Even in victory, the Dodgers' ignominious season continued Tuesday night when Phil Garner lined into a seldom-seen triple play in the fourth inning of a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros.
Only 16,415 fans at Dodger Stadium witnessed the oddity. It was the Dodgers' smallest crowd since Sept. 29, 1977. The two-night attendance total for the Astros series was only 33,887.
It was the first time since April 21, 1978 that the Dodgers have been victims of a triple play. The Dodgers also hit into three double plays Tuesday night.
Here's how the triple play happened: The Dodgers had Mike Scioscia at second and Glenn Hoffman on first and Garner at the plate with no outs against pitcher Bob Knepper.
With a 3-and-2 count and the runners going, Garner lined sharply to second baseman Bill Doran, who pivoted and threw to shortstop Craig Reynolds covering second. That forced Scioscia for the second out. Reynolds then threw to first baseman Glenn Davis to easily force Hoffman.
"That really sums up the year," Garner said. "As soon as I hit the ball, I had a sinking feeling what was going to happen because the runners were going. Thank God we won the game. I'd do it again as long as we'd win."
Meanwhile, Dodger rookie Tim Belcher pitched seven solid innings, allowing two runs on five hits to improve his record to 2-1. Belcher's only mistake was a two-run home run to Denny Walling in the fifth inning. Alejandro Pena pitched two scoreless innings to earn his fourth save.
Rookie outfielder Mike Devereaux had three hits and a run batted in to lead the Dodger attack. Steve Sax and John Shelby each had two hits.
Medical update: Infielder Mickey Hatcher was taken to Centinela Hospital Medical Center for tests Tuesday night after experiencing abdominal pains before the game. . . . X-rays on infielder Dave Anderson's sore left shoulder proved negative. Anderson is day-to-day. . . . Infielder Tracy Woodson had the soft cast removed from his sprained left wrist and will be examined today. . . . Jeff Hamilton, on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, will leave Thursday to continue his rehabilitation in the Arizona Instructional League.