Ex-Los Angeles Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt yesterday asked a judge to order the sale of the team, saying her ex-husband has badly mismanaged the franchise since he fired her nearly 2 years ago and brought one of baseball's most storied franchises to the "brink of financial ruin."

The request comes less than a month after Commissioner Bud Selig appointed former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer to oversee the Dodgers after questions arose about the team's finances.

A resolution in the Dodgers drama that began in late 2009, when Jamie McCourt filed for divorce, may be closer than once believed because of several factors:

* The resumption of settlement talks between both sides.

* Findings from the ongoing investigation by MLB.

* The inability of Frank McCourt to make the May 31 player payroll, according to MLB officials.

* And a June 22 hearing in front of Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon where he will hear arguments about why he should order the sale of the Dodgers.

Gordon presided over the former couple's divorce trial that centered on the validity of a postnuptial marital agreement which gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers. Gordon deemed the 10-page document invalid and cleared the way for Jamie McCourt to seek half the team under California's community property law.

Neither Jamie nor Frank McCourt attended a brief court hearing yesterday, but both sides stipulated to have Gordon oversee a possible settlement.

"As I've said all along, my goal is to resolve this situation for my family in a way that also advances the best interests of the Dodgers fans, players and franchise," she said in a statement.

Sorrell Trope, an attorney for Frank McCourt, said his client has no intention of selling the team.

Yesterday's games

* At Cincinnati, James McDonald pitched into the seventh inning and Neil Walker doubled home a pair of runs, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-3 victory and a two-game sweep of the Reds.

* At New York, Dillon Gee (3-0) shut down Washington, tossing hitless ball until pitcher Livan Hernandez grounded a clean single with two outs in the sixth inning, to lead the Mets over the Nationals, 1-0.

* At Miami, Casey Coleman (2-3) had a career-high seven strikeouts in 5 shutout innings and the Chicago Cubs completed a two-game series sweep by beating the Florida Marlins, 5-1.

* At St. Louis, Kyle McClellan became the NL's first six-game winner and backup catcher Gerald Laird hit a two-run double as the Cardinals beat the Houston Astros, 4-2, to jump a half-game ahead of the Reds atop the NL Central.

* At Phoenix, Josh Collmenter (3-0) blanked Atlanta for six innings to run his scoreless streak to 21 and the Arizona Diamondbacks handed Jair Jurrjens (5-1) his first loss of the season with a 2-1 victory over the Braves.

Noteworthy

* The Dodgers' Andre Ethier was photographed making obscene gestures earlier this week and manager Don Mattingly has talked with the star outfielder about it.

"You just don't like seeing it," Mattingly said yesterday. "Speaking from an organizational standpoint, it's not something that we can condone. I talked to Andre about it, and we're going to handle it internally. It's more of a family problem than anything else."

During batting practice before a game against the Brewers, Ethier was snapped flipping his middle fingers at a photographer. He says he found the photographer distracting.

"Obviously, I used bad judgment," Ethier said. "Major League Baseball grants that access because good things come out of it. I have to remember that when I put on a uniform and walk out there on the field, it's public domain. Sometimes that temper you have all written about me [having] gets the best of me."