Dodgers 6, Giants 0
Nomo allowed two hits over seven dominant innings, and Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer as the Dodgers salvaged the finale of an entertaining rivalry series, beating the Giants 6-0 Wednesday night.
Nomo (9-6) won his third straight start in overwhelming fashion, silencing the Giants’ lineup in his 13th career victory over San Francisco—the Japanese right-hander’s personal best against any opponent. He’s 9-1 in his career at Candlestick Park and Pacific Bell Park.
“Obviously, it’s fun to play them and fun to watch them,” Nomo said through an interpreter. “But this series was for first place, so it was especially important to win tonight.”
Mike Kinkade also homered, and Ron Coomer and Cesar Izturis had run-scoring singles as the Dodgers got 16 hits and won for just the second time in their last 10 games in San Francisco. Their first five games here this season were all one-run losses.
But the night belonged to Nomo, who was his usual unsmiling model of efficiency. The Dodgers’ quiet ace faced just three batters over the minimum, never allowing a runner to reach third base as Los Angeles cut San Francisco’s lead atop the NL West back to one game.
Four of Nomo’s nine victories have followed a Los Angeles loss, and a fifth came on opening day. Nomo struck out seven while lowering his ERA to 2.41— third-lowest in the NL behind teammate Kevin Brown and San Francisco’s Jason Schmidt.
“That was quite a step-up performance once again,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “He has developed a habit of doing that for us. He’s throwing a lot of Strike Ones, and when he’s doing that, you know there’s a long night ahead of that other team.”
After minor cramps developed in Nomo’s legs, Wilson Alvarez finished the combined three-hitter with two innings of relief.
After opening the series with two contentious defeats in which they scored just three runs, the Dodgers thrashed Damian Moss (7-6), who was dismal in the shortest start of his first season with the Giants.
The Dodgers began the game with two fly-ball outs, but 11 of their next 14 hitters reached base before Moss was chased without getting an out in the third. The Australian left-hander allowed eight hits, five runs and a walk, hitting two batters and balking once.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Moss said. “I’m throwing strikes, but the results aren’t there. It’s very frustrating. I’ve got to look at some film from last year and try to figure it out. You can’t make excuses. There’s a reason for the way I’m going, and I’ve got to find it. There’s something there.”
Heading into the weekend Freeway Series in Anaheim, the Dodgers stayed right behind San Francisco in what’s shaping up as a lively three-team division race along with surging Arizona. The Giants face the Oakland Athletics this weekend in the Bay Bridge Series.
“Nomo took advantage of a big lead,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “He had better stuff the last time we faced him. Their pitchers don’t normally have that luxury. I’ve seen him with better stuff, but he had an easy time of it tonight.”
The Dodgers loaded the bases against Moss in the first and second innings, but got only one run on Izturis’ RBI single.
Los Angeles then got four straight hits in the third. Shawn Green’s leadoff double was followed by singles from Kinkade and Coomer, who drove in Green.
Beltre hit Moss’ next pitch into the left-field stands for his sixth homer of the season. Jim Brower relieved Moss with four scoreless innings, but the Dodgers already had enough runs to win with Nomo on the mound.
Kinkade hit a solo homer in the seventh off reliever Chad Zerbe.
After watching the auction of his 73rd home run ball in the clubhouse before the game, Barry Bonds went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Brian Jordan was a last-minute scratch from the Dodgers’ lineup. Jordan, already bothered by sore oblique muscles, strained his left leg while beating out an infield single on Tuesday night. Kinkade took Jordan’s spot in leftfield.
Giants OF Marvin Benard will have arthroscopic surgery on Friday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Benard could miss the rest of the season. … Jordan will have an MRI in Los Angeles on Thursday. … Attendance was 42,632—the second-largest regular-season crowd in Pac Bell’s history. The biggest crowd ever attended Tuesday night’s game, though the Giants regularly set attendance records while constantly adding new seats to their 4-year-old park. … Nomo has the majors’ fourth-lowest ERA. Esteban Loaiza of the ChicagoWhite Sox is tops at 1.99.