Dodgers send right-handed vets vs. Zito

Dodgers send right-handed vets vs. Zito

SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Joe Torre loaded his lineup with right-handed hitters Friday night to face Giants left-handed starter Barry Zito. In the process, he loaded the lineup with veterans.

Torre sat first baseman James Loney, who is 1-for-14 lifetime against Zito with four strikeouts.

"That tells me he just doesn't track him," Torre said.

So he moved Casey Blake from third base to first base, Russell Martin started at third base and Danny Ardoin took over behind the plate, starting for the second consecutive game. In addition, Torre started Andruw Jones in center field.

"I'm not afraid to move Blake there," Torre said of Blake, who has played 106 games at first base in his career, including 27 this year before Cleveland traded him to the Dodgers.

Following through on comments he made after Thursday's win in St. Louis. Torre returned Jeff Kent to the 3-hole ahead of cleanup hitter Manny Ramirez.

"He looked pretty good there [3-for-4 Thursday] and we were looking to do something else with Russell [Martin]," said Torre, who moved Martin into the 2-hole behind leadoff hitter Matt Kemp. "We'll stick him near the top and hope he's more selective and gets more pitches to hit."

Including starting pitcher Brad Penny, the lineup consisted of seven players at least 30 years old, no rookies and four players with at least eight years Major League service. Kent, at 40, was the oldest player.

The last time the Dodgers played in San Francisco was July 6 when they started four rookies, nobody with more than four full years of service (shortstop Angel Berroa) and nobody older than 30. Andre Ethier (1-for-11 against Zito) and Juan Pierre (3-for-13) were the two sitting outfielders. Berroa, the starting shortstop until Nomar Garciaparra returns Tuesday, is 1-for-13 against Zito.

Zito was roughed up by the Dodgers on Opening Day, allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings, but struck out 10 in seven innings while allowing two runs in a July 5 win.

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