Hot Dodger Dog! Los Angeles Fans Have Plenty to Smile About

The Dodgers have another half dozen games on the road before getting a run on their home sod. However, several members of the Dodgers clubhouse will play an additional game before heading back to the West Coast. They will be making their way to St. Louis for the 80th All-Star Game on July 14.

In an announcement made Sunday, pitchers Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton and second baseman Orlando Hudson have been selected to this year’s National League roster. The trio will join Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, the coach for the NL squad. Teams are selected by players, managers and coaches from across the league.

Billingsley ranks among league leaders in wins, ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts and lowest opponents batting average, as he did last season. Broxton is currently 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 39 innings. He leads the league in lowest opposing batting average for a reliever (.132). He is 20-for-22 in save opportunities, including 9-for-9 at home. Although he is in a 0-of-22 hitting slump, Hudson already has 41 RBIs, matching his season total for last year. Perhaps the honor will fuel him past this difficult time.

One more Dodger may be added to the NL squad. Matt Kemp has been selected as a candidate for the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote. This promotion is in its eighth year and allows fans to vote for the final roster spot of either team. Voting runs through Thursday at 1pm.

Kemp has been more than impressive in 2009. In his second season as a full-time major league player (Kemp has started nearly every game this season), Kemp has a .305 batting average, with 10 home runs, 44 RBIs and 19 steals.

The other contenders for the NL roster spot are Cristian Guzman, Washington; Mark Reynolds, Arizona; Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco; and former Dodgers farmhand Shane Victorino, Philadelphia.

Loney Gets Looney For The Win

The Dodgers beat the Padres on Sunday, bringing their record to an impressive 52-30. The team is 5-5 in their last ten contests, but remains atop the league in wins and has welcomed No. 99 back into the lineup.

Manager Joe Torre indicated he wanted Manny to rest his legs after not playing for so long. Ramirez didn’t start for the first time since he returned from a 50-game drug suspension on Friday. However, he did pinch hit in the 11th, but was robbed of a hit by Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn. Gwynn came in on a sliding catch.

First baseman James Loney decided the Dodgers deserved the win. Loney opened the 13th with the Dodgers fourth home run of the game. Dodgers reliever Jeff Weaver (5-2) made it stick in a game that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours.

When Loney was asked about a game that saw Billingsley take a two-hitter into the ninth and Broxton walk three to tie, he replied:

“I heard before the game [Randy] Wolf say we’d go 13 innings today. Blame it all on him.”

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