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Mets' D'Amico outduels Dodgers ace Ishii

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jeff D'Amico kept things simple, using a
curveball to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers off balance and off base.

D'Amico tossed a two-hitter to outpitch Kazuhisa Ishii and the
New York Mets defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 Wednesday night.

"Location is the name of the game and when he's throwing the
ball well, he can spot it inside a tea cup," Mets manager Bobby
Valentine said. "Jeff had great command with a great curveball
that he threw any time in the count and put guys away with it."

Ishii (6-1) was nearly as good, but lost for the first time in
eight starts this season. The Japanese sensation gave up one run
and four hits in seven innings.

"I don't know if that was my best performance to this point. I
did walk some guys and that was unfortunate," Ishii said, speaking
through a translator. "But I thought that my rhythm was a little
better and I was happy with that."

The Dodgers were shut out for the second straight day and eighth
time this season, most in the majors. They got only two hits
Tuesday night against the Mets' Pedro Astacio.

"Just two bad games," said Eric Karros, who was 0-for-3.
"It's a little more glaring because we've lost a few now and we've
been two-hit two nights in a row. We're running into some good
pitching and not swinging the bats well."

D'Amico (3-3) struck out eight and walked two in his third
complete game, all of them shutouts, in 81 career starts. It was
his first shutout since July 20, 2000, when he was with Milwaukee
and beat Pittsburgh 6-0.

"He had a great curveball and spotted his fastball really
well," Mets catcher Mike Piazza said. "He had everything going
and threw a couple of really good changeups in key situations.
That's what it's all about."

Both hits off D'Amico came in the second inning. He also made a
nice play on Marquis Grissom's grounder, catching the ball between
his legs for the second out in the ninth inning.

The right-hander has been plagued by injuries throughout his
six-year major league career. He was limited to 10 starts last
season because of a bad arm and missed all the 1998 season after
hurting his right shoulder.

"All that stuff hopefully is in the past," D'Amico said.
"It's more satisfying because my last couple of starts were a
little bit rough. So it was nice to go out there and throw a
quality game and hopefully get right back on track."

The Mets won back-to-back games for the first time since winning
their sixth straight on May 1. They had lost nine of their previous
12. The Dodgers have dropped five of seven.

"They didn't exactly power the ball either," Tracy said.
"They scored just enough to win the last two nights and we didn't
score any. They didn't do any damage to our pitching staff, that's
for sure."

Ishii struck out four and walked four.

"I thought Kazu pitched as well or quite possibly maybe even
better than he did in his first start," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy
said. "It's a tough thing for a guy to lose his first game in the
big leagues after a performance like that."

Edgar Alfonzo led off the second with a double and scored from
third on Jay Payton's groundout for New York's first run.

Mo Vaughn hit his third home run of the season off reliever
Giovanni Carrara in the eighth.

Piazza, hearing loud boos from the Dodger fans who once cheered
him, popped up with the bases loaded in the fifth. Dodgers catcher
Paul Lo Duca fell backward in making the catch in foul territory
near first base.

Game notes
Dodgers LHP Jesse Orosco will go on the 15-day DL because
of a strained muscle in his side. He hurt himself during batting
practice for pitchers Tuesday. The Dodgers will call up Guillermo
Mota from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Mets RF Jeromy Burnitz was hit by
a pitch in the sixth inning and was replaced by Timo Perez in the
seventh because of a bruised left elbow. X-rays were negative and
Burnitz is day-to-day, although he said he doesn't expect to play
Thursday at San Diego. ... The Mets left the bases loaded four
times in the series. ... SS Rey Ordonez committed his 10th error in
the fourth, giving the Mets a major league-leading 42 this season.
... The Dodgers' eighth shutout loss ties last season's total. ...
The Mets' last set of consecutive shutouts came last Aug. 16-17
against Toronto. Their last complete game consecutive shutouts were
April 28-29, 1992, against Houston.