Veteran Gunslingers Face Off in L.A.

It was not uncommon when a dispute arose in the Old West for both sides to hire an experienced gunfighter to champion their cause. So when the cattlemen of El Rancho Los Angeles and the sheep herders of Casa del San Diego confronted each other, each chose a veteran to represent them.

San Diego chose a steely-eyed lefthanded gun (think Lee Marvin) in 43-year-old David Wells and the Dodgers went with a quiet, baby-faced righthanded school teacher (think Glen Ford) in 40-year-old Greg Maddux in the first game of a vital four-game series.

Maddux, his quiet exterior masking a ferocious competitive nature, shot the gun out of Wells hand, as well as the rest of the Padre lineup, allowing no hits until the seventh inning en route to a 3-1 win, giving the Dodgers a 1 1/2 game lead over the second-place Padres in their last meetings of the season.

Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, came to Los Angeles in a deal that sent shortstop Cesar Izturis to Chicago. The Padres acquired Wells from Boston on Aug. 31 for minor league catcher George Kottaras.

Maddux (13-13) finished the seventh inning, was removed from the game by manager Grady Little leading 2-0 after the pitcher let Little know he felt mentally fatigued.

Maddux has surpassed every expectation during his eight weeks in Dodger Blue, and Friday the Padres managed only three walks until Brian Giles singled with one out in the seventh, on a 1-0 count, Maddux's 66th pitch of the evening.

Asked if he would have continued if Brian Giles hadn't gotten that single, he smiled and said, "Probably, maybe, I don't know. My arm was OK. I was mentally tired."

J.D. Drew doubled off David Wells in the fourth inning to knock in the first run, and Julio Lugo singled home Drew to give Maddux to a slim, 2-0 lead. But that was quite enough for the veteran who allowed just the one hit, walked three and struck out one in earning his 331st victory.

He threw only 68 pitches as he ran his record to 4-2, with a 3.07 ERA in nine starts with the Dodgers. He's 2-0 with a 1.25 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

The Padres' only run came in the eighth off Jonathan Broxton on a throwing error by second baseman Lugo, while trying to complete a double play. Takashi Saito pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.

The win was the Dodgers' fourth in 15 games against the Padres this year, and their first in six contests at Dodger Stadium.

Wells (0-1) gave the Padres their money's worth, allowing two runs and six hits in five innings. He was hampered by a sore ankle and pitched with the pain that bothered him when he was throwing breaking balls.

And despite taking the loss, he admired Maddux's performance. "I think any pitcher would appreciate his work tonight. It's awesome. You'd like to match zeros with him in those type of games, but somebody's not going to win. You just tip your cap because the guy pitched a heck of a game for them."

Los Angeles added a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz off Alan Embree.

Both teams lost, at least temporarily, one of their starters. First baseman Nomar Garciaparra left the game when he strained his left quad running to first base in the sixth and Padres reliever Doug Brocail, who was charged with the Dodgers' third run, left the game with a strained right hamstring while covering first in the seventh.

Maddux, who was roughed up in his previous two outings, flirted with history for the second time in his two-month stint with the Dodgers. Maddux threw 6 no-hit innings in his first start for Los Angeles August 3 against Cincinnati

The Dodgers had lost six of 10 games on the recent road trip and had a 3-11 record against the Padres this season, including 0-5 at Dodger Stadium.

Maddux walked Dave Roberts on five pitches to start the game, but he was nailed by Russell Martin while attempting to steal second.

Adrian Gonzalez walked with one out in the second inning but was doubled up when Maddux snagged a line drive by Mike Cameron and caught him off first to end the inning.

Maddux walked Cameron again and needed 18 pitches to get through the fifth inning, but retired the side on six pitches in the sixth.

Wells allowed only a second-inning single to Julio Lugo over the first three innings, but the Dodgers managed a pivotal two-out rally in the fourth.

Jeff Kent walked, then Drew lined a shot to center that carried over the head of Cameron. Kent, who has been slowed by a strained oblique muscle, just beat the throw to the plate. Lugo then dropped a soft single into right field to score Drew from second.

Little will give the Padres a chance of pace tonight, starting 21-year-old rookie right-hander Chad Billingsley (5-3, 3.02), just coming off an oblique injury. He will be facing San Diego 39-year-old right-hander Woody Williams (8-5, 3.79).

As John Wayne would say, "Keep a sharp eye out, they'll be back."
  Score by innings                                               
San Diego   000 000 010-2 3 1
Los Angeles 000 200 10x-3 9 1
 
  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      4 0 1 0 .296
Lofton cf      4 0 1 0 .302
Garciaparra 1b 3 0 0 0 .305
 Betemit 3b    1 0 0 0 .269
Kent 2b-1b     2 1 1 0 .278
 Kemp pr       0 0 0 0 .259
 Saito p       0 0 0 0 .000
Drew rf        3 1 1 1 .276
Lugo 3b-2b     4 0 3 1 .239
Martin c       3 0 1 0 .289
Anderson lf    3 1 1 0 .282
 Repko lf      0 0 0 0 .252
 Ethier ph-lf  1 0 0 0 .319
Maddux p       2 0 0 0 .115
 Saenz ph      0 0 0 1 .289
 Broxton p     0 0 0 0 .000
 Loney 1b      0 0 0 0 .277
   Totals     30 3 9 3
   Padres     26 1 2 0

  Error-Lugo.  2B - Drew (29). 
SF -Saenz. RBI - Drew (86), Lugo 
(7), Saenz (45). LOB - Los Angeles 
8, San Diego 2. SB - Lugo (5), 
Anderson (3), Kemp (6). DP - 2 
(Maddux and Garciaparra; Furcal, 
Lugo and Kent).

  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Maddux (13-13) 7.0 1 0-0 3 1 4.22
Broxton        1.0 1 1-0 1 2 2.51
Saito (sv 19)  1.0 0 0-0 0 2 1.93
  HBP -Martin. Time-2:30. Att-52,911.
1981 Team To Be Honored-- Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager, who shared Most Valuable Player honors when the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series, will throw out the first pitch after a 6:30 p.m. on-field ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Dodgers 1981 World Champions. The ceremony is expected to reunite 19 of the players, along with five members of the coaching staff.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Rookie of the Year candidate Andre Ethier has been given four straight days off, outside of a pair of pinch-hit appearances. Despite his .138 average over the last 10 games, Ethier still has a healthy .320 average on the season. …Reliever Brett Tomko has had his struggles lately, posting an 11.57 ERA over six appearances in September. He took the loss on Thursday after allowing four runs in the seventh inning, including a three-run homer to Aramis Ramirez. Little re-emphasized Tomko's importance in the Dodgers' 26-7 run from July 28-Sept. 2. "Without him pitching that seventh inning during that stretch," Little told MLB.com, "that streak would never have happened."

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