Nomar Hits in 20th Straight But Giants Win

Barry who? The Giants did without what's-his-name Saturday and instead leaned on second baseman Ray Durham and pitcher Noah Lowry, names not as recognizable but on this afternoon just as lethal. Durham (and I wanted to say, "He's a hitter and that's no bull") homered, drove in three runs and scored four and Lowrey homered and worked into the sixth, earning the win.

Derek Lowe had an absolutely forgettable day, allowing runs in four of the five innings he pitched before being given the rest of the afternoon off by manager Grady Little. He allowed four runs in the first inning before he got an out.

He gave up eight hits and seven runs before leaving with two out in the fourth with only his fifth loss in 12 decisions to show for all his work.

The Giants got out quick, building a 4-0 lead in the first inning and try as they might, the Dodgers could never overcome that margin.

L.A. closed things up with three in the second. Toby Hall knocked in a pair with a single and Rafael Furcal drove in another.

But San Francisco was an equal opportunity hitting machine, scoring single runs in the third, fourth and fifth, then after Olmedo Saenz slugged a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to close the gap to 8-7, added three off Jonathan Broxton in the ninth to seal the deal, old friend Steve Finley driving the final nail in things with a two-run triple with two out.

"Outside of the balls that left the park, it wasn't that bad," Little said philosophically after the game. Sort of like saying, "Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

Aaron Sele takes the mound against All-Star Jason Schmidt in the final game of the four-game series this afternoon.
  Score by innings
San Francisco 401 110 103-11
Dodgers       030 001 120- 7
 
  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      3 1 2 2 .267
Cruz, LF        4 0 0 0 .238
 Beimel, P      0 0 0 0 .000
 Saenz, PH      1 1 1 2 .301
 Broxton, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Martin, PH     1 0 0 0 .288
Garciaparra, 1B 5 0 2 0 .360
Drew, RF        4 0 0 0 .288
Kemp, CF        5 1 2 0 .291
Martinez, 2B    5 2 3 0 .336
Izturis, 3B     5 1 2 0 .288
Hall, C         5 1 3 3 .238
Lowe, P         1 0 0 0 .086
 Perez, P       0 0 0 0 .067
 Ethier, PH-LF  2 0 1 0 .354
    Totals     41  7 16  7 
    Giants     35 11 13 11

  2B- Izturis (2). HR-
Saenz (7). RBI- Hall 3 
(26), Furcal 2 (29), 
Saenz 2 (35). S- Lowe; 
Drew. LOB- San 
Francisco 5, Los 
Angeles 13. SB-Kemp (5).
 
  Dodgers    in h r-er bb so era
Lowe(L,7-5) 4.2 8  7-7 3 2 3.88
Perez       1.1 0  0-0 0 0 6.67
Beimel      2.0 2  1-1 0 0 3.31
Broxton     1.0 3  3-3 1 1 3.47
  T- 3-23. Att- 46,496.
Gagne on His Feet Surgery to repair a herniated disk in Eric Gagne's back was successful, and the Dodgers pitcher was able to walk for a limited time Saturday afternoon.

The surgeon removed a significantly large piece of the protruding herniated disk located between vertebrae L4 and L5. The disk would press on a nerve, causing a painful sensation that ran down Gagne's back and leg.

Dodgers trainer Stan Johnston reported no damage to the nerve and said Gagne was well after the surgery.

Gagne is expected to be ready by Spring Training in 2007, although at this point it is unknown if he will be wearing Dodger Blue or the uniform of some other team.

Nomar in Good Company-- Garciaparra singled in the first inning Saturday to extend his hitting streak to 20 games and in doing so joined an exclusive group of Dodgers who have reached that total.

He is the 22nd player to earn a place on the charts. Willie Davis holds the record with 31 games in 1969. Zach Wheat hit in 29 in 1916 and 26 in 1918. Joe Medwick (1942) and Duke Snider (1953) hit in 27 to finish out the top five.

Garciaparra is the first since Paul LoDuca (25, 2003) to put his name on the list.

Kent Rests Again-- Second baseman Jeff Kent was not in the starting lineup Saturday because of a strained muscle in his left side, and it would be foolish to expect him to play today (Sunday) before the three-day All-Star Game break.

"We'd love for him to be there, but if he goes in there and swings the bat wrong, he could be down two or three weeks," Little said. "We are definitely not willing to take that risk."

Ramon Martinez has played second base in the six games Kent has missed and with three hits boosted his average to .336.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Catcher Toby Hall had three hits and drove in three runs -- his first RBI since being traded to the Dodgers by the Tampa Bay Devil. …J.D. Drew went hitless in four official at-bats, ending his 13-game hitting streak …Wouldn't you know it? In his first start for Tampa Bay, Jae Seo held the Yankees to one run and three hits over seven innings, although he lost 1-0.

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