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Night after streak ends, Gagne gets save

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Things were back to normal for Eric Gagne.

He started work on a new save streak Tuesday night, pitching a
scoreless ninth to preserve Jose Lima's win, and the Los Angeles
Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 for their fourth straight
victory.

"It was good to go back in there right away and get the little
demons out," said Gagne, whose major league-record streak of 84
consecutive saves ended when he blew a 5-3 lead in the Dodgers'
10-inning, 6-5 victory Monday night.

Gagne retired Quinton McCracken and Robby Hammock before
pinch-hitter Roberto Alomar singled. But Gagne struck out
pinch-hitter Tim Olson with a 95-mph fastball to end it, earning
his 22nd save of the season.

"One way or another, Eric would have wanted to be back and
involved in the action. That's just who he is and what he's all
about," manager Jim Tracy said. "A feat ended last night like
none other than we've ever seen, and probably won't ever see again.
And if it does happen, it'll more than likely be him."

Lima (7-3) allowed a run and seven hits, struck out five and
walked one while sending the Diamondbacks to their eighth straight
road loss.

Beltre triggered a three-run sixth with his 22nd home run,
driving a first-pitch fastball from Casey Fossum (2-7) just over
the outstretched glove of center fielder Steve Finley with one out
to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Olmedo Saenz kept the rally going with a two-out broken-bat
single, took third on Jayson Werth's double and scored on a bunt
single up the third base line by Alex Cora. Werth came home on
Lima's suicide squeeze bunt, but rookie reliever Greg Aquino struck
out Paul Lo Duca with the bases loaded.

The Diamondbacks stranded a runner at second three times in the
first six innings. Chad Tracy, whose game-tying RBI single Monday
night snapped Gagne's save streak, came within a few feet of a
three-run homer in the first before grounding out to end the
threat.

"We had Lima on the ropes and he was able to wiggle out of
it," McCracken said. "That's the difference between wins and
losses right there -- especially against a staff and a bullpen as
good as those guys have over there. You have to take advantage of
your opportunities, but we left some guys out there and that's why
we ended up on the short end of the stick."

Alex Cintron was retired on an inning-ending comebacker in the
sixth with Luis Gonzalez at second base. Lima also stranded a
runner at third in the seventh with a quick-reflex grab of Scott
Hairston's comebacker, then punched the air with his fist after
throwing him out.

"They were making fun of me in the dugout, saying, `Oh, you
didn't see the ball,' but I did, and I got him out," Lima said.
"That was pretty much my biggest out of the game.

"In the seventh inning, you don't want to let them back in the
game, because you saw what happened last night. Not that I worried
about Gagne, because Gagne's not human. Gagne makes pitching look
too easy. And pitching's not easy."

Just ask Fossum, who has lost all three of his starts against
the Dodgers this season. The left-hander allowed four runs, nine
hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Fossum escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second when he fielded
a comebacker by Cesar Izturis and started an inning-ending 1-2-3
double play. It was the first double play Izturis grounded into
this season after 321 at-bats, the best ratio in the majors.

"It was a cutter in, and I wasn't ready for that pitch,"
Izturis said. "It surprised me. It was a great pitch."

Finley opened the scoring in the third inning with a two-out
homer to right-center, his 21st this season and second in two
nights. Hernandez led off the bottom half with his fifth home run.

Game notes
Izturis' double-play grounder leaves Colorado's Jeromy
Burnitz as the player with the most at-bats this season (287)
without grounding into a DP. ... Darren Dreifort pitched a hitless
eighth. ... In his other start this season against the
Diamondbacks, Lima gave up two hits over eight innings in a 1-0
victory at Dodger Stadium on May 29. ... Sixteen of Finley's 21
homers have come with the bases empty. ... Fossum has allowed nine
home runs in 27 innings over his last five starts. ... Scheduled
plate ump Brian Runge was ill, so Bill Hohn called balls and
strikes.