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Dodgers looking for luck in bullpen

Dodgers looking for luck in 'pen

SAN DIEGO -- The gnome is gnowhere to be seen.

The FBI has yet to be called in, but the Dodgers can't find their good-luck charm, not that the little fellow has been all that lucky, what with the team struggling as it has.

Nonetheless, it looks like a gnome-gnapping. The porcelain mascot that is taken down to the bullpen each day by rookie Cory Wade made it back to the clubhouse after Sunday's homestand finale, but never arrived in San Diego, where the Dodgers lost two of three. It didn't turn up after a search of the Dodgers' clubhouse at Dodger Stadium either.

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"Nobody knows what happened to it," said reliever Joe Beimel. "We've been looking for it, but it just disappeared. It's usually in the cooler. It was in the bullpen and it got back to the clubhouse, but that's the last time anybody saw it."

While Dodgers relievers might be a little lonely without the gnome, they didn't let it affect the games. The bullpen allowed three runs in 10 innings in San Diego.

On Thursday, after Hiroki Kuroda's early exit, Chan Ho Park delivered 2 1/3 scoreless innings, dropping his ERA to 1.96. Hong-Chih Kuo followed, pitching in back-to-back games for the first time this year, and allowed one run in two innings with five strikeouts. His ERA is 2.01 with 47 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings.

Scott Proctor, however, continued to struggle. He allowed two runs in one inning Thursday, his ERA up to 5.72. He's been scored upon in four of his last six appearances.

Maybe Friday night's starter, Derek Lowe, won't need the bullpen or the gnome. The Dearborn, Mich., native will be taking on a team he's owned over his career, as Interleague Play resumes.

Lowe is 7-1 with nine saves and a 1.82 ERA against the Detroit Tigers lifetime. He won his only start against the Tigers as a Dodger on June 6, 2005, allowing three runs (one earned) over eight innings.

Interleague record: 86-93 overall, 1-2 in 2008

2008 Interleague Schedule
• May 16 at Angels: Lost, 4-2
• May 17 at Angels: Won, 6-3
• May 18 at Angels: Lost, 10-2
• June 13 at Detroit
• June 14 at Detroit
• June 15 at Detroit
• June 20 vs. Indians
• June 21 vs. Indians
• June 22 vs. Indians
• June 24 vs. White Sox
• June 25 vs. White Sox
• June 26 vs. White Sox
• June 27 vs. Angels
• June 28 vs. Angels
• June 29 vs. Angels

Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Derek Lowe (4-5, 4.15 ERA)
It's a homecoming for Michigan native Derek Lowe, who also is coming off a wild win over the Cubs. The Dodgers were losing when Lowe left the game, even though he had taken a no-hitter into the fifth inning. But a rare five-run rally against Carlos Zambrano gave Lowe a second consecutive win and a fourth consecutive quality start. Lowe is 7-1 with a 1.82 ERA lifetime against the Tigers.

DET: RHP Armando Galarraga (5-2, 3.70 ERA)
Galarraga just missed his second straight quality start against the Indians. He gave up two earned runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings to earn his first career win at Comerica Park. He had his slider working, and when he does, he can be quite impressive. The Tigers, meanwhile, improved to 7-2 when he starts. Galarraga has never faced the Dodgers, but he did perform well in his only Interleague start. He held the Diamondbacks to two runs over six innings.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• KCAL

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Dodgers (Brad Penny, 5-8, 5.38) at Tigers (Eddie Bonine, Major League debut), 12:55 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 0-1, 4.50) at Tigers (Nate Robertson, 4-6, 5.88), 10:05 a.m. PT
• Monday: Off-day

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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