San Francisco (70-90) at Los Angeles (81-79)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Sat Sep 29, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Youngsters James Loney and Chad Billingsley are enjoying exceptional Septembers, but it hasn’t led to many wins for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Loney and Billingsley look to lead the Dodgers to consecutive wins for the first time in two weeks when they continue their three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles (81-79) defeated the Giants 8-3 in Friday’s series opener to win for just the second time in 12 games. The Dodgers also avoided dropping to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 on April 6.

Los Angeles was 3 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West on Sept. 15, but is now nine games behind first-place Arizona and mathematically out of postseason contention. The Dodgers have not won consecutive games since winning four in a row Sept. 12-15.

While Los Angeles has been slumping overall, Loney and Billingsley (12-5, 3.09 ERA) have been red hot.

Loney hit his 15th homer of the season on Friday, and is batting .467 (14-for-30) with three home runs and nine RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak.

The 23-year-old first baseman is hitting .402 (41-for-102) with nine homers and a major league-leading 32 RBIs during the month of September.

Billingsley, meanwhile, is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in five starts this month, and is 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA in his last seven outings.

On Sunday, the 23-year-old right-hander gave up one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

“I feel so much more comfortable on the mound, my confidence level is really going up,” Billingsley told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “When you pitch with confidence, you’re aggressive and not timid. Last year, I was young. I didn’t know the league and tried to overthrow some times. This year, I’m not just a power guy.”

Billingsley has been outstanding in two starts against the Giants this season, going 1-0 while allowing one earned run in 12 innings. He is 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in five games - three starts -lifetime versus San Francisco.

The Giants (70-90) have lost three straight and 11 of their last 15.

San Francisco will finish last in the West for the first time since 1996, while Los Angeles is finishing in fourth place. This will be only the second time since divisional play began in 1969 that these storied rivals will finish on the bottom two rungs of the NL West ladder.

It also happened in 1992, when San Francisco and Los Angeles were fifth and sixth, respectively.

“It’s disappointing in all aspects - for both organizations,” Giants outfielder Dave Roberts said.

San Francisco’s Travis Blackley (0-0, 3.60) will make his second start of the year.

Blackley gave up two runs and three hits in five innings of a 5-4 win over Cincinnati on Sunday, but was not a factor in the decision. It was the left-hander’s first major league appearance since pitching for Seattle in 2004. .1 28 22 22 3 11 12 Hudson  0 1 18.00 1 1 0 2.0 2 5 4 1 4 0 Team Totals  34 45 4.64 79 79 19 716.0 792 392 369 79 261 483

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

ROAD GAMES

BATTERS  AVG OBA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS E Gathright  .366 .423 112 15 41 7 0 0 12 8 13 7 4 1 Butler  .312 .364 157 22 49 12 1 3 27 14 24 0 0 1 Grudzielanek  .310 .355 242 39 75 21 1 2 21 13 32 1 2 5 Gload  .288 .325 139 11 40 5 0 5 28 8 17 1 1 1 Sweeney  .286 .353 119 11 34 9 1 1 12 9 13 0 0 0 Teahen  .279 .330 290 38 81 15 4 1 28 22 75 7 2 3 Sanders  .278 .395 36 5 10 3 0 0 5 6 8 0 0 0 Brown  .260 .303 215 27 56 2 1 5 36 14 43 9 1 4 Costa  .250 .278 52 10 13 4 0 0 3 2 12 0 1 0 DeJesus  .248 .326 315 49 78 13 5 4 28 30 46 5 2 3 Buck  .244 .360 164 25 40 9 0 12 31 25 48 0 1 3 Shealy  .233 .280 86 8 20 3 0 3 15 6 32 0 0 0 German  .231 .324 186 23 43 7 1 1 11 23 34 6 5 4 Gordon  .231 .301 290 31 67 15 2 7 22 23 78 11 3 8 Pena Jr.  .221 .234 258 17 57 6 2 1 20 4 43 2 2 18 Smith  .208 .235 48 8 10 1 0 6 13 2 16 0 0 4 Phillips  .200 .273 10 2 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 LaRue  .106 .184 94 6 10 3 0 2 4 6 40 0 0 5 Brazell  .000 .000 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 Huber  .000 .000 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 Team Totals  .256 .316 2856 351 732 138 18 53 321 217 586 49 25 63 PITCHERS  W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO Musser  0 0 2.53 5 0 0 10.2 10 3 3 1 4 10 Thomson  1 0 2.57 1 1 0 7.0 6 3 2 0 0 0 Hochevar  0 0 2.70 1 0 0 3.1 2 2 1 1 0 3 Braun  1 0 2.74 14 0 0 23.0 18 10 7 1 11 12 Duckworth  2 3 3.09 12 2 1 23.1 24 14 8 0 16 12 Soria  1 2 3.31 31 0 7 35.1 24 13 13 2 11 42 Riske  1 3 3.34 31 0 1 32.1 34 12 12 4 15 22 Greinke  3 4 3.40 25 6 0 53.0 48 21 20 5 24 46 Meche  4 7 3.47 16 16 0 98.2 108 46 38 8 29 75 Bannister  6 3 3.48 14 14 0 88.0 65 36 34 7 18 42 Gobble  3 0 3.71 36 0 1 26.2 30 13 11 3 12 28 Peralta  1 1 4.81 32 0 0 39.1 41 22 21 8 8 30 Bale  0 1 4.84 16 0 0 22.1 28 12 12 1 7 19 Nunez  0 3 4.95 8 3 0 20.0 23 13 11 5 6 21 Perez  5 4 5.02 13 13 0 66.1 80 38 37 9 27 32 Davies  2 3 5.40 6 6 0 28.1 36 19 17 5 13 24 De La Rosa  2 8 6.51 14 12 0 65.0 81 49 47 15 24 41 Buckner  1 1 6.86 4 4 0 21.0 26 16 16 5 7 10 Team Totals  34 47 4.35 81 81 17 703.1 735 379 340 89 254 492

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Starting Pitchers

T. Blackley Tex vs. C. Billingsley LAD
0-0 Record 12-5
7.27 ERA 3.31
5 K 141
5 BB 64
1.73 WHIP 1.33

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 29