Hot Martinez Is Cooled by Reds’ Bats in 7-2 Loss : Dodgers: Pitcher’s winning streak ends at seven games after he gives up homers to Sabo, O’Neill.

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Protecting the National League’s longest winning streak by a pitcher Thursday, Ramon Martinez struggled with the absence of sharp pitches, the loss of Eddie Murray and the support of four hits.

Not even Martinez is that strong.

Martinez’s streak of seven consecutive victories can now be found wherever he throws his bubble gum. He allowed six runs in five innings in the Dodgers’ 7-2 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds before 29,796 at Dodger Stadium.

“(Martinez) has 10 good outings and one bad one. . . . What are you going to do?” asked catcher Mike Scioscia.


The Dodgers are going to attempt to rebound today after losing a second consecutive game for the first time since May 1.

The last thing they wanted to do was allow the defending World Series champion Reds to win the first of this four-game series after the Dodgers beat them two out of three games last weekend in Cincinnati. To lose with their best pitcher makes it even worse.

The loss was foreshadowed when Murray became the first Dodger ejected this season with one out in the second inning when he and first-base umpire Jerry Crawford disagreed on where Crawford would stand while Murray was playing first.

“I think (the Reds) wanted to make a statement that maybe they struggled the first two games in Cincinnati, but they are still going to come out swinging the bats,” said Darryl Strawberry, who is hitless in his last seven at-bats.

The Reds mostly swung at Martinez, who entered with a league-leading 8-1 record and 2.08 earned-run average, also among league leaders.

Before a distracted crowd that listened to radios and cheered the Lakers, Martinez also pitched as if his mind was elsewhere.


The game was two pitches old by the time he had given up a home run to Chris Sabo. Paul O’Neill would hit one later.

The game was two innings old by the time he had allowed more runs--four--than in all but one of his previous nine starts this season.

When Martinez was excused after five innings, he had allowed more hits--11--than in any two consecutive starts this season.

Martinez also had allowed two home runs, one fewer than he had allowed the entire season.

He did not stick around the clubhouse to offer excuses. But one might have been Reds’ starter Scott Scudder.

Scudder, who was making his first start this season and entered with a 4.32 ERA, had a 4.20 career ERA against the Dodgers.

But the Dodgers treated him as if he was, well, Ramon Martinez. They hit him for one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.


“We were hacking at everything, we were not disciplined and that just is not us,” Brett Butler said.

Another alibi is the loss of Murray, who leads the team with six homers and already has seven runs batted in against the Reds. It appeared that Murray’s second-inning argument had just begun when Crawford threw up his hand and Murray was thrown out. Murray walked calmly off the field, although he did work in a few shouts and gestures.

“Eddie said he didn’t want me walking up beside him,” Crawford said. “I said, ‘I’ve been doing this for 15 years.’ He said, ‘Well, don’t do it.’

“I said, ‘I want to do it.’ I told him to shut up, he told me to shut up . . . and I said, ‘You’re gone.’ ”

Said Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda: “Murray told me that Crawford was in front of him, and he didn’t want to have to go around him on a bunt. And Eddie asked him nicely. Even Crawford said he did not use profanity.”

This was not the first time Murray, who was unavailable for comment, has asked umpires to move to a less distracting spot. He usually makes the request of the second-base umpire when he is batting.


Although the umpires are not required to move, some will do it as a courtesy. The only other time Murray was thrown out of a game as a Dodger--last season--was because of a similar problem.

Murray was gone for a full inning before the Dodgers finally got their first hit, a single by Juan Samuel in third inning. Then they backed Scudder into a corner twice in the next two innings, but allowed him to escape.