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DODGERS FALLING INTO FUNK MULHOLLAND HORRIBLE AS L.A. LOSES AGAIN CINCINNATI 10, DODGERS 5.

Byline: Brian Dohn Staff Writer

It's been two games since the Dodgers altered clubhouse mojo. That's not long enough to determine whether the change will be harmful in the long run, but the early returns aren't promising.

Since trading all-around good-guy Mike Fetters and thus fooling with team chemistry - a component the Dodgers have emphasized all season - the Dodgers are winless. Also-ran Cincinnati battered the Dodgers, winning their second in a row 10-5 Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

Four Dodgers pitchers were pounded for a season-high 20 hits, including four by Aaron Boone, and Dmitri Young and Todd Walker each drove in three runs.

Lefty Terry Mulholland, acquired from Pittsburgh in the Fetters deal, had an abysmal Dodgers debut. He was pounded for four runs on five hits and a walk in one inning.

The Dodgers (61-47) have dropped three in a row for the first time since losing the last game before the All-Star break and first two afterward. They also lost their first series to a National League opponent since being swept by San Diego on June 22-24.

``I think we came out sluggish the last two nights,'' Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca said. ``We were playing so well and I think it's going to be magnified. I know it's three games in a row we've lost. We need to come back (today) and play well. It's a big game for us.''

The Dodgers remained a half game in front of Arizona in the National League West, but hard-charging San Francisco won its seventh straight and is two games back.

Mulholland, making his first appearance in a major-league game since suffering a broken left index finger pitching with Pittsburgh on June 8 , entered with the Dodgers trailing 5-3. The first four batters he faced singled, culminating with Dmitri Young's two-run base hit as the Reds went ahead 7-3. Todd Walker added to the damage with a two-run bases loaded to cap the inning as Reds' left-handers went 3 for 4 against Mulholland.

``I'm not happy with the results,'' Mulholland said. ``We have a lot of ballgames ahead of us and I'll have my share of opportunities and chances to get key outs. I feel bad because it basically took us out of the ballgame. If I was able to throw up a zero, it's a whole different ballgame.''

The Dodgers' troubles actually began in the 11th inning of Tuesday's loss when Marquis Grissom, a strong center fielder, misjudged a line drive that turned into a double. A relay throw home bounced to catcher Chad Kreuter, who had the plate blocked but didn't come up with the ball as Griffey scored the go-ahead run.

The reversal of good fortune continued Wednesday when usually reliable run producer Gary Sheffield failed in two early opportunities with runners in scoring position and less than two outs.

The Dodger led 3-0 after three innings, but Dodgers starter Terry Adams' nightmare fifth inning was sparked by a wild-pitch strikeout of Davis that left runners on first and third. Todd Walker doubled in a run and Adam Dunn tied it with a two-run double. Griffey grounded out, but Sean Casey singled to score Dunne and Boone singled to knock Adams (7-4) from the game.

Reliever Giovanni Carrara allowed an RBI single by Young as the Reds took a 5-3 lead.

Adams allowed five earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start since he moved from the bullpen to the rotation June 5. Adams had won his last three starts.

``The intensity isn't there,'' Sheffield said. ``I've said all along that the later it gets, the tougher it gets. You're playing a dangerous team, especially those guys not in contention. They're more (dangerous) than teams in contention. You know with teams in contention there's going to be intensity on both sides.''

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

(color) Paul Lo Duca tags out Sean Casey attempting to steal home, but it was Cincinnati's night Wednesday.

Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 2, 2001
Words:665
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