Lowe helps Dodgers sweep Halos in L.A. faceoff

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- On the advice of his pitching coach, Derek
Lowe went to a different approach than usual against the Los
Angeles Angels.

The result was the 32-year-old right-hander's best outing of the

Throwing fewer sinkers and working both sides of the plate more
than he normally does, Lowe allowed three hits in seven innings for
his first win since April 13, and the Dodgers beat the Angels 7-0
Sunday to complete a sweep of the three-game interleague series.

Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run first, and
Nomar Garciaparra also drove in three runs for the Dodgers, who
have won four straight games and 12 of their last 15 to move four
games over .500 for the first time since last June.

They outscored the Angels 31-7 in the series after being
outscored 29-11 while losing five of six to their local rivals last

"We put it all together the last three games -- our offense was
fantastic, our starting pitching kept us in games, the bullpen was
great," Lowe said.

Lowe (2-3) threw 118 pitches before being lifted for a pinch
hitter. He walked three, struck out a season-high seven and didn't
allow a hit after Garret Anderson's single in the third, retiring
13 of the last 15 batters he faced.

"This goes to Rick Honeycutt," Lowe said. "He studied a lot
of videotape of these guys. He said, `I think this is a game where
you've got to change the way you pitch.' I've never thrown more
four-seamers in a game. I give him a lot of credit."

Instead of getting most of his outs on ground balls, Lowe
averaged one strikeout per inning, got two outs on popups and four
more on fly balls. That left only seven grounders that were turned
into outs including one double-play ball.

"Their guys were hitting the ball very well away," Honeycutt
said of what he learned after studying tape of the Angels. "I like
the four-seam fastball if he can get it in there. It's a pitch he
was able to do."

It helped that Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero was given the
day off -- his first of the season.

Lowe gave up two earned runs or less in seven of his previous
nine starts, but had only one win to show for his efforts. He went
six straight outings without a victory -- two losses and four

Rookie Jonathan Broxton worked the final two innings to complete
the shutout.

The Angels have lost five straight and 17 of 22 to drop a
season-worst 10 games below .500. Manager Mike Scioscia
acknowledged his team is playing very poorly right now.

"Our challenge is getting our ship righted and going in the
right direction," he said. "I mean, we could be playing the
Wombats right now and it wouldn't matter. So whoever we're playing,
whether it's the Dodgers or Texas or anyone the schedule's going to
bring, you're going to get chewed up if you're not playing your

The Angels got chewed up by Ethier, who had played in 13 big
league games before going 5-for-5 in a 16-3 victory over the Angels
on Friday night. The rookie outfielder went 7-of-13 in the series
with two homers, six runs scored and six RBI.

"Quite a weekend," Ethier said with a smile. "If guys are on
base and I knock them in, that's my job."

The Dodgers scored all the runs they would need off Ervin
Santana (4-2) in the first. Kenny Lofton hit a one-out single and
scored on Garciaparra's double. Santana struck out J.D. Drew and
walked Jeff Kent before Willy Aybar hit an RBI single. Ethier
followed by driving a 2-2 pitch into the right-field pavilion for
his third homer.

Santana was lifted for a pinch hitter after allowing five hits
and five runs in four innings. He settled down after the Dodgers'
five-run first, allowing only one baserunner after that, but it was
too late.

Garciaparra hit a two-run double off J.C. Romero in the seventh
to complete the scoring.

The Angels loaded the bases in the first before Robb Quinlan
grounded to third on Lowe's 30th pitch of the inning. They also had
runners at first and third with one out in the third before Dallas
McPherson grounded into a double play.

Game notes
The game was played before a sellout crowd of 55,662. The
series drew 166,904 -- the most ever to attend a three-game series
at Dodger Stadium. ... Anderson returned to the Angels' lineup
after sitting out five games because of a strained left hamstring
and went 2-for-4. ... Lofton had three hits and scored twice,
giving him 1,384 runs scored in his career to rank him 82nd on
baseball's career list -- one ahead of Tony Gwynn. ... Despite being
swept in this series, the Angels are 28-25 against the Dodgers
since interleague play began in 1997. ... The Dodgers have a 78-71
interleague record while the Angels are 83-78. ... Lowe singled in
the second for his first hit of the season. He flied to right in
his only other at-bat, leaving him 1-for-22 this year.