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Seo wins matchup of Korean pitchers as L.A. cruises

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The matchup between the former high school
teammates was televised live in their home country.

Jae Seo and Byung-Hyun Kim became the first Korean-born starting
pitchers to meet in a major league game and the significance of the
event wasn't lost on either of them.

Seo outpitched Kim with seven stellar innings, and the Los
Angeles Dodgers converted an error by Todd Helton into two unearned
runs to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Monday night for their
fifth straight victory.

"To Korean fans, certain fans root for me and some for B-K. So
it really didn't matter to them who won the game." Seo said
through a translator. "It's just the fact that it's the first time
Korean pitchers are throwing on the same field at the major league
level. That became a really big issue in Korea, and I'm really
proud. I'm proud of Korean players who play in the major leagues."

Seo (2-2) allowed an unearned run and six hits. The right-hander
was coming off three straight no-decisions, and had allowed only
one run over six innings in two of those starts. He is 3-0 with a
3.24 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies.

Seo allowed the first four batters in the Rockies' third inning
to reach base, but escaped the inning unscathed by getting Brad
Hawpe to ground into a double play.

"We had a couple of shots at Seo early and weren't able to take
advantage of them," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "After
that he settled in. He challenged our discipline at the plate,
threw a lot of strikes with his off-speed stuff and was very
effective."

Seo was a year ahead of Kim in high school. Each said the other
was better back then. Both pitched well Monday, but Kim had a more
restless night than Seo.

"I dreamed last night that somebody pointed a knife at my
neck," Kim said. "I told (Korean-born teammate) Sunny Kim, and he
said `Be careful today.' I pitched OK tonight, but I had bad
luck."

Kim (2-2) gave up three runs -- one earned -- and six hits in six
innings. The right-hander, best remembered for the game-tying home
runs he gave up to Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius of the Yankees
in Games 4 and 5 of the 2001 World Series while pitching for
Arizona, held the Dodgers to a run and four hits over seven innings
last Tuesday at Coors Field in a 5-1 victory.

The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the third on a bloop RBI single
by Olmedo Saenz and a run-scoring groundout by J.D. Drew. Both runs
were unearned -- the result of the error by Helton. The three-time
Gold Glove first baseman charged Rafael Furcal's slow bouncer with
one out and tossed the ball behind Kim as the pitcher got to the
bag.

"I just didn't get the ball out of my glove cleanly and I
didn't get a firm grasp on it," Helton said. "Furcal was flying
there, but I probably had a little more time than I thought. It
wasn't a very good play on my part."

Jeff Kent made it 3-1 in the sixth with an RBI double after Drew
lined a leadoff single off Kim's glove. Helton prevented two more
runs from scoring that inning with a diving stop of Seo's hard-hit
grounder behind the bag.

Scott Dohmann walked all three batters he faced in the seventh
before he was replaced by former Dodgers lefty Tom Martin, who
turned Drew's comebacker into a 1-2-3 double play. Kent was
intentionally walked, and Martin forced home a run with a walk to
Willy Aybar.

The Dodgers added two runs in the eighth on an RBI single by
pinch-hitter Ramon Martinez and Drew's second run-scoring
groundout.

Hurdle tweaked his lineup, putting Jamey Carroll in the leadoff
spot. Center fielder Cory Sullivan, who started 37 of Colorado's
first 45 games in the one hole, was dropped to seventh in the order
for the first time this season.

Carroll reached on a first-inning fielding error by Aybar at
third base, and Garrett Atkins followed with a line single to
center that was trapped by a diving Jose Cruz Jr. Carroll hit the
second base bag awkwardly and sprained his right ankle, but stayed
in the game and scored one out later on Holliday's sacrifice fly.

Carroll played one more inning in the field before the ankle
injury forced him out. X-rays were negative.

Game notes
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first time two
Japanese pitchers started against each other was May 7, 1999, at
Yankee Stadium, when New York's Hideki Irabu beat Seattle's Mac
Suzuki 10-1. ... Seo and Kim each hit a batter. ... Rockies setup
man Jose Mesa, one of 19 pitchers with 300 career saves, turned 40
on Monday.