Pittsburgh (49-54) at Los Angeles (61-43)

  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Tue Aug 3, 2004
  • TV: FSPI, FSN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t land Randy Johnson before the July 31 trading deadline. But they still ended up with a dependable starter in Brad Penny.

Penny will make his debut with his new club when the Dodgers open a three-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Dodgers traded catcher Paul Lo Duca, reliever Guillermo Mota and outfielder Juan Encarnacion to Florida on Friday night for Penny, first baseman Hee Seop Choi and minor league left-hander Bill Murphy.

Los Angeles had hoped to pull off a deal for Johnson, who was also courted by contenders such as Anaheim and the New York Yankees, but the hard-throwing left-hander remained with the Diamondbacks.

Nonetheless, Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta seemed pleased to land Penny.

“We’re thrilled to be able to add a front-line starter, especially given what was available in the marketplace,” DePodesta said.

Penny went 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in July and has not lasted more than six innings since June 12. With Hideo Nomo on the disabled list, he will be counted on to give the Dodgers quality innings down the stretch.

“It’s not about being No. 1,” Penny said. “I just take it game to game and do my best. There’s pressure in the big leagues, period.”

The Dodgers beat San Diego 2-1 on Sunday on Robin Ventura’s 12th-inning, pinch-hit homer run for their 15th win in 20 games. Steve Finley, who came to Los Angeles in a five-player deal with Arizona on Saturday, went 2-for-5 with a double and a run in his first game with his new team.

“After all that’s happened this weekend, this was an important win for us,” Ventura said.

Closer Eric Gagne threw three scoreless innings for the win, the first time he has gone more than two innings since Sept. 9, 2001. Gagne is 2-0 with nine saves and 24 strikeouts in 11 appearances since his streak of 84 consecutive saves was snapped on July 5.

The Pirates lost 8-7 to Milwaukee on Sunday for their fourth defeat in their last five.

Randall Simon homered and Jack Wilson had two doubles for the Pirates. Ty Wigginton, who came to Pittsburgh as part of the deal that sent Kris Benson to the New York Mets, went 0-for-4.

The Dodgers swept the Pirates in Pittsburgh back in May.

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Starting Pitchers

O. PĂ©rez WAS vs. B. Penny TOR
12-10 Record 9-10
2.98 ERA 3.15
239 K 111
81 BB 45
1.15 WHIP 1.22