Weaver's Web Snares Angels

Jeff Weaver pitched the Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over the Angels in front of a sellout crowd of 43,823 at Angel Stadium. The Dodgers took two of three this weekend in Anaheim, flipping the results after the Angels took two of three last weekend at Dodger Stadium. After a six-game losing streak the Dodgers have put together wins in five of their last seven games, closing within 1 1/2 games of the lead in the National League West.

Paul Lo Duca drove in three runs and Weaver carried a shutout into the seventh inning, giving up two runs and eight hits in 6 innings, striking out two and walking none while locked in a pitcher's battle until the Dodgers broke the game open with a four-run seventh.

The Dodgers came up with a pair of early clutch two-out hits: Robin Ventura's RBI single in the second inning and Lo Duca's RBI infield single in the third, to take an early 2-0 lead.

Weaver then found a groove and the Angels rarely threatened. Weaver shut down the Angels lineup and after the first inning, the Anaheim didn't get a runner into scoring position until a two-out double in the fifth. After retiring the side in order in the sixth, Weaver had made only 70 pitches.

The Dodgers scored four runs in the seventh and Darren Dreifort, Guillermo Mota and Tom Martin nailed the victory down.

Weavers clutch performance took a little pressure off the Dodger starting staff. Hideo Nomo and Odalis Perez are disabled. Edwin Jackson left the game after his elbow bothered and an MRI exam planned. Wilson Alvarez starts Monday for the first time in five weeks. Kazuhisa Ishii went only three innings in his last start.

The Dodgers aren't fooled by Weaver's 6-8 record, because they have scored only 14 total runs in the eight losses, 1.75 per start. He's the staff ace right now with quality starts in 12 of 17 appearances and leads the club with 105.2 innings.

In the seventh Weaver allowed three consecutive hits, lost his shutout and left the game. Darren Dreifort contained the damage in the seventh, Guillermo Mota pitched the eighth and Tom Martin finished up.

The Dodgers scored 14 runs in the final two games of this series, although the six they collected Sunday came on only five hits, none of them home runs. Four of the hits drove in runs, three came with two out. They made the most of their chances, with four of the runs reaching base by walks or hit batters.

Milton Bradley and Dave Roberts scored twice each. Bradley singled, walked and stole a base. Roberts walked, stole two bases and knocked in a run on a fielder's choice grounder that would have been a two-run single if not for a diving stop by the Angel second baseman.

The Dodgers used a running game to take an early lead. With one out in the second inning, Bradley singled, stole second, took third on a Shawn Green grounder and scored on Robin Ventura's two-out single to center.

With one out in the third inning, Roberts walked, stole second, took third on a slow grounder to first and scored when Lo Duca legged out an infield single in the hole at shortstop.

The Dodgers took a 6-0 in the seventh when a walk, two hit batters, a Green double and a scoring fielder's choice grounder resulted in a four-run rally and then the bullpen took over.

Dodger Blue Notes--Juan Encarnacion did not play Sunday because of soreness in his left shoulder. He originally injured it in May and has been playing through the pain and was obviously hurting while swinging Saturday night. He will be examined today and might have an MRI. Shawn Green moved to right field and Robin Ventura played first base on Sunday night. ... Jayson Werth is still hurting from the fastball he took on the left shoulder blade Friday night. Werth has some weakness in his left arm as a result of the contusion and was unavailable for hitting. ... Reliever Paul Shuey, on a rehabilitation assignment with Las Vegas, injured his right hip Saturday while fielding a bunt. Manager Jim Tracy said Shuey would remain with Las Vegas pending further evaluation of the injury. Shuey has changed his delivery in an attempt to alleviate stress on the hip.

Pitching lineups against Arizona
Tonight--Wilson Alvarez (2-3, 3.69) vs. Brandon Webb (3-8, 3.82).
Tuesday--Jose Lima (6-3, 4.73) vs. Casey Fossum (2-6, 5.68).
Wednesday--Kazuhisa Ishii (9-4, 4.39) vs. Steve Sparks (3-4, 5.24).