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DODGERS 6, ANGELS 1

It's Still Dodgers' Town

Colon is knocked around and Penny holds the Angels in check as the Dodgers make it four easy victories in a row in the series this season.

July 01, 2006|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

The Angels rid themselves of one pitching problem Friday while remaining firmly tethered to another right-hander who has failed to exhibit anything resembling top form so far in 2006.

Bartolo Colon continued to be a weighty worry as the Dodgers pounced on him early and late during a 6-1 victory before an Angel Stadium regular-season record crowd of 44,233.

In his third start since sitting out two months because of an inflamed shoulder, Colon gave up six runs -- five earned -- and a season-high 12 hits in 7 2/3 innings against an opponent that had lost its previous 14 road interleague games.

The Dodgers, however, have outscored the Angels, 37-8, in four games this season.

Brad Penny pitched seven strong innings for the Dodgers and Andre Ethier finished a triple short of hitting for the cycle, his two-run homer in the eighth providing the biggest blow against Colon (0-4).

"He was coming after us with fastballs and we jumped on them," said Dodgers right fielder Matt Kemp, who had two of the Dodgers' 13 hits. "They were hittable pitches."

Earlier in the day, the Angels designated Jeff Weaver for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to either trade or release him. The Angels made the move to clear room for Weaver's younger brother Jered.

Colon has not pitched much better than Jeff Weaver one season removed from winning the Cy Young Award. In his three starts since coming off the disabled list, Colon has a 4.87 earned-run average and given up five home runs in 20 1/3 innings.

"My velocity is not where I want it to be, but it is what it is right now and I have to find a way to deal with it," Colon said through an interpreter. "It's a situation where I'll have to adjust and make sure I'm able to cut loose and whatever velocity comes out, comes out. The important thing now is to locate my pitches."

The Dodgers jumped on Colon early in the game and in the count; five of their eight hits in first three innings came on first pitches. Russell Martin gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a two-out, run-scoring double to left-center.

The Dodgers added three runs in the third inning, with doubles by Nomar Garciaparra and Ethier providing the big blows. Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero assisted with an errant throw that allowed Jeff Kent to score the Dodgers' fourth run.

Penny (9-2) yielded seven hits and one run in seven innings to improve to 7-1 in his last 10 starts. The right-hander stranded runners in scoring position in the first and third innings before the Angels finally broke through against him in the fourth on Juan Rivera's RBI double over the head of center fielder Kenny Lofton.

"He battled back and didn't let anything accumulate," Dodgers Manager Grady Little said of Penny, who struck out six and did not walk a batter. Asked whether Penny had earned a spot on the All-Star team, Little called it "a no-brainer."

Danys Baez and Jonathan Broxton each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Dodgers, who remained one game behind the San Diego Padres in the National League West after ending a three-game losing streak.

Orlando Cabrera extended his streak of reaching base safely to 57 games in painful fashion when he took a pitch off his left wrist and went tumbling to the dirt in the first inning. If he reaches base today, Cabrera would tie Barry Bonds for the longest streak since 1960.

But personal accolades mean little for Cabrera as the Angels remain firmly entrenched in last place in the American League West, seven games behind Oakland.

"It's really frustrating to be losing," Cabrera said. "We've got to get that attitude coming to the park thinking we're going to win a game every day. I don't think we're doing that. We're not excited to play every day."

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