Series: Game 1 of 4

Los Angeles leads 1-0 (as of 4/18)

Game 1: Thursday, April 18
San Diego 2Final
Los Angeles 5
Game 2: Friday, April 19
San Diego 2Final
Los Angeles 5
Game 3: Saturday, April 20
San Diego 1Final
Los Angeles 4
Game 4: Sunday, April 21
San Diego 5Final
Los Angeles 0

Padres 2

(8-8, 1-6 away)

Dodgers 5

(9-7, 4-3 home)

10:10 PM ET, April 18, 2002

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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LA 10002200 - 5 - -

W: O. Daal (2-0)

L: B. Tollberg (0-3)

S: E. Gagne (6)

Daal allows only two unearned runs in win

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A healthy Kevin Brown couldn't have done much better that his fill-in did against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.

Omar Daal

Omar Daal, who begrudgingly began the season in the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen, pitched 6 1/3 strong innings in an emergency start for Brown and beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 Thursday night.

"I think I had the best stuff I've had so far," the left-hander said. "All my pitches were working good, my location was perfect and I was able to keep all the hitters off-balance."

Daal (2-0) allowed two unearned runs and three hits, struck out eight and walked two. Both runs were the result of Cesar Izturis' first two errors of the season in 15 starts at shortstop.

Daal, who didn't start on a regular basis until he went to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998, was a combined 4-19 two seasons ago with Arizona and Philadelphia. He returned for a second stint with Los Angeles after the Phillies traded him in November for two minor leaguers.

The 10-year veteran asked the Dodgers to trade him late last month when it became apparent he wouldn't be in the starting rotation, but the club held onto him because of the uncertainty surrounding Brown and Andy Ashby -- both of whom spent considerable time on the disabled list and were coming back from elbow surgery. "It made sense. They wanted me here for insurance," Daal said. "It's not the way I want it, but I can't do anything about it. I feel like I'm a starter, but they wanted me here to relieve. So I'm just going to try to do my best to help the team and be grateful every time I go out there."

Eric Gagne got three outs for his sixth save in as many opportunities. The right-hander, who never had a major league save before this season, hasn't allowed a run in 9 2/3 innings.

"I don't think that being a closer is a real big difference for me because I've always been aggressive," Gagne said. "A lot of people have told me that I've got a `closer mentality.' It's just easier for me, mentally, to be a closer than it is to be a starter."

Mark Grudzielanek and Adrian Beltre homered, helping end the Padres' seven-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium.

Daal and Padres right-hander Brian Tollberg (0-3) each allowed a sacrifice fly before the Dodgers scored two in the fifth, including Grudzielanek's leadoff homer. Dave Roberts singled, stole second and scored from third on Paul Lo Duca's ground single off Tollberg's glove for a 3-1 lead.

Grudzielanek, who hit a career-high 13 homers last season as the No. 2 hitter, was dropped to eighth in the order this season by manager Jim Tracy to give the team some punch at the bottom of the lineup.

"We got great production from Mark Grudzielanek in a spot in our lineup that was a total void a year ago, and this isn't the first time," Tracy said. "It is such a plus to have a bat of that caliber down there in the lineup. Our lineup sets up the best that way."

Beltre, batting in front of Grudzielanek, made it 5-1 in the sixth with a drive into the left-field bullpen after a walk to Brian Jordan.

Daal, who did not allow a hit in his last six innings of relief, extended the streak to nine hitless innings before D'Angelo Jimenez led off the fourth with a one-hop single off the left-hander's glove.

After a one-out walk, Izturis booted Bubba Trammell's routine grounder and Ron Gant drove in Jimenez with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, tying the score at 1. Izturis botched another routine grounder with the bases loaded in the seventh, allowing Gant to score the Padres' second run.

Izturis singled with one out in the Dodgers first, took third when Lo Duca's grounder toward the middle went under the glove of shortstop Deivi Cruz for an error, and scored on Shawn Green's fly to right.

"He made a couple of mistakes, but we all make them," Tracy said. "You know something? He's going to make a heck of a lot more great plays than the two we didn't see him make tonight."

Tollberg allowed five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in six innings. His ERA is 9.61 after four starts.

Game notes

Padres pitchers have allowed five unearned runs over their first 139 innings. Last season, they gave up 88 unearned runs -- the second most in the majors behind Tampa Bay's 106. ... Padres RF Ryan Klesko, 2-for-16 lifetime against Daal, did not start. He singled as a pinch hitter against Paul Quantrill. ... The Padres, coming off a 7-2 homestand, fell to 1-6 on the road as they began a stretch of 10 straight games away from Qualcomm Stadium.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press