Perez sharp over six-plus innings

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Odalis Perez has been known as a hard-luck
pitcher because of a lack of run support since joining the Los
Angeles Dodgers three years ago.

He's convinced things are going to be different this season.

Perez allowed one run in 6 1-3 innings, Hee-Seop Choi and Jeff
Kent homered, and the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1
Wednesday night for their fourth victory in five games.

Perez (2-0) gave up four hits while walking none and striking
out five. He also beat the Giants last week in San Francisco,
allowing one run in five innings of a 10-4 victory.

The 27-year-old left-hander, was 7-6 with a major league-leading
18 no-decisions last season, when he received the lowest run
support among NL starters -- 3.30 runs per nine innings that he

The previous June, after he lost to the Angels 3-1, Perez
complained about the Dodgers' lack of punch, saying the offense had
to start producing or the team needed to acquire players who could.

There's been plenty of punch so far, with the Dodgers having
scored 55 runs in eight games to tie Toronto for the most in the

"We have guys who can put the ball in play," Perez said.
"We're scoring runs, our pitching is doing the job. This year will
be different. I've never heard of a pitcher who had 18 no-decisions
two straight years."

The Giants entered with a big league-leading .387 batting
average (29-for-75) against left-handers, but they were no match
for Perez, who retired 15 straight batters after Edgardo Alfonzo's
single to start the second.

Rookie Lance Niekro snapped the streak with a single to begin
the seventh, and scored on a one-out double by Alfonzo that chased
Perez. Yhency Brazoban, the fifth Dodgers pitcher, worked a perfect
ninth for his second save.

Choi opened the third by hitting a 1-0 pitch from Brett Tomko
(0-2) into the first row of the lower seats in right field for his
first homer since July 28 -- three days before the Dodgers acquired
him from the Florida Marlins. J.D. Drew walked and Kent followed by
hitting a 1-2 pitch an estimated 429 feet into the left field
bleachers, making it 3-0.

Ricky Ledee and Paul Bako hit back-to-back doubles leading off
the fourth to extend the Dodgers' lead to 4-0.

Tomko allowed eight hits and all four Los Angeles runs in 4 2-3

"I gave up four runs, but two runs would have been enough," he
said. "It doesn't make a difference. You've got to go out there
and shut the other team down. They've got a veteran lineup with
guys who've been around and know how to play. And their pitching is
outstanding. It's a different team than last year, but they're
still pretty good."

Choi, who entered with one hit in 15 at-bats, went 2-for-4. Kent
and Jose Valentin also had two hits each for the Dodgers.

Alfonzo leads the majors with a .516 batting average. Kent, a
former Giant in his first season in Los Angeles, ranks third at
.419. He has scored a big league-leading 12 runs and driven in 11 --
tied for third in the majors.

"I just show up and play and do the best I can in all areas of
the game," Kent said. "Good things happen, bad things happen. You
just go with the flow. Right now, the flow is going well for us.
There's nothing that I'm doing that's special."

The win gave the Dodgers a sweep of the two-game series and four
wins in five games against their Northern California rivals this

"They've got our number, but it's just the eighth game of the
season, said Giants reliever Matt Herges, who pitched a perfect
eighth with two strikeouts.

San Francisco outfielder Jason Ellison, whose ninth-inning error
allowed the winning run to score in Tuesday's 9-8 loss to the
Dodgers, made his third major league start. When the Giants'
starting lineup was introduced before the game, the Dodger Stadium
crowd booed every player except Ellison, who was cheered.

Ellison went hitless in two at-bats before being lifted for
pinch hitter Michael Tucker, who flied to center against Kelly
Wunsch with runners at first and third to end the seventh.

Game notes
Dodgers RHP Brad Penny pitched five innings and allowed two
hits and one run for the Vero Beach Dodgers against Palm Beach in
his first rehab outing facing hitters in a game situation. ...
Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy, who has worked for the team
since it moved west from New York in 1958, underwent minor surgery
early this week. "As soon as we get back for the next homestand,
he'll be there," media relations coordinator Matt Hodson said.
Murphy has never missed a home game since the Giants moved to San
Francisco. ... The Dodgers will wear Brooklyn jerseys Friday night
against San Diego as part of the nationwide celebration of the 58th
anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Robinson
made his big-league debut for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947.