LOS ANGELES (AP)—Jose Lima pitched well out of the bullpen for Los Angeles this year. He’s been even better as a starter.
Making his sixth start of the season, Lima held Baltimore to one run on three hits through seven innings, and Juan Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory Tuesday night.
“Jose Lima was just as effective as he’s been for us recently,” Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. “It all boils down to his command.”
“I want to make the first pitch a strike and pitch to spots, and that’s what I did,” he said. “If you go deep into the count against that team, they can hurt you.”
The Dodgers’ right-hander has started six games this year and is 3-1 in those starts.
Lima (5-2) threw just 68 pitches—51 strikes—in his seven innings, with the only significant mistake a slider that Miguel Tejada hit out for a solo homer in the seventh inning.
“He was looking for it,” Lima said, shaking his head and grinning.
Lima impressed the Orioles’ Rafael Palmeiro, who was 0-for-3 against him.
“He threw a lot of strikes. He got ahead in the count, went to his offspeed and threw strikes with it and kept us off-balance,” Palmeiro said.
Tracy said he decided to take Lima out after seven innings despite his low pitch count, “Because I have the best bullpen in baseball.”
Lima said he obviously could have pitched longer, but that he had no complaints with Tracy’s decision to replace him.
Guillermo Mota took over for Lima to start the eighth and got the first two batters before he left with a twinge in his right elbow.
Tracy said Mota had full range of motion with the elbow, adding, “Right now, there are no major concerns.”
Tom Martin replaced Mota and got the last out of the eighth, and Darren Dreifort gave up a double and a walk in the ninth before Eric Gagne got two outs for his 14th save of the year and major league-record 77th straight.
Encarnacion drove the rookie’s next pitch, chest-high and out over the plate, into the left-field pavilion for his 10th homer.
Making his seventh major league start, the 23-year-old Cabrera (3-3) gave up five runs on nine hits. He struck out three and walked two.
“He’s frustrated, but I think he’s showing that he belongs here and he’s going to dominate this league one day,” Palmeiro said. “He’s not afraid to go after guys, he goes with his best stuff, and if he gets hit, he gets hit.
“But he’s going to learn and make the adjustments.”
Bradley started the Dodgers’ four-run rally with a single, Shawn Green followed with a single and both advanced on Paul Lo Duca’s sacrifice. Beltre followed with his one-hop single to the mound for his team-high 41st RBI.
Green added an RBI single in the eighth.
The win was only the Dodgers’ third in eight games. The Orioles have lost seven of their last 10. Los Angeles improved its record to 3-4 in interleague play this season, while Baltimore fell to 2-5.
The interleague game was the first meeting between the teams at Dodger Stadium since the Orioles won the first two games of the 1966 World Series ontheir way to a sweep of Los Angeles.
Gagne has converted all his 18 save opportunities in interleague games. … After the game, the Orioles announced that RHP Rick Bauer will be optioned to Triple-A Ottawa on Wednesday and RHP Matt Riley will officially be recalled. He joined the team before batting practice on Tuesday. … Orioles RHP Rodrigo Lopez, Thursday’s scheduled starter, will go back to the bullpen and LHP ErikBedard will start instead.