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Lawrence pitches shutout; Nevin, Jimenez go deep

4/9/2002

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- If they keep playing like this, the San Diego Padres won't have to hide.

The Padres wore camouflage jerseys Monday -- OK, it was to honor
the military, not to blend into the background after their awful
start -- and looked a whole lot different in routing the Arizona
Diamondbacks 8-0 in their home opener.

Brian Lawrence was impressive in throwing a four-hitter for his
first career shutout and second complete game, retiring 13 in a row
from the fifth inning into the ninth.

Phil Nevin and D'Angelo Jimenez each hit a two-run homer, and
the Padres took advantage of four Arizona errors.

"That was big-time," Nevin said of Lawrence, who's in his
second big league season. "That was the first time I've seen that
lineup shut down like that. He just seemed to keep them
off-balance. He looked great today. It was good to see."

Lawrence allowed just four singles, getting through the game in
2 hours, 12 minutes, and throwing 103 pitches.

Lawrence hurt the Diamondbacks with his sinker. He retired his
13th straight batter when Tony Womack grounded to second opening
the ninth inning. Junior Spivey reached on an error and Mark Grace
on a two-out walk, meaning Lawrence retired 15 of the last 17.

"I felt good the whole game," Lawrence said. "There was never
a time where I was struggling or thought, `Oh no, help me get
through this.' It was just, `Give me the ball, I'm going to
throw."

It was San Diego's first home-opening shutout in 34 seasons, and
both of the Padres' wins this season have come in starts by
Lawrence.

Lawrence (1-0) described the effect of his sinker.

`The ball's going in thigh-high and they take a big hack, but
the bottom falls out and they get a lazy ground ball. They think
they should have hit it, which maybe they should have. But that's
the kind of pitcher I am," he said.

"He was tough today," Luis Gonzalez said. "He was very
effective at hitting his spots and we kept chasing him. We didn't
give him a good reason to come after us."

Lawrence struck out four and walked one.

The Padres tried the GI Joe look for the third straight year,
wearing camouflage jerseys and olive green caps to honor the area's
many servicemen.

The defending World Series champion Diamondbacks, who shut out
the Padres in the season's first two games, had identity issues of
their own.

"Hopefully those guys who stole our uniforms and played today
will return them so our guys can put them on and play tomorrow,"
manager Bob Brenly said after watching his team commit four errors.

The Diamondbacks were originally charged with a fifth, which
would have tied the club record, but official scorer Bill
Zavestoski changed an error on center fielder Steve Finley to an
RBI double for Lawrence after being lobbied by the Diamondbacks.

"I don't remember a game last year where we played as spotty on
defense," Brenly said.

The Padres looked nothing like the team that went 1-5 on the
road against Arizona and San Francisco, scoring a major league-low
11 runs.

Nevin, who had a career-high 41 homers last year, hit his first
this year, a towering opposite-field shot to right in the first
inning off Brian Anderson (0-1). Leadoff hitter Jimenez was aboard
on a single.

Jimenez capped the three-run sixth when he connected off Mike
Morgan for his first, with Lawrence on base after hitting a single.
Nevin and Jimenez each had three hits.

The Diamondbacks fell apart in the third, committing three
errors and a passed ball to lead to three runs, two of them
unearned.

Jimenez singled and reached third after right fielder Tony
Bautista booted the ball into the Arizona bullpen. Mark Kotsay
followed with a sacrifice fly, and Nevin singled.

With two outs, Bubba Trammell hit a comebacker that deflected
off Anderson and beat out an infield single. Anderson threw the
ball away at first for an error, putting runners on first and
second.

With rookie Sean Burroughs batting, Nevin came home on Rod
Barajas' passed ball. Barajas overthrew Anderson trying to get
Nevin at the plate and the ball rolled almost to first base for
another error, allowing Trammell to score.

In the sixth, a hit by Lawrence skipped past Finley for an RBI
double. Originally charged with an error, Finley told the official
scorer afterward that he had "sun problems" on the play.

Anderson gave up five runs -- three earned -- on six hits in four
innings. He struck out two and walked one.

Game notes
San Diego's previous complete game also was by Lawrence, a
5-1 win at Anaheim on July 15. The Padres' last complete-game
shutout was by Kevin Jarvis, an 11-0 win against Philadelphia last
April 26. ... The pregame ceremonies had a decidedly military
feeling. A Marine Corps band played the national anthem and 300
sailors unfurled a giant American flag that covered most of the
outfield. Two Marines who were wounded during a minesweeping
operation in Afghanistan in December threw out the ceremonial first
pitches and there was a flyover of Navy jets. ... The Padres played
a video tribute to outfielder Mike Darr, killed in an auto accident
in Phoenix early on Feb. 15, the first day of spring training.