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Dodgers flirt with some bad history after 7-3 loss to lowly Astros

June 17, 2011 | 10:02 pm

Photo: Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon catches the toss from second baseman Aaron Miles (background) too late to force out Astros catcher Carlos Corporan in the sixth inning Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire Down they go, and where they stop, no one knows.

It would be hard to call this a slide since the Dodgers haven’t been at the .500 mark in more than six weeks. But they continue downward, into depths unseen in years.

They lost again Friday night, lost for the fourth consecutive time, lost to the team with the worst record in baseball, to a pitcher who came in 2-6 with a 5.03 earned-run average.

By the time the Dodgers had fallen, 7-3, to the Houston Astros, they had dropped to 31-40 -- marking the first time they’ve been nine games under .500 since the end of the 2005 season when they finished 71-91.

After 71 games in 2005, however, the Dodgers were a combatively robust 34-37. More foreboding, the only Los Angeles Dodgers team (1992) to lose 99 games in a season had exactly the same record after 71 games.

And for all you history lovers out there, the franchise’s all-time record for losses came in 1905 when they finished 48-104 and only 56½ game out of first. After 71 games, that Brooklyn Dodgers team was 21-50.

See, it could always be worse.

Friday before a crowd that was actually announced as 35,053, the Dodgers could do little with Houston right-hander Brett Myers.

They managed to score a run in the first on a walk to Dee Gordon, a single by Aaron Miles and a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp.

Between James Loney’s single in the first and his basehit in the seventh, Myers (3-6) retired 17 consecutive Dodgers.

This from a pitcher who had won only one of his 11 previous starts. The impatient Dodgers could hardly wait to get at him. Myers threw only 98 pitches in recording his first complete game of the year.

An Andre Ethier two-run homer in the ninth provided the final Dodgers' scoring.

Ted Lilly (5-6) was not so fortunate. He gave up only one run through five innings, then fell apart in the sixth, the Astros scoring five times.

The Dodgers' starting pitchers -- usually considered the strength of the team -- have a 5.40 ERA in June.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon catches the toss from second baseman Aaron Miles (background) too late to force out Astros catcher Carlos Corporan in the sixth inning Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire

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