Pitching Puts L.A. Train Back on Track

The Dodgers rode solid pitching to earn a 3-1 win in the second game of their series in Washington. Derek Lowe worked seven innings and allowed only five singles and one run to gain his third win of the season. Danys Baez and Takashi Saito pitched a scoreless inning each, Saito earning his second save.

Mr. Clutch, Nomar Garciaparra, singled in the tie-breaking run in the top of the eighth, reaching base in his 20th consecutive game. Lowe had been winless since April 13. recording four straight no-decisions and a pair of losses.

Second baseman Jeff Kent left the game after the second inning with a sprained left wrist. A Dodgers spokesman said Kent's injury was to be evaluated.

Kent struck out swinging to lead off the second after having made a running catch to nab a foul pop by Nick Johnson to end the first inning. Oscar Robles replaced him in the field in the bottom of the third.

Kent has been sizzling at the plate, hitting .411 over the last 11 games (15-for-34). And after dipping under the .200 mark, he had raised his batting average to .258.

The two teams combined for 17 hits, three of them the infield variety, in a throw-back pitchers duel that was prevalent before steroids and juiced-up baseballs.

Lowe allowed the first hit with one out in the fourth, then retired the next eight batters he faced.

The Dodgers gave him a run in the third inning when Russell Martin was hit by a pitch with one out, Rafael Furcal singled and Kenny Lofton drove a ball to left field for a sacrifice fly.

Lowe gave up a two-out double in the sixth but the wheels fell off in the seventh and he masterfully pitched out of a mess with only one run scoring.

With none out, three straight singles tied the game for Washington and left runners on first and second. Lowe turned and picked Ryan Zimmerman off second base for the first out. Damian Johnson attempted to but popped it up foul to Russell and Lowe ended the inning by starting a 1-6-3 double play.

Los Angeles bounced back in the top of the eighth on Furcal's third single of the game and a bunt by Lofton that the veteran legged out for an infield single. Garciaparra drilled a sharp single to give Lowe a chance for the win and a 2-1 Dodger lead.

After 98 pitches, 68 of them strikes, Lowe handed the ball to Danys Baez. After getting the first out, he served up an infield hit and a line shot to right field. Then he induced Jose Vidro, the National League-leading hitter with a .345 average, to bounced into a 1-6-3 double play.

The Dodgers got a gift run in the top of the ninth after Andre Ether opened with his second single of the game. Jose Cruz bunted him to second but Martin bounced to third base.

Olmedo Saenz pinch-hit for Baez and bounced to short but Damian Jackson, who had played centerfield the first eight inning of the game before switching to shortstop, booted the ball to allow Ethier to cross the plate.

Takashi "Sammy" Saito served up a double to open the bottom of the ninth but then settled in to get a bouncer to third and a pair of strikeouts to nail down the game and his second save.

The Dodgers moved to 28-21 but all other West Division teams played their games at night.
  Score by innings
Dodgers    001 000 011-3
Washington 000 000 100-1

  Dodgers        ab r h bi ave
Lofton, CF        2 0 1 1 .302
Garciaparra, 1B   4 0 1 1 .361
Kent, 2B          1 0 0 0 .256
  Robles, 2B      3 0 0 0 .160
  Saito, P        0 0 0 0 .000
Aybar, 3B         4 0 1 0 .350
Ethier, LF        3 1 2 0 .317
Cruz, RF          3 0 0 0 .242
Martin C          3 1 1 0 .306
Lowe, P           2 0 0 0 .042
  Baez, P         0 0 0 0 .000
  Saenz, PH       1 0 0 0 .311
  Martinez, PR-2B 0 0 0 0 .317
    Totals       31 3 9 2
    Washington   32 1 8 1

  Error- Jackson. 2B hits- Martin. 
RBI- Lofton (11), Garciaparra (31). 
S- Lowe; Cruz. SF- Lofton. LOB- 
Washington 6, Los Angeles 7. CS- 
Ethier (2). DP- (Baez-Furcal-
  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Lowe (W, 3-3) 7.0 5  1-1  1 3 2.90
Baez          1.0 2  0-0  0 0 2.59
Saito (S, 2)  1.0 1  0-0  0 2 2.52
  HBP-Martin. T-2:30. Att-26,867.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Dodgers broadcaster Rick Monday led a group that included manager Grady Little, pitcher Aaron Sele, first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, outfielder Andre Ethier and several members of the coaching staff and broadcast crew on a visit to Walter Reed Army Hospital before the first game of the Washington series on Friday to visit soldiers recovering from serious injuries suffered in the Iraq war. The visit was arranged by Monday's wife, Barbaralee, in conjunction with Dr. John Pitman, a plastic surgeon who has shut down his private practice here to volunteer his time and expertise at Walter Reed. …Manager Grady Little served as an advisor for the 1988 baseball classic "Bull Durham." Jao Seo will make his seventh start of the season in the final game of the series this afternoon in Washington. As the fifth starter, he has not been on a constant schedule due to open dates and has not pitched since May 9 against Houston. His record-
date    w-l score  opp       in h r-er w k era
April 12 ND 6-7 at Pittsburgh 5 7  5-5 1 4 9.00
April 16  L 0-2 San Francisco 6 6  2-2 1 3 6.43
April 22  L 4-5 Arizona       3 9  5-5 1 2 7.64
April 28  W 3-0 at San Diego  6 2  0-0 2 4 5.70
May    3 ND 5-11 San Diego    6 5  1-1 3 4 4.85
May    9 ND 12-7 Houston      3 8  6-6 1 2 6.00