Ishii's One-Hitter Charms Snakes

Kazuhisa Ishii pitched his first career one-hitter, allowing a single in the fifth inning and got thunderous support from his teammates as Alex Cora keyed a six-run first inning with a three-run homer and rookies Jayson Werth and Jason Grabowski added homers. Ishii (10-4) retired his first 12 batters before giving up a leadoff walk in the fifth to and a line single. No one else reached base as he pitched his second complete game of his career (72 starts) and recorded his second shutout.

Without five regulars on the field, the Dodgers sent nine men to the plate in a two-out, six-run, first-inning rally. Remarkably, the Dodgers scored less than six runs in almost 70% of their games this year (58 of 81).

Ishii didn't throw a shutout until his 59th major league start, and now has two this season, the first a four-hit, 9-0 victory over San Francisco on April 25 at Dodger Stadium. Ishii threw only 103 pitches, struck out five and walked one after coming off a 7-3 loss at Anaheim in which he was tagged for seven runs over three innings.

Ishii credited part of his success to a new cut fastball he recently developed.

"I was messing around with the cutter in the bullpen a couple weeks ago and Colborn told me it was a good pitch. I used it against Anaheim (in a June 27 win), but last week in Anaheim (in a July 2 loss) it wasn't working too much. It was a key part tonight. I think I'm getting the hang of it."--Kaz Ishii.

The one-hitter was the Dodgers' second of the season. Wilson Alvarez and Guillermo Mota teamed up for a 4-0 win at Pittsburgh on May 7. It was the Dodgers' first complete-game one-hitter since Odalis Perez stopped the Colorado Rockies on June 25, 2002.

Ishii has only one loss in his last nine starts and has exceeded his 2003 win total (9) and is well ahead of pace to top the career-best 14 wins in 2002. He was given a standing ovation by fans as he walked ended the game.

Grabowski hit a solo home run in the fifth and drove in a career-high four runs, and Werth hit a two-run home run in the fifth and scored three runs. Cora's sixth homer set a new personal record.

Werth is sizzling at the plate. He homered, singled, walked twice and stole a base. He has reached base 11 times in his last 14 plate appearances, going 6-for-8 with two homers, a double, four walks and a hit by pitch.

Shawn Green had a pair of RBI singles, helping the Dodgers complete their first three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks since September 2000.

Adrian Beltré left the game after the fifth inning after straining his right quadriceps, and with the Dodgers leading by 10, they didn't take any chances with Beltré.

With the victory, the Dodgers' fifth in a row, they moved into a virtual tie for first place in the National League West with San Diego, which lost to Houston. The Dodgers margin of victory was the largest since a 12-run victory over San Francisco on April 20, 2003.

Dodger Blue Notes--A second MRI exam has been scheduled on Juan Encarnacion's left shoulder to determine whether the soreness that continues to bother the right fielder is a result of further deterioration in the area. An MRI taken in May after Encarnacion injured his shoulder while diving for a fly ball revealed "deterioration in the labrum." ... Paul Shuey's right hip, which recently forced the reliever to end his minor league rehabilitation program, is arthritic in nature and could bother him for the rest of his career. ... Odalis Perez, recovering from shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to throw bullpen sessions Friday and Sunday.

Starters for Houston series
Tonight--Edwin Jackson (1-0, 4.05) vs. Brandon Duckworth (1-1, 7.56).
Friday--Jeff Weaver (6-8, 4.26) vs. Andy Pettitte (4-2, 4.37).
Saturday--Wilson Alvarez (2-3, 3.77) vs. Roger Clemens (10-2, 2.54).
Sunday--Jose Lima (7-3, 4.42) vs. Pete Munro (1-2, 4.45).