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Jordan's grounder saves Dodgers from four-game sweep

4/7/2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Brian Jordan could barely hold the bat because
of a welt on his left hand, and the shadows creeping across the
field made it brutal to see pitches boring in on the plate.

Jordan somehow managed to get a ball in play with the bases
loaded, driving in the go-ahead run to give the Los Angeles Dodgers
a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres in 13 innings Sunday.

The Dodgers were hardly impressive in avoiding what would have
been an embarrassing four-game sweep. They didn't hit the ball out
of the infield during the winning rally, and didn't get a hit out
of the infield after the second inning.

"I tell you what, I'm just happy we won,'' Jordan said. "It
was ugly but we came away with a win. This is a tough place to win,
San Diego. I don't know why. So we have to take every victory as it
comes and keep going.''

Jordan was hit by a pitch from Luther Hackman in the 11th, and
the ball pinched the fleshy part of his left hand against the bat.

With one out in the 13th, Jordan hit a slow roller to third
base. Sean Burroughs charged and fielded the ball, but couldn't get
it out of his glove cleanly and decided to throw out Jordan at
first rather than try for a close play at the plate with Mike
Kinkade, who got a great jump and scored.

"I was in pain,'' said Jordan, who showed off an ugly welt on
his hand after the game. "My last at-bat I couldn't put the knob
there, so I was holding it with two fingers. I put it in play.''

Burroughs called it "an awkward jam-shot knuckleball and it
moved around in my glove. I tried turning my shoulder toward home
and it wasn't happening so I had to get one'' at first.

Kinkade had beaten out an infield single off Jaret Wright (0-1)
with one out when Burroughs couldn't dig the ball out of his glove
after making a diving stop. Cesar Izturis beat out a bunt down the
third base line and Shawn Green walked to load the bases and bring
up Jordan.

"That last inning we just had bad luck,'' Padres manager Bruce
Bochy said. "There were some ground balls we couldn't quite get
to.''

The Dodgers' bullpen was brilliant, with five relievers throwing
6 2/3 scoreless innings. Guillermo Mota (1-0) pitched two hitless
innings for the win, following two strong innings by Eric Gagne.

"When that bullpen parade starts, it's real difficult to get
hits and score runs off those guys,'' manager Jim Tracy said.
"That's going to be a constant for us.''

The Dodgers were shut out on Saturday night, and scored in just
two of their last 22 innings of the series.

"They outplayed us,'' Jordan said of the low-budget Padres.

Padres rookie Xavier Nady had his first three-hit game and
Adrian Beltre had three hits for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the
10th off Brandon Villafuerte but rookie Shane Victorino made a
running catch in left of Dave Roberts' fly ball to end the threat.
Roberts, the Dodgers' leadoff hitter, was 1-for-18 in the series.

The Dodgers committed three errors, and the Padres stranded 12
baserunners.

After Beltre singled with two outs in the fourth, Padres starter
Adam Eaton and relievers Mike Matthews and Brandon Villafuerte
retired the next 16 batters, until Fred McGriff walked leading off
the 10th.

The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the second and the Padres slowly
closed the gap, tying the game on Ryan Klesko's bases-loaded walk
in the seventh.

With one out in the seventh, Dodgers left-hander Odalis Perez
allowed singles to pinch-hitter Brian Buchanan and Mark Loretta,
and hit Mark Kotsay to load the bases. Right-hander Paul Shuey came
on and struck out Rondell White. Klesko worked the count full and,
with the crowd on its feet, Shuey's next pitch was low to force in
Buchanan. Nady grounded out to end the threat.

The Dodgers had four straight hits off Eaton in the second
before making an out. Beltre had an RBI double and Todd Hundley had
a two-run double.

San Diego pulled to 3-1 in the bottom of the inning when Nady
scored on McGriff's throwing error.

The Padres made it 3-2 in the fifth when Kotsay hit a one-out
triple and scored on White's groundout. Roberts came in on Kotsay's
ball to center but then hesitated, and the ball skipped past him to
the fence.

Eaton allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings.

Perez went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, and
eight hits.

Game notes
The loudest cheer of the day was a standing ovation for a
few hundred Marine recruits and drill instructors, who stood and
saluted while the Marines' Hymn was played before the bottom of the
third inning. ... The Dodgers play their home opener Monday against
Arizona while the Padres are at San Francisco for the Giants' home
opener.