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Dodgers just keep sinking lower in 7-0 loss to Houston

They drop their fifth in a row, and second straight to baseball's worst team, to plunge to a season-worst 10 games under .500, at 31-41.

June 18, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Catcher Rod Barajas (28) reacts after suffering an ankle injury while chasing a wild pitch during the fifth inning of the Dodgers' 7-0 loss to Houston on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
Catcher Rod Barajas (28) reacts after suffering an ankle injury while chasing… (Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire )

Isn't there a judge who can declare the Dodgers' season over?

Ninety more of these games remain.

That's three-plus months of watching a franchise that once represented the glamour of Hollywood but has turned into a club that embodies the hopelessness of Skid Row.

The Dodgers matched their longest losing streak of the season by dropping their fifth consecutive game Saturday night, a 7-0 loss to the worst team in baseball.

By falling to the Houston Astros for the second night in a row, the Dodgers (31-41) crumbled to a season-worst 10 games under .500.

In the process, they lost their primary catcher, Rod Barajas, who sprained his ankle chasing a wild pitch in the fifth inning.

Barajas' injury will ensure that Dioner Navarro will get more at-bats. Navarro is hitting .156.

The situation has become so dire that Manager Don Mattingly can't talk about contending for the postseason without first sharing ambitions that sound like pipe dreams.

"For me, our short-term goal is to get back to .500 by the All-Star break," Mattingly said.

To do that, the Dodgers would have to go 15-5 over the next 20 games.

They haven't won more than three consecutive games this season.

The Dodgers let a pitcher with an earned-run average of more than five, Brett Myers, throw a complete game Friday.

Predictably, they were unable to hit the statistically superior Wandy Rodriguez on Saturday.

The Dodgers were held scoreless over six innings by Rodriguez, who entered the game with a 4-3 record and 3.13 ERA. They had six hits and drew only one walk.

The closest the Dodgers came to scoring was in the second inning, when Dee Gordon singled to right with two on and two out. The lead-footed Barajas, who was on second base, was thrown out at the plate — by several feet.

Andre Ethier faced Rodriguez in the fifth with men on first and second, but struck out to end the inning.

Hard-throwing rookie Rubby De La Rosa performed his high-wire act at Dodger Stadium for the first time as a starter.

De La Rosa gave up a double to Michael Bourn to start the game, but retired the next three hitters.

He loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning, then appeared to be on his way to another escape when he struck out Carlos Corporan and Rodriguez.

But De La Rosa fell behind in the count Bourn. With the count full, the fans in the largely empty park rose to their feet.

Why not? What else have they had to cheer for?

Then . . . pfffffft.

Bourn walked.

The Astros were ahead, 1-0. And that was only the start.

An infield single by Jason Bourgeois doubled the lead.

Jeff Keppinger singled to right, driving in two more runs to increase the margin to 4-0.

Carlos Lee walked to load the bases and Mattingly walked out to the mound to relieve De La Rosa of his duties.

De La Rosa's replacement, Mike MacDougal, promptly threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score. While pursuing the ball, Barajas' right ankle collapsed under him, forcing him out of the game.

De La Rosa (3-1) was saddled with his first major league defeat. He was charged with five runs and six hits in 42/3 innings.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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