Dodgers 4, Indians 3

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CLEVELAND (AP)—Hideo Nomo finally got a little offensive support from his Dodgers teammates. Some bad baserunning by the Cleveland Indians helped out, too.

Nomo pitched two-hit ball for seven innings and Shawn Green drove in three runs as Los Angeles defeated the Indians 4-3 Sunday to complete a 6-0 interleague trip in which they gave up just 11 runs.

“Six road games and six wins—we have to feel good,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca and Indians outfielder Milton Bradley quickly avoided any expected confrontations. They had exchanged verbal barbs during and after Saturday’s game, but as Bradley stepped to the plate in the second, he gently tapped his bat on Lo Duca’s shinguards and they had a friendly exchange.

“I always do that first time up,” Bradley said. “I say hello to the umpire and catcher. Lo Duca said he might have overreacted and I said ‘No big deal. It’s a new day, a new ballgame.”’

Lo Duca went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 23 games.

“The streak is getting pretty fun,” Lo Duca said. “Milton said, ‘What’s up?’ and said he was sorry and I said I was sorry.”

Nomo (7-6) also apologized—for not winning more games.

“I’m not satisfied with how I’m pitching,” the right-hander said after allowing just one run, striking out eight and walking one. He won for the first time in four outings since May 24—Los Angeles averaged just 2.8 runs in his previous eight games.

“I’m happy about today,” Nomo said. “But we’ve lost a lot of games I’ve pitched and I want to win every one.”

The Dodgers nearly blew a 4-1 lead after Nomo left.

Cleveland loaded the bases in the eighth against relievers Paul Quantrill and Tom Martin. Brandon Phillips scored on a wild pitch and Coco Crisp walked to reload the bases.

“I stunk,” Martin said. “But then what happened, I had to see it again on tape to find out how.”

With one out, Bradley hit a sharp ground single off second baseman Jolbert Cabrera’s glove that scored another run, but Matt Lawton was trapped rounding third base.

“The third base coach told me to go, so I went,” Lawton said. “Then he said stop, so I stopped. There was nothing I could do.”

While Lawton was in the rundown, Crisp advanced to third and Bradley alertly went to second. But right before Lawton was tagged, Crisp suddenly retreated all the way back to second and he was tagged out, too.

“I should have gone to third and let Lawton be in the rundown,” Crisp said. “That way, we would have had two outs, but runners on second and third.”

Eric Gagne pitched the ninth for his 26th save and 34th straight dating to last season.

Dave Roberts led off the game by bunting past Indians starter Billy Traber (2-4) for a single. He took second as Lo Duca struck out on a wild pitch in the dirt. After Green walked, Roberts stole third and scored on a single by Brian Jordan.

The Indians tied it in the third. Brandon Phillips reached on a bunt single and went to third on a hit-and-run single to right by Jhonny Peralta—the shortstop’s first major league hit. Phillips scored on a groundout by Crisp.

That was the first of 12 consecutive outs recorded by Nomo until Bradley walked to open the seventh.

“Nomo was tough, mixing his fastball and split-finger, real tough,” Bradley said.

Los Angeles went ahead 2-1 in the sixth. Roberts walked, advanced on a wild pitch, took third on a single by Lo Duca and scored when second baseman Phillips mishandled a grounder by Green.

Green hit a two-run double off reliever David Riske with the bases loaded inthe seventh to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.

Notes

The Indians have lost four straight and nine of 12. … The Dodgers swept three games in Detroit before taking three at Jacobs Field. … Nomo has allowed three runs or fewer in 12 of 15 starts and worked at least seven innings 14 times. The right-hander came in with a 1-3 record and 8.56 ERA in six games against Cleveland—his highest ERA against any opponent. … Lo Duca has two or more hits in 13 of his last 23 games. … Traber went a career-high 5 1-3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs. … Lawton singled in the eighth to snap an 0-for-19 slide. … Bradley has reached base safely in 51 of52 games.

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