Nomo Can't Get Out of Second Inning

Hideo Nomo walked three consecutive batters during a six-run second inning and a 7-3 loss ended the Dodgers six-game winning streak. Cub Manager Dusty Baker to say he has never seen Nomo this wild and Dodger catcher David Ross admitted that Nomo is not pitchching much like he did in 2003 when he was a 16-game winner. The last time Nomo (3-4) got off to this kind of start for the Dodgers, in 1998, when he opened the season 2-7 following off-season elbow surgery, he demanded a trade.

Nomo got off to a good enough start when he retired the Cubs in order in the first, but Nomo was struggling to locate his split-fingered fastballs.

After single that opened the second, Nomo walked three consecutive batters, forcing in the first run. A single and a run-scoring groundout drove Nomo's out trailing 4-0. A two-run double off reliever Jose Lima capped the six-run inning.

Nomo went 1.1 innings, allowed three hits, six runs, three walks and one strikeout. He threw 24 of his 46 pitches for strikes. Nomo has lost his last three decisions and has yet to pitch more than six innings in any of his eight starts this season.

"I can't exactly point at what was wrong. I've been working on my mechanics by myself and with (pitching coach Jim) Colborn. I don't really think I have a problem with my mechanics." -- Hideo Nomo.

It was Nomo's shortest start since he went only two-thirds of an inning, also against the Cubs, April 18, 1998. That year has a lot in common with this year, because Nomo then was also trying to return from surgery.

The 35-year-old Nomo now is 3-4 and his ERA Thursday climbed from 6.00 to 7.14. He has allowed 65 baserunners in 40 1/3 innings and has lost his last three decisions.

Jose Lima, who sang the national anthem and "God Bless America" before the game, ate up 5.2 innings with 75 pitches and stopped the damage.

The Dodgers struck out 11 times while collecting two hits and no earned runs in eight innings. The Dodgers scored an unearned run in the seventh on pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz's sacrifice fly and added two more meaningless runs in the ninth.

Dodger Blue Notes--Milton Bradley fanned three times. Bradley, playing with a sprained ankle, has struck out 13 times in his last 33 at-bats. ... A day after his 18-pitch at-bat, Cora was drilled in the elbow and left the game after four innings. Before the game, Baker said he thought Cora showed them up when he flung his bat after hitting the homer in an at-bat that lasted nearly 14 minutes. Cora said he didn't think it was intentional and apologized after the game to anyone who misinterpreted his reaction to Wednesday's homer. ... Wilson Alvarez was limping badly on the right foot that took the brunt of a foul ball off his bat in the third inning. He will have X-rayed. ... Reliever Paul Shuey is making steady progress recovering from a partially ruptured thumb tendon and that the time off has helped his hip, which was surgically repaired during the offseason, heal. ... Beltre left Thursday's game in the fifth inning after fouling a ball off his left ankle. X-rays were negative, but Beltre received a cortisone injection and is listed as day to day. He extended his hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single in the second.