Los Angeles (67-82) at Arizona (67-83)

Fair Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 90° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Tue Sep 20, 2005
  • TV: FSN2, KTVK
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Assured of their first losing season in six years, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to snap a three-game skid when they visit the Arizona Diamondbacks for the opener of a three-game series.

Los Angeles will finish with a losing record for the first time since 1999, when it went 77-85. This will be the first losing season for the Dodgers since Jim Tracy took over as manager in 2001.

“As I go along in the course of my managerial career, you hope you don’t endure too many of them,” Tracy said.

With two weeks left in the season, it’s unlikely the Dodgers will be able to catch the first-place San Diego Padres in the NL West. Los Angeles, though, believes the development of some of its younger players will help next season. The Dodgers have 13 rookies on the roster.

“A lot of young kids have had opportunities to play,” said Los Angeles second baseman Jeff Kent, who will finish on a losing team for the first time since he was on the New York Mets in 1995 (69-75). “They got to gain the exposure to the big league experience, getting the opportunity makes themselves that much better.”

Jose Cruz Jr., who began the year with the Diamondbacks, returns to Phoenix for the first time as a member of the Dodgers. Arizona traded Cruz in July to the Boston Red Sox, who then dealt him to the Dodgers in August.

The Diamondbacks lost 7-1 to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Chad Tracy hit his second homer in two days for Arizona, which left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings.

“We have to put more runs on the board,” he said.

With first baseman Tony Clark playing well, it has been hard for Arizona manager Bob Melvin to get rookie Conor Jackson in the lineup. Melvin gave Jackson a start in left field Sunday after he played 15 games there for Triple-A Tucson this year.

“I think he’s a good enough athlete to handle it,” Melvin said.

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