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Archive for Sunday, May 23, 2004

L.A. halts eight-game slide

Weaver helps Dodgers subdue Braves, 7-4

May 23, 2004

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— Ten days is a long time between wins.

"It's never fun going through what we've been through," Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said after the Dodgers snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 7-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Tracy also says the 10-day wait for a win will help his team later in the season.

"But I have to tell you," he said, "the way this team has handled themselves and the way they've stuck together and the pride they've shown in the face of adversity, in the long run we will gain from it."

Jeff Weaver took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Jason Grabowski hit a two-run homer to lead the Dodgers, who won for the first time since beating the Chicago Cubs on May 12.

Despite the losing streak, the Dodgers still are in first place in the NL West.

Tracy benched cleanup hitter Shawn Green in an effort to shake up the lineup after back-to-back shutout losses. The Dodgers responded with 13 hits, breaking out with a four-run third inning.

"It's nice to come in the clubhouse and have the radio on with any kind of music," said catcher David Ross, one of five Dodgers with two hits.

Ross started when Paul Lo Duca moved to first base to fill in for Green. Grabowski, Juan Encarnacion and Alex Cora, who hit his third homer, each drove in two runs.

"It was just a matter of time before our bats got back to where they were the first month," Weaver said.

Grabowski was 2-for-5 and hit his fourth homer in the four-run third inning.

Giants 7, Expos 2, 11 innings

San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Barry Bonds drove in the go-ahead run with the bases loaded in the 11th inning, and A.J. Pierzynski followed with a grand slam to help San Francisco defeat Montreal. Pierzynski, who has struggled most of the season, finished with six RBIs.

Mets 5, Rockies 4

New York -- Ty Wigginton hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to rally New York past Colorado. The Mets scored three runs in the first inning, highlighted by Kaz Matsui's fourth leadoff homer of the season, but fell behind 4-3 before coming back against Vladimir Nunez (3-2) in the eighth. David Weathers (4-1) worked a scoreless inning for the win, and Braden Looper allowed a leadoff double in the ninth before finishing for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

Reds 8, Astros 7

Cincinnati -- Roger Clemens was hit hard for the first time this season. His bullpen was no better. Clemens lasted only five innings in his worst NL outing, but avoided the loss because of Houston's comeback. Cincinnati then topped it with one of its own. Sean Casey and Ken Griffey Jr. had run-scoring doubles in the eighth off Brad Lidge (0-1) for Cincinnati's seventh victory in eight games.

Padres 9, Phillies 6

Philadelphia -- Brian Giles homered for the third straight game, and his aggressive slide in the sixth inning forced a two-run error, leading San Diego over Philadelphia. Justin Germano went five innings for the win in his first major-league appearance. Germano allowed four runs, five hits and four walks, but struck out five. Chase Utley also homered for the third time in as many nights for the Phillies, who had won four straight.

Pirates 3, Brewers 1

Pittsburgh -- Josh Fogg allowed one run into the seventh inning, and Pittsburgh broke a tie by scoring two runs without a hit in the sixth to beat Milwaukee. Fogg (2-4) retired 13 of 14 batters before being lifted after allowing consecutive singles to start the seventh inning. He struck out two and walked two while winning his second consecutive start. Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 13 opportunities.

Marlins 11, D'backs 2

Miami -- Luis Castillo's first career grand slam capped an eight-run third inning, leading Brad Penny and Florida past Arizona. Alex Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs, and Miguel Cabrera and Hee Seop Choi each drove in two runs for the Marlins, who won their third straight. Arizona's Luis Gonzalez singled in the first for his 2,000th career hit.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 1

Chicago -- Glendon Rusch filled in just fine as a spot starter for Chicago, which scored four times in the first inning of a victory over St. Louis. In his second start for injured ace Kerry Wood, Rusch (2-0) allowed six hits and struck out nine in 72/3 strong innings. He received a big boost from the Cubs' early offense, including a two-run double by Derrek Lee on a first-inning fly ball that landed in the center-field ivy. Todd Hollandsworth hit a two-run homer in the third to put the Cubs ahead 6-1.

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