Roberts drives in game-winning run


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- If Eric Gagne is tired, he isn't letting on.

Gagne recorded his major league-leading 27th save in 28 attempts
-- and fourth in as many days -- as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the
Boston Red Sox 5-4 Saturday.

"We've definitely been abusing him out there. But these one-run
games are huge for us, so we're going to try to ride him as much as
we can,'' Dodgers second baseman Mark Grudzielanek said.

"Last year we had some tough games like that, so it's nice to
be able to come out top of these. And he's definitely a big part of
it. Hopefully we can get him some rest.''

Gagne has thrown 59 pitches in his last four outings, while
striking out eight of his last 14 batters. On Friday night, he
fanned all four batters he faced. He has faced 89 consecutive
batters without walking anyone and has 57 strikeouts in 39 1/3

"Gagne's got great stuff,'' said Boston's Jason Varitek, who
singled off Gagne in the ninth. "He's even tougher without knowing
his tendencies. The video on him doesn't help that much.''

Trot Nixon led off the Boston eighth with a bunt single against
Jesse Orosco, advanced to third on a throwing error by shortstop
Cesar Izturis and scored on Rickey Henderson's double-play
grounder, trimming the Dodgers' lead to 5-4.

In the ninth, the Red Sox put runners on first and third with
one out, but Gagne struck out pinch-hitter Brian Daubach and
retired Carlos Baerga on a grounder.

"Eric's thrown four straight days, and he had to dig deep
today,'' said teammate Dave Roberts said, who drove in the go-ahead
run with an infield hit in the fifth.

"When you're throwing with that kind or intensity and that kind
of stuff, that's amazing. That guy's got as big a heart as you'll
ever find. He wants to battle every single day.''

Shawn Green hit a two-run homer, helping hand Derek Lowe only
his third loss this season.

Dodgers left-hander Omar Daal (5-3), who missed a turn in the
rotation because of biceps tendinitis, allowed three runs -- two
earned -- and three hits over six innings in his first start since
June 11.

All six of his starts this season have been in place of Kevin
Brown, who is out following back surgery.

Staked to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning on a solo homer by
Henderson and a two-run shot by Garciaparra, Lowe (11-3) retired
his first 10 batters with help from plate umpire Kerwin Danley --
who ruled Grudzielanek out for running inside the first-base line
and obstructing Lowe's throw.

"The first baseman was straddling the bag, and when I saw him
go outside the base toward the ball, it's a normal reaction to move
inside. That's the only thing I did,'' Grudzielanek said. "It was
a bad call.''

Grudzielanek, who continued to second after the ball glanced off
his backside, walked over to Danley and was ejected before manager
Jim Tracy could intervene.

"I didn't say anything about him personally. I said some things
about the call -- actually one sentence -- and it happened very
quickly,'' Grudzielanek said.

Paul Lo Duca dribbled a single up the third-base line with one
out in the fourth for the Dodgers' first baserunner, and Green
trimmed Boston's lead to 3-2 with his 22nd homer and 19th in 29
games. It was only the third homer allowed by Lowe in his first 100
2-3 innings.

"It was a sinker that kind of tailed back over the middle of
the plate,'' Lowe said. "Shawn Green is very potent in the middle
of that lineup. They're a tough team to pitch to. I'm a contact
pitcher and they're a contact team.''

The Dodgers pulled ahead 4-3 in the fifth with RBI singles by
Izturis and Roberts, who beat the low throw to first from
Garciaparra after his comebacker glanced off Lowe's bare hand.

Green drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, took third on Eric
Karros' single and scored the Dodgers' fifth run when Grissom
grounded into a force play.

Henderson homered into the left field pavilion leading off the
fourth for his 293rd career homer. Johnny Damon reached on an error
at first base by Karros, and Garciaparra followed with his ninth

Lowe, who had a career-high 10 strikeouts in his previous start,
struck out two. He allowed five runs, matching a season-high, and
six hits in seven innings.

Game notes
Garciaparra's homer gave him 501 career RBI. ... Orel
Hershiser, hired as Texas' pitching coach Saturday, joined an
impressive group of former Dodgers who became pitching coaches in
the majors including: Roger Craig, Ron Perranoski, Claude Osteen,
Bob Welch, Charlie Hough, Burt Hooton, Phil Regan and Johnny
Podres. ... The Red Sox began the day leading the AL with a .282
team batting average and a 3.57 team ERA. The last time they
finished a season leading in both categories was 1903 (.272 average
and 2.57 ERA). ... Daubach has only 15 hits in his last 91 at-bats
and is 2-for-19 on the road trip.