LOS ANGELES (AP)—Kevin Brown has stretched his winning streak to nine. He hopes to have the opportunity to make it 10 when his normal turn comes Sunday.
Brown extended his winning streak despite leaving with a groin injury, and Paul Lo Duca went 4-for-4 in extending his hitting streak to 24 games Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat San Francisco 4-1.
The win was the seventh in a row for the Dodgers, who moved within one game of the first-place Giants in the NL West.
Brown (10-1) allowed seven hits and one run in six innings. He walked two and struck out four in joining Seattle’s Jamie Moyer as the only 10-game winners in the majors.
Brown has won his last seven starts and is 9-0 with two no-decisions since allowing five runs in five innings during a 5-1 loss to the Giants on April 18.
The 38-year-old right-hander left with a strained left groin after allowing a leadoff double to Edgardo Alfonzo in the seventh. Paul Shuey relieved and gave up a one-out RBI double to pinch-hitter Neifi Perez before retiring the side.
Brown threw 79 pitches.
“He has a mild strain of his groin,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s nothing real serious at this particular time.”
Brown said he hurt himself while running to first after grounding to short to end the sixth.
“It just grabbed on me,” he said. “I felt bad that I went back out there. It felt all right when I threw, but it started to hurt as I started to move around more.”
Brown said he was hopeful he wouldn’t miss a start.
“We’ll see how it goes, it’s too early to tell,” he said. “But you have as much of a chance as guessing right as I do. I feel good, I don’t think I tore it because I didn’t hear it pop. That’s the only positive.”
Brown said he has been sharper, “but a win is a win.”
“We made some nice plays to keep them from getting anything,” he said. “This is definitely one of my best streaks. It takes a little luck, a little defense and some runs. I’ve gotten a little of them all.”
Shuey pitched two shutout innings, and Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth for his major league-leading 27th save in as many chances and 35th straight dating to last season.
Gagne has saved six games during the Dodgers’ winning streak.
Lo Duca hit his fifth homer in the first off Jesse Foppert (4-6) to put the Dodgers ahead for good in just their second win over the Giants in seven games this season.
Lo Duca’s streak is the longest by a Los Angeles player since 1988, when John Shelby hit in 24 straight. Shelby is now the Dodgers’ first base coach.
“I hope I can keep it going,” Lo Duca said. “I’m trying not to worry about it. The most important thing is we win.”
Giants manager Felipe Alou said there’s not much his team can do about Lo Duca.
“Hopefully the streak stops during the series,” Alou said. “But we’re going to keep pitching to him. We’re not going to walk him with (Shawn) Green up next. I mean, Green is not swinging the bat well right now, but we know he starts getting hot this time of year.”
Brown hit a two-out RBI single in the second after an intentional walk to Cesar Izturis, and the Dodgers made it 4-0 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Brian Jordan and a run-scoring single by Adrian Beltre.
Foppert allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings.
San Francisco’s Barry Bonds drew an intentional walk in the first inning. He has reached base in 38 consecutive games—baseball’s longest active streak.
Bonds came up with two on and one out in the third and grounded into an inning-ending double play, and center fielder Dave Roberts made a diving catchof Bonds’ drive to right-center in the eighth.
Lo Duca also doubled and scored in the third and singled in the fifth and seventh. He is 42-of-97 (.433) during his streak with two or more hits in 14 games. … San Francisco’s J.T. Snow singled in the first and left the game in the bottom of the inning because of a left groin strain. Alou said he believes Snow will be sidelined for at least a few days. … The Giants placed C Yorvit Torrealba on the bereavement list and recalled C Trey Lunsford from Triple-A Fresno. Torrealba flew to Venezuela to be with his wife, who was scheduled to undergo abdominal surgery. … The Dodgers activated 1B-OF Daryle Ward from the 15-day disabled list and optioned OF Bubba Crosby to Triple-A Las Vegas. … Ward played first base as a replacement for Fred McGriff, who missed his third straight start due to an injured groin. Ward singled twice and scored a run. … Brown’s RBI was his second of the season and the fourth by a Dodgers pitcher. … Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Lewis will defend his WBC and IBO championships Saturday night at Staples Center against Vitali Klitschko. … Gagne has struck out the side eight times this season and fanned at least two in an inning in 26 of his 36appearances.