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Dodgers stumble to their sixth consecutive loss, fall to Astros, 3-2

September 9, 2010 |  8:10 pm
Not enough can go right for the Dodgers right now.

Not when Ted Lilly again pitches well. Not when they jump out to an early 2-0 lead on an Andre Ethier home run. Not even when 16-year minor leaguer John Lindsey finally gets his first major league at-bat.

Somehow they find a way to lose, again. Manage to turn a promising game into another forgettable loss.

This time Lilly made one mistake and Chris Johnson crushed it for three-run homer to lead the Astros to a 3-2 victory Thursday, handing the Dodgers their sixth consecutive defeat.

That matched their season high for consecutive losses, though it’s the fourth time they’ve managed to accomplish the ignoble feat.

After Jamey Carroll was safe on a throwing error, Ethier hit his first home run in 14 games, jumping on a Bud Norris fastball in the first inning to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Lilly then went to work, and for the most part was cruising. Lilly will become a free agent in the offseason, would like to remain with the Dodgers and is essentially pitching for a new contract.

Through five innings, he held the Astros to four hits. It seemed like old times for Lilly, who had won his last seven decisions against Houston.

In the sixth, though, he wobbled and the Astros took advantage.

Hunter Pence slapped a single to lead off the inning and Carlos Lee walked. Lilly got Jason Michaels to fly to shallow right.

Johnson had struck out in his first two at-bats against Lilly, who almost caught him looking at a close pitch that took the count full. But after fouling off a couple of pitches, Johnson drilled the three-run homer into the rafters in left. It was measured at 417 feet.

Lilly (8-10 overall, 5-2 as a Dodger) finished the night having allowed the three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six.

Lindsey hit for Lilly to start the seventh, but after 16 years of waiting, his first at-bat was uneventful, flying out routinely to center.

The Dodgers, however, proceeded to load the bases against reliever Gustavo Chacin with one out on a Scott Podsednik walk, Carroll single and walk to Ethier.

And still they couldn’t score. James Loney popped up to short, and right-hander Mark Melancon came on to get pinch-hitter Jay Gibbons to bounce out to first.

Norris, who came in with a 6-8 record and 5.35 ERA -- he had had given up five runs in each of his last two starts -- picked up the victory. He allowed the two runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out seven.

There was one bit of good news for the Dodgers. When A.J. Ellis threw out Jason Bourgeois attempting to steal in the seventh, it marked the end of 40 consecutive stolen base attempts against the Dodgers.

-- Steve Dilbeck