000 000 000 0-Martin!

The Cliff's Notes version of the game would be "Martin homers in 10th, Dodgers win 1-0." But in between the lines was a pitching clinic put on by the Dodgers' Greg Maddux and the Giants' Jason Schmidt, clutch fielding and a packed house at Dodgers Stadium who stayed until the final long fly dropped into the left field seats.

The two teams managed only nine hits between them, with the Giants held to three by Maddux, ex-Giant Jeff Tomko and Takashi Saito and three left on base. L.A. had six hits and left six on but had three distinct changes to win in regulation time, one thwarted by a great over the shoulder catch by Barry Bonds that saved two runs.

In another life, Maddux would have been a neurosurgeon and he wielded the baseball in just that manner, varying his speed from 83 to 88 miles an hour, never throwing a ball that didn't move someway while using only 68 pitches -- never more than 10 in any one inning -- to complete eight shutout innings.

San Francisco got both hit in the first inning, then Maddux snatched a line drive headed for centerfield off Bonds' bat and flipped it to first to complete a double play.

That was absolutely all the Giants could manage off him. He retired the next 22 in succession, 24 if your count the double play, and left the game to a standing ovation by the big Dodger crowd.

L.A. got their first hit in the third when Martin doubled with one out. With two out, Rafael Furcal walked and stole second but Kenny Lofton lined to left.

In the sixth, Nomar Garciaparra lined a single to left for the second Dodger hit of the night and Jeff Kent beat out a grounder to Omar Vizquel at short. Andre Ethier struck out for the third time to leave them on base.

In the eighth with one out, Furcal beat out a swinging bunt to short and Lofton lined a single to left but Jason Schmidt, who nearly matched Maddux pitch for pitch, struck out Garciaparra and Kent to end that threat.

Tomko took over for Maddux in the ninth and pitched around a leadoff single and Saito walked Bonds intentionally with one out in the 10th. ESPN then flashed the message that San Francisco was hitting .346 after a walk to Bonds.

Saito couldn't see the message on the TV and went on to nail Moises Alou on a pop to second and Shea Hillenbrand on a simple fly to Lofton in center.

Martin then deposited a high fastball deep into the joyous left field seats, giving the Dodgers their first extra inning victory of the season and moving their record six games over .500 (55-49), and incredibly enough, their 15th win in the last 16 games.

Derek Lowe (9-8, 4.09 ERA) will be looking for his 10th win in the Dodgers-Marlins series opener tonight. Dontrelle Willis (7-9, 4.08 ERA) pitches for Florida.
  Score by innings
San Francisco 000 000 000 0-0
Dodgers       000 000 000 1-1
 
LA Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      3 0 1 0 .289
Lofton, CF      4 0 1 0 .311
Garciaparra, 1B 4 0 1 0 .329
Kent, 2B        4 0 1 0 .263
Ethier, LF      4 0 0 0 .345
Betemit, 3B     4 0 0 0 .282
Lugo, RF        4 0 0 0 .297
Martin, C       4 1 2 1 .299
Maddux, P       2 0 0 0 .102
 Loney, PH      1 0 0 0 .271
 Tomko, P       0 0 0 0 .120
 Saito, P       0 0 0 0 .000
   Totals      34 1 6 1
   Giants      32 0 3 0

  2B- Martin (21. HR- Martin (6). 
RBI- Martin (47). LOB- Los Angeles 
7, San Francisco 3. SB- Furcal (29). 
DP- (Maddux and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers  in h r-er bb so era
Maddux      8.0 2 0 0 0 4 0 4.20
Tomko       1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.71
Saito (5-2) 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2.31
  T- 2:27.  Att- 55,699.
Monthy Awards-- The Dodgers announced James Loney and Rookie-level pitcher Jhonny Nunez as the Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively.

Loney appeared in 24 games in July for Triple-A Las Vegas and hit .371 with three homers and 18 RBI before being recalled to Los Angeles. Before his July 29 promotion, Loney led the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.372). He also reached base in 18 straight games this past month.

Nunez appeared in five games and started three for the Gulf Coast League Dodgers for a 3-0 record in July. The 20-year-old right-hander tossed a total of 26 1/3 innings and gave up only six earned runs while holding opposing batters to a .157 average.

Expensive Winter?-- The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dodgers could be looking to pick up at Barry Zito or Daisuke Matsuzaka over the off-season.

Daisuke Matsuzaka?

Matsuzaka, 25, the most valuable player of the World Baseball Classic, would like to jump from Japan's Seibu Lions to the majors but because he is not eligible for free agency, he must ask Seibu to auction him among major league clubs. If Seibu agrees, the highest bidder would buy negotiating rights from the Lions, then negotiate a contract with Matsuzaka. In 2002, the Dodgers paid $11.3 million to the Yakult Swallows for the rights to Kazuhisa Ishii, then signed him to a four-year, $12.3-million contract. The Yankees and Mariners are very interested and his agent is Scott Boras, so the rights fee could set a record. The Dodgers are interested in Matsuzaka, a club official, but are not likely to wage a bidding war for him. "I'm just a player, but I would recommend the Dodgers take him," said Takashi Saito, in his first season in the U.S. after 14 seasons in Japan. "He's a great, great player."

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers are 12-0 in games started by Wilson Betemit, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for reliever Danys Baez. Betemit came into the game hitting .311 since the trade. …Since July 3, Rafael Furcal has raised his batting average by 27 points. Furcal had a .255 mark in July but had a .289 average at game time. …Manager Grady Little discussed Chad Billingsley's next start with the rookie pitcher, pointing out he need to get "maximum efficiency out of his pitches." Billingsley has walked 47 and fanned 38 in 61.1 innings. He has pitched into the seventh inning just once in 11 starts. In his last start, Billingsley lasted five innings and walked six. Little said that the starting rotation isn't set in stone and that it could be tinkered with as the club heads into the final month and a half of the regular season.

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