Paul Lo Duca received a standing ovation in his first game back at Dodger Stadium. He walked away with something even better—a win.
Lo Duca will try to stay hot at the plate when his Florida Marlins continue their three-game series with the first-place Dodgers.
Along with outfielder Juan Encarnacion and reliever Guillermo Mota, Lo Duca was traded to Florida on July 30 for right-hander Brad Penny, first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and minor league pitching prospect Bill Murphy.
Lo Duca, who was drafted by Los Angeles in 1993 and played more than six seasons with the Dodgers before the trade, was greeted with a long standing ovation in his first at-bat Monday. He stepped out of the batter’s box and tipped his helmet to the crowd.
“It was unbelievable,” Lo Duca said. “You don’t realize it until you get to home plate. I couldn’t step in the box. I had to step out again. It was something I’ll never forget. It was pretty awesome.”
Lo Duca lined into a double play to end that at-bat and finished 1-for-4 with a run scored in the Marlins’ 4-2 win. He is hitting .413 (19-for-46) so far for Florida.
“They’re still my friends, but I’m happy that we won,” Lo Duca said. “When I scored that run, I was really emotional and my heart was beating about 150 miles an hour.”
Encarnacion went 1-for-3 with a run for the Marlins, while Choi went 0-for-2 with a run for the Dodgers. Mota, who received a loud ovation when he relieved starter Carl Pavano in the eighth inning, forced an inning-ending double play.