Weaver Spins Shutout as Dodgers Dump Rockies

A number of decades ago, when a player was in his last year on his contract and got hot the final month of the season, it would be called a salary drive. Call it what you want, but Jeff Weaver won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions, spinning a three-hit shutout as the Dodgers whacked the Rockies early for a 7-0 win. Weaver won his 14th game of the season, setting a new career mark and probably insuring him a fat, new contract, if not with the Dodgers with someone else.

And with the Barry Bonds-led Giants knocking off San Diego 4-3, the Dodgers have clipped three games off the Padres lead and have moved to within five, while San Francisco ominously moved to within six.

Weaver (14-9) established a career high for victories, striking out nine and walking one. He won 13 games for 2001 with Detroit and matched that his first with the Dodgers. He has collected 29 'Ks' in his last four games.

``We know our margin for error is slim,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ``But that's not to say that with 19 games left, you cannot come out here and collectively play good baseball and put together a nice streak. And if we can do that, who knows what can happen?

Rookie Willy Aybar went 3-for-5 with an RBI single, with his third consecutive multi-hit game boosting his average to .462 (7-for-15) over five games. Jayson Werth drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who tied a season high with six doubles (Aybar, Werth, Olmedo Saenz, Navarro, Cruz).

Even if it is an impossible dream, Weaver, Derek Lowe and Brad Penny have given the team and fans a feeling of a pennant drive, combining to allow four runs in 24.2 innings over the last three games.

The complete game was the 12th in 206 career starts for Weaver and his second this season, including a five-hit shutout on April 17 against San Diego. He became the first pitcher to throw a complete game against the Rockies since Tom Glavine of the New York Mets on May 23 last year.

Colorado rookie Jeff Francis (12-12) allowed six runs and nine hits in four innings. He has given up 111 earned runs in 30 starts, second-most in the NL to Cincinnati's Eric Milton (122).

Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the first when both Aybar and Kent doubled. The RBI was the 99th for Kent and he is poised to break the 100 mark for the eighth time in his Hall of Fame career.

Kent walked, stole second (#5) and scored on Saenz's double in the third. Cruz doubled him home and moved to third on Mike Edwards' single. Both scored on the third double of the inning by Werth.

Aybar and Kent singled in the fourth and executed a double steal, with Aybar scoring on a wild throw, Colorado's league-high 106th error. For Aybar, in the midst of a debut that has moved him into the leading role for the third base job next season, it was his first major league stolen base.

He added an RBI single in the fifth for -- in a week of firsts for the 22 year old -- his first run batted in.

Weaver snapped Brian Atkins' hitting streak at 16 games. It was the longest this season by a rookie, and tied Juan Pierre for the longest by a rookie in the Rockies' 13-year history.

Rookie Dioner Navarro smacked three hits to boost his average to .282 (38-FOR-131) and recorded his second three hit game in succession. Half of his hits for the Dodgers this season have been for extra-bases. Navarro improved his average at Dodger Stadium to .358 (24-for-67).

Dodger Blue Notes-- A power outage darkened Dodger Stadium for about 20 minutes around 1 p.m. as well as much of downtown Los Angeles but light was restored well in advance of the game. …Weaver was called out for interference by the plate umpire Greg Gibson for making contact with the Colorado catcher as he tried to throw out Werth at second base on an attempted bunt-and-run play in the second inning. ...manager Jim Tracy confirmed that J.D. Drew's season is over. Drew broke his wrist when hit by a pitch on July 3 and finished the season with 15 home runs and 36 RBI, hitting .286 in 72 games. Drew began hitting off a tee three weeks ago, but he suffered a setback with additional pain and had to back off, then shut down completely. …Odalis Perez pitch off a mound today for the first time since being disabled on Aug. 18 with a strained oblique muscle. …Wilson Alvarez, who will retire and the end of the season, will throw to hitters today and probably again later in the week before being taken off the disabled list for the third time this season. …Jose Cruz Jr. seems to be having a strong audition for the right field job next season. Since coming from Boston in August, he has hit .310 with four homers and 17 RBI in 27 games. …Right-hander Edwin Jackson (1-1, 7.20 ERA) will start for the Dodgers against the Rockies tonight.