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Lawrence pitches Padres to third straight win

4/6/2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Brian Lawrence stole the spotlight from Hideo Nomo.

Lawrence pitched eight sharp innings and the San Diego Padres won their third in a row, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 on Saturday night. He allowed four hits, struck out four and walked two.

"I located the ball well and kept it on the ground,'' Lawrence
said. "I was just throwing my sinker, slider and cutters in -- nothing special.''

Lawrence (1-0) foiled a bid by Nomo (1-1) to earn his 100th career major league victory. Nomo, who shut out Arizona on opening day, had won eight straight decisions since last July 16.

"(Lawrence) was changing speeds and throwing a lot of
groundballs out there,'' Los Angeles' Dave Roberts said. "We just
couldn't put any hits together. Everything he throws moves, so it's
hard to center the baseball.''

Jesse Orosco, who turns 46 later this month, pitched a perfect
ninth for a save.

The loss was the Dodgers' third straight.

"Offensively there just wasn't anything there tonight,'' Dodger
manager Jim Tracy said.

Despite two errors in the first inning, Lawrence was helped by
outstanding defense by the Padres for the remainder of the game.

"Great game for us. We did all of the right things,'' Padres
manager Bruce Bochy said. "Lawrence does such a great job of not
letting things bother him. He got the big outs.''

San Diego scored twice off Nomo in the second on four singles.

Ramon Vazquez led off with a single and Keith Lockhart followed
with a single. The runners moved up on a swinging bunt by Mark
Kotsay for an out. Ryan Klesko drove in a run with an infield
single and Rondell White added an RBI single.

Although he was saddled with the loss, Nomo pitched well and was
dominating at times, striking out eight.

"Nomo has a nasty splitter, man,'' said White, who had two
singles and an RBI. "When he's on, he is tough.''

Nomo, however, struggled with his control in the fifth.

Vazquez led off with a walk and moved to second with two outs.
Nomo then threw a wild pitch that sailed over the protective screen
behind the plate, moving Vazquez to third. Two pitches later, Nomo
bounced the ball in front of the plate for another wild pitch,
allowing Vazquez to score.

"The first wild pitch, my leg slipped and the second one was
just a forkball,'' Nomo said.

After San Diego's two errors in the first, Lawrence struck out
Brian Jordan to end the inning.

In the Los Angeles second, Adrian Beltre led off with a double
and Alex Cora walked. Cesar Izturis took a called third strike and
Beltre overslid third on a steal attempt and was tagged out.

"We squandered opportunities in the first three innings,''
Tracy said. "They gave us five outs in the first innings.''

In the sixth, Jordan doubled to the wall with Shawn Green on
first and two outs. Left fielder Shane Victorino, who had just
entered in the inning, threw to Vazquez, and the shortstop's relay
to catcher Gary Bennett cut down Green at the plate

"We are playing great defense,'' Lawrence said. "I guarantee
we are playing as well defensively as anyone right now.''

Game notes
Green was thrown out at home for the second time in five
days. In addition to being tagged out in Saturday's game, Green was
caught on Tuesday at Arizona in a 5-4, 10-inning loss. ... Nomo is
15-2 in his last 28 starts. ... Lawrence, who led the National
League with 386 groundball outs last season, induced 12 groundball
outs against the Dodgers and has 20 on the season. ... Orosco's
save was his first since May 7, 2002, against Atlanta as a member
of the Dodgers. ... The Padres' last shutout came in their last
game of last season, a 2-0 win at Los Angeles on Sept. 29.