In the midst of their hottest stretch since leaving Ebbets Field, the Dodgers have taken full advantage of Wilson Betemit’s talents, writes the LA Times’ Ben Bolch.

The third baseman was hitting .264 with four home runs and eight runs batted in since being acquired July 28 from Atlanta for reliever Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar. Three of Betemit’s homers as a Dodger have tied a score or put the Dodgers ahead.

Oh, and one other thing. The Dodgers are 13-0 with Betemit in the starting lineup after Monday’s 4-2 win over Florida at Dodger Stadium.

“He’s part of the reason that we’ve been able to stem the tide here and get it going again in the right direction,” General Manager Ned Colletti said of the versatile infielder, who can also play second base and shortstop. “He’s starting to develop into a real good player.”

Betemit, whose 13 homers are a career high, said he hasn’t changed anything in his approach since arriving from Atlanta.

“The only difference is now I play every day¦.” he said. “This is good for me because I’ve waited a long time for the opportunity and now I just have to go out there and play.”

Betemit had led National League rookies with a .305 batting average last season while getting only 246 at-bats and said he figured his opportunity to become a regular might have finally arrived during the off-season when Furcal departed for the Dodgers, opening a spot at shortstop. But then the Braves signed Edgar Renteria, keeping Betemit relegated to a part-time role.

“When they brought Renteria to Atlanta, I said, ‘Well, I can’t control the situation,’ ” Betemit said. “If I had to wait, I had to wait. I cannot do anything about that.”

ESPN reports that Jason Grimsley and the Diamondbacks have reached a settlement concerning the balance of his 2006 salary. Several charities will receive the money, but the Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams Legal Defense Fund is not amongst them.

What do Cliff Corcoran and the most of Baltimore’s citizens have in common? None of the above are psyched about watching the Orioles.

With apologies to the other esteemed participants at this event, $12 is a lot of money to see the Spicy Crunchwrap Supreme Eating M.F. slap himself on the back. Compared to $57.50 to see Devo and the Psychedelic Furs….well, never mind. It’s still a ripoff.