Pittsburgh (64-87) at Los Angeles (79-72)

Sunny Currently: Los Angeles, CA, US
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Wed Sep 20, 2006
  • TV: FSPI, FSPT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It only took one day and one loss for the Los Angeles Dodgers to relinquish the NL West lead.

The Dodgers, once again the wild-card leaders, try to stop themselves from falling further when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of a three-game series Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

Tuesday’s 10-6 loss to the resurgent Pirates knocked the Dodgers (79-72) from atop the division to one-half game behind the San Diego Padres, who defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Los Angeles had taken the NL West lead from the Padres with a dramatic 11-10 victory over San Diego in 10 innings on Monday.

“We’ve kind of been going by the philosophy of ‘yesterday doesn’t mean anything,’ all season long,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “We’re going to make that continue.”

The Dodgers also need to be concerned with the Philadelphia Phillies, who have won six of their last eight and trail Los Angeles by only one game for the wild card.

Philadelphia concludes a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday.

The Dodgers have dropped 10 of their last 16 games and have not won two in a row since a seven-game win streak from Aug. 26-Sept. 2.

Jose Bautista hit a grand slam Tuesday to help Pittsburgh (64-87) record its fifth straight win. The Pirates swept the New York Mets—who clinched the NL East title on Monday—over the weekend.

“Regardless of the opponent we’re playing, I want to see us continue to step in the right direction,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.

Four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux (13-13, 4.22 ERA) looks to continue his Dodger Stadium success on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA in four home starts since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs before the July 31 trade deadline. He snapped a two-game slide in perhaps his finest start since the trade with last Friday’s win against the Padres, pitching seven one-hit shutout innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory.

He’s 4-2 with a 3.07 ERA in nine starts overall for Los Angeles.

“Nothing this guy goes surprises me,” Little said.

Maddux is 25-16 with a 2.59 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh.

Pirates right-hander Shawn Chacon (1-3, 5.56) will try to snap a six-start winless streak when he opposes Maddux.

Chacon, whom Pittsburgh acquired from the New York Yankees on July 31, is winless since he beat the Atlanta Braves in his Pirates’ debut on Aug. 3.

He’s 0-3 with a 6.21 ERA in his last six starts, but pitched a bit better last Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander allowed two runs — both on homers—and five hits in seven innings of a 2-1 defeat.

“I got beat with two solo home runs,” he said. “Most days out, you pitch seven innings and give up two solo homers, you’re not going to lose, so I’m happy with the way I pitched.”

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Starting Pitchers

S. Chacon OAK vs. G. Maddux LAD
7-6 Record 15-14
6.36 ERA 4.20
62 K 117
63 BB 37
1.72 WHIP 1.22

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Sep 20