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Loney looks to continue hot hitting

Loney looks to continue hot hitting

LOS ANGELES -- With a single in the fourth inning of Tuesday's game, Dodgers first baseman James Loney now carries a 14-game hitting streak, the longest to start the season by a Dodgers player since 1978, when another first baseman, Steve Garvey, opened with a 21-game run.

While the Dodgers faithful have taken notice, Loney himself claims that he isn't thinking about the streak as much as he is just getting good at-bats.

"I'm just thinking about hitting the ball hard," Loney said.

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What manager Joe Torre notices is Loney's pretty swing.

"He just comes even, right across the plate," Torre said. "Especially for a left-hander. Most have that big uppercut, but he just swings level.

Loney is now hitting .380 for the season, good for sixth in the National League. For his career, he has his average up to an impressive .327 after nearly 500 at-bats.

The best streak that Loney can ever remember having is one that was probably less 20, when he was in the Minors.

Asked at what point he starts to take a hitting streak serious, Loney kidded, "You notice it after Game 1. Oh, oh, I got something going."

Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Brad Penny (1-2, 3.86 ERA)
What are the odds? For the second consecutive start, Brad Penny faced Jake Peavy and allowed the Padres a four-run, six-single inning. In this one, he was extended to 119 pitches over six innings, allowing 10 singles and three walks. Penny had two no-decisions in two starts against Pittsburgh last year.

PIT: LHP Paul Maholm (0-1, 4.35 ERA)
If it wasn't for a lengthy rain delay, Maholm would have pitched much deeper than the 5 1/3 innings his line score shows in his last outing. Maholm allowed six hits, but kept the Reds scoreless before thunderstorms prompted his early exit. For the second straight start, Maholm showed excellent command of all four of his pitches, and he maintained much better consistency in getting ahead of hitters. Maholm will be facing the Dodgers for the fourth time in his career, though the lefty is still in search of his first win against Los Angeles. He is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in those previous three starts.

Tidbits
Hong-Chih Kuo's start was the first by a Dodgers left-hander since the last game of the 2007 season. ... Third baseman Tony Abreu was shut down after complaining about tightness in his upper leg. Abreu is rehabbing from a groin injury, but the new ailment is not considered related. ... Jeff Kent's home run on Tuesday was the 368th of his career, tying him with teammate Andruw Jones for 64th all-time. ... Torre called Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain earlier in the day to express his concern regarding the condition of his father, Harlan. Torre had met the elder Chamberlain last season at Yankee Stadium.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• PRIME-HD

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 1-0, 1.80) at Braves (Buddy Carlyle, 0-0, 0.00), 4:30 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 0-2, 5.59) at Braves (TBD), 12:55 p.m. PT

Glenn Rabney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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