Nomo, Beltre heavy-handed for L.A.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Desperately in need of offense, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a couple of moves during the All-Star break.

Newcomers Rickey Henderson and Jeromy Burnitz didn't do much in their debuts with the Dodgers, but they weren't needed thanks to the efforts of pitcher Hideo Nomo and normally light-hitting Adrian Beltre.

Nomo hit a two-run homer and an RBI double and pitched six strong innings and Beltre also homered and drove in three runs Thursday night as the Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3.

"The pitcher, he didn't leave anybody out there," Henderson said. "He was the force of the offense."

The extra-base hits were the first this season by Nomo, as were the RBI. Nomo, who entered with five singles in 41 at-bats, had never driven in multiple runs in a game.

"I feel lucky today," the 34-year-old right-hander said through an interpreter.

"Of course," he replied when asked if he was surprised.

Beltre raised his RBI total to 36 and his batting average to .229.

"Beltre did nothing tonight but have one quality at-bat after another," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "That's a good sign."

Nomo (10-8) limited the Cardinals to two hits and one unearned run while walking four and striking out five. He threw 85 pitches in addition to running the bases on a hot, humid night.

"The thing that's always impressed me about him is he's a smart pitcher and he knows how to get out of trouble," Cardinals outfielder Orlando Palmeiro said. "He changes speeds, goes in and out, and throws a splitter which is his bread and butter. He also changes speeds on his fastball, and that's what made him effective tonight."

Eric Gagne got the final out to earn his 32nd save in 32 opportunities. It was his 40th straight save overall, not counting his blown save and loss in Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Henderson, baseball's career leader in runs scored, walks and stolen bases, went 1-for-4. The 44-year-old signed with the Dodgers after playing 56 games for Newark of the independent Atlantic League.

"I'm always nervous the first day," Henderson said. "I feel great. The team won the ballgame, that's the important thing."

Henderson said he wouldn't be nervous from now on.

"It's all over with," he said with a smile. "It's just one day."

Burnitz, traded to the Dodgers by the New York Mets for three minor-leaguers, went hitless in four at-bats. But he said he couldn't have been more pleased, calling this a fresh start.

"It is in a sense that this is really the first time I've had an opportunity to play where wins and losses really matter," he said -- a reference to playing with non-contenders his whole career.

Nomo hit a 1-1 pitch from Garrett Stephenson (4-10) into the left field pavilion in the third to snap a scoreless tie and put the Dodgers ahead for good. It was Nomo's third career homer in his 432nd at-bat.

The Dodgers extended their lead to 6-1 before the Cardinals scored single runs in the eighth and ninth.

Game notes
All-Star outfielder Jim Edmonds, who has a 10-game hitting streak, was a late scratch for St. Louis because of soreness in his right shoulder. ... The Dodgers optioned OF Chin-Feng Chen and RHP Alfredo Gonzalez to Triple-A Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League to make room for Burnitz and Henderson. ... Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen singled in the fourth to snap an 0-for-12 drought. ... St. Louis scored a run against Guillermo Mota in the eighth to snap a streak of 19 2/3 scoreless innings by the right-handed reliever -- longest by a Los Angeles pitcher this season.