LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jason Schmidt had more incentive than usual
when he took the mound at Dodger Stadium.
Adrian Beltre and the Dodgers saw their eight-game winning streak snapped.
There was a poor performance in his last outing that began a
five-game stretch where the San Francisco Giants lost four times. First place in the NL West was on the line. And there was Paul Lo Duca's 25-game hitting streak.
Schmidt made the most of the motivation, pitching a three-hitter
for his major league-leading third shutout Thursday night as the
Giants beat Los Angeles 2-0 to snap the Dodgers' eight-game winning
Benito Santiago and Andres Galarraga homered off Odalis Perez to
give Schmidt all the offense he needed. "I was a little overexcited -- last night it really kicked in,"
said Schmidt, who retired the last 10 batters he faced. "I was
excited all week. It's been a while since I've been like that. "I felt strong all game, really. It was one of those days." Schmidt allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings in a 6-1
loss at Kansas City last Friday night. By salvaging the finale of a three-game series, the Giants ended
a three-game losing streak and moved back into sole possession of
first place in the NL West -- one game ahead of the Dodgers.
Schmidt (6-3) walked two and struck out 11 in raising his
lifetime record against the Dodgers to 6-6.
He threw 127 pitches -- 92 for strikes. "The best game of his life -- put it like that," said Santiago,
the Giants' catcher. Lo Duca went hitless in three at-bats with a walk to snap his
hitting streak -- longest by a Los Angeles player since Steve Sax
had a 25-game streak in 1986.
"It's a little added bonus," Schmidt said. "You know that
going into the game. You know he's someone you want to keep off
Lo Duca is 1-of-16 against Schmidt in his career. "From the first at-bat, I knew he was going to be tough," Lo
Duca said. "He was throwing BBs. He has a great slider, a good
fastball, and he really threw the ball well. "I didn't put too much pressure on myself. I'll start another
(streak) tomorrow. It ain't the end of the world, believe me. I'm
not that upset about it. I'm more upset that we lost. Odalis threw
the ball well, but we couldn't string anything together." The longest hitting streak in baseball this season is 26 games
by Boston's Nomar Garciaparra and Pittsburgh's Kenny Lofton. Santiago hit a 2-2 pitch from Perez (4-5) over the center field
fence with one out in the fourth for his 10th homer, giving the
Giants a 1-0 lead. The 38-year-old Santiago was the only San Francisco baserunner
to get past first base until the 42-year-old Galarraga hit Perez's
first pitch of the seventh into the left field bullpen for his
fifth homer. "I think the game just slowed down for those two," San
Francisco's Ray Durham said of his elderly teammates. "It's good,
we definitely needed that." Perez gave up five hits and two runs in seven innings while
walking two and striking out four. Dave Roberts singled and Lo Duca walked to begin the Los Angeles
first, but Shawn Green hit into a double play and Brian Jordan
grounded out. Cesar Izturis opened the Dodgers' third with a single. After
Perez struck out, Roberts reached base on an error by first baseman
Galarraga. But Lo Duca flied to right and Green struck out. The Dodgers didn't have another baserunner until the sixth, when
Green drew a two-out walk. Jordan followed with a single for the
third Los Angeles hit before Daryle Ward grounded to second. San Francisco's Barry Bonds went hitless in four at-bats, ending
his streak of reaching base safely at 39 games. Bonds entered the
game with six hits in 14 at-bats against Perez including three
homers, but went 0-for-3 against the Dodgers' left-hander and
0-for-1 against Paul Shuey.
The game was played before a crowd of 51,047, raising the
total attendance for the three-game series to 149,301. ... Dodgers
1B Fred McGriff sat out his fifth game because of an injured right
groin. "He might be available on a limited basis in the next day
or so," manager Jim Tracy said. ... Giants 1B J.T. Snow missed his
second game because of a strained left groin. "It's better. We'll
take it one day at a time," he said. Giants manager Felipe Alou
indicated Snow won't play for several more days. ... Dodgers OF
Mike Kinkade, who had two hits in a rare start Wednesday night, was
unavailable because of a strained muscle in his right side. ... The
Dodgers have had two winning streaks of eight or more games this
year for the first time since 1974, when they won the NL pennant.
They won 10 straight last month. ... Alou said C Yorvit Torrealba
will return to the Giants on Saturday. Torrealba was placed on the
bereavement list Tuesday to travel to Venezuela to be with his
wife, who underwent abdominal surgery.