Finley's Homers Key Sweep

Steve Finley collected his third winning hit in six games against the team that traded him July 31. He continued to devil his former team Thursday night by belting two homers during the Dodgers' 5-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in front of 27,287 at Dodger Stadium.

Starter Jose Lima (12-5) pitched 6 1/3 strong innings and is credited with breaking Finley's 0-for-19 slump when he kissed his bat before the Arizona series started. Lima's win restored the Dodgers' lead in the National League West to five games and cut the magic number to 18.him.

"I kissed his bat last night and he got the hits, so I told him I had to kiss his bat again. It's good karma," Jose Lima.

Lima's now 12-5 and the Dodgers are 15-6 in his 21 starts, the most he's made since 2001, although his win over the D-Backs was his first victory in a month. Lima has as many wins as Hideo Nomo, Odalis Perez and Edwin Jackson combined.

Cesar Izturis led off the third with a single, stole second, and with two out, Adrian Beltré singled him home for the third baseman's 103rd RBI, the most for a Dodgers third baseman since Pedro Guerrero had 103 in 1983.

Finley's solo homer in the fifth gave L.A. a 3-2 lead and his two-run shot in the sixth added allowed the Dodgers to sweep the three-game series to increase their lead over the San Francisco Giants to five games and San Diego lost and dropped nine games back in the loss column.

Finley is batting .287 with eight homers and 30 runs batted in with L.A. He is batting .278 overall with 31 homers and 78 RBI after posting his first multi-homer game as a Dodger.

Tracy pulled Lima after Snyder's solo homer to right-center with one out in the seventh. Yhency Brazoban pitched himself into trouble in the eighth, giving up a leadoff double and a single. Beltré, who had two hits in two trips and boosted his average to .342, helped Brazoban escape when he converted a chopper that he had to leap to field before throwing the lead runner out at home. He then grabbed a sharp grounder and threw to second baseman Alex Cora to start a double play.

Eric Gagné struck out two during a perfect ninth while recording his 38th save in 40 opportunities.

The Dodgers return to the last non-divisional portion of their schedule today against the St. Louis Cardinals. Following that series they play only against N.L. West opponents San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado.

Dodger Blue Notes-Pitcher Jeff Weaver was drilled high on his pitching arm by a line drive during batting practice on Thursday, but he said that he expects to make his next scheduled start Saturday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. Weaver, about to start his regular between-starts bullpen session, was walking with his back to home plate on the warning track near the auxiliary scoreboard in the left-field foul territory when the drive hit him on the deltoid muscle near the shoulder. He was able to warm up and take his usual bullpen practice without further incident. ... Brad Penny made 30 pitches off the bullpen mound, and appears well on the road to recovery from arm and nerve problems. Whether Penny will regain enough arm strength and fitness to be a factor in September or October remains unknown. ... Disabled pitcher Darren Dreifort will undergo right hip surgery on Friday in Pittsburgh. The operation will be performed by Dr. Marc Philipon, who performed a similar operation on pitcher Paul Shuey earlier this season. Dreifort has arthritic deterioration, and the surgery will initially be exploratory to determine the type of repair necessary. Dreifort also needs surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, but manager Jim Tracy said that doctors have concerns about blood clotting and decided to do the hip surgery first instead of both operations at once. The bigger issue is whether Dreifort, 34, will ever pitch again, although anyone who can return from two Tommy John elbow reconstructions is definitely resilient. ... When Robin Ventura (Tuesday) and Olmedo Saenz (Wednesday) had pinch-hit grand slams, it marked the first time in Major League history a team had pinch-slams in consecutive games. ... Jose Lima is the Dodgers' nominee for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, presented annually by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Lima was selected for his charitable work involving the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and White Memorial Medical Center. Fan voting for the award is being conducted on through Sunday. ... Edwin Jackson was available out of the bullpen Thursday for the first time since rejoining the Dodgers two days earlier.