit a double to drive in Drew in the 7th inning. Julio Lugo contributed with a bunt single and a walk.

By the end of the afternoon the Dodgers had won the game 6 to 3 and had won the weekend series 2 games to 1. The Dodgers now have a 2-game lead on the Padres and head home tonight for a 3 game set against the wild card-leading Cincinnati Reds.

AP photo by Tom Hood