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LOWE JUST WORKS IT PITCHER SOLID; L.A. LEADS BY 4 DODGERS 6, COLORADO 3.

Byline: JILL PAINTER Staff Writer

It seemed fitting that Derek Lowe was the Dodgers' starting pitcher Friday, the day former Dodgers great Don Newcombe was honored.

Newcombe pitched in a different era, one in which pitching in both games of a doubleheader was admirable, not ludicrous.

On Tuesday, Lowe pitched three innings of scoreless relief in a 16-inning Dodgers victory. Then he made his regularly scheduled start against Colorado, and had to pitch out of several jams, but was solid enough over five innings to help the Dodgers defeat the Rockies 6-3 in front of 49,601 at Dodger Stadium.

It was the sixth consecutive victory for the Dodgers, who increased their lead over San Diego to four games and have led the National League West for 23 consecutive days.

``That's about all we can expect from him today,'' Dodgers manager Grady Little said of Lowe's peformance. ``We pressed him to the limit the last four or five days. What he has been able to do for this club is very admirable.''

Wilson Betemit secured the victory in the eighth with a solo home run to right field off reliever Jose Mesa to give the Dodgers a comfortable three-run lead. Betemit worked a nine-pitch, full-count at-bat for the homer, his 17th of the season.

Betemit was 2 for 4 with a double, home run and three RBIs.

Lowe earned his 13th victory, one more than he had all of last season.

Lowe allowed seven hits and three earned runs on 82 pitches. He walked three and struck out one and, with the exception of Colorado's three-run fourth, worked his way out of trouble.

``We're at a time of the month where wins are wins,'' Lowe said. ``We'll take every opportunity. The bullpen's done a fantastic job. For four innings, I kind of labored. I threw a lot of pitches. I didn't have that good of command, but again, it's a win.''

Lowe got out of a jam in the second inning. With runners on second and third with two outs, he got Troy Tulowitzki to ground out back to him. In the third, he gave up a double to Kaz Matsui and then walked Todd Helton with one out. But he managed to wiggle his way out of that predicament as well, as he got Garrett Atkins to hit into a double play. It was the 143rd double play the Dodgers have turned this season.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. With one out, Lowe singled to right-center and Rafael Furcal singled to move Lowe to second. Kenny Lofton doubled to right off Jason Jennings, and Lowe scored easily.

The lead didn't last. Ryan Spilborghs singled home two runs in a three-run fourth, but the Dodgers answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Jeff Kent singled to right and Andre Ethier drew a walk. Betemit doubled to right to score Kent.

With Russell Martin at the plate, Ethier scored on a wild pitch that went toward the Rockies dugout. Catcher Chris Iannetta tracked down the ball, which was outside the dugout, but he slid into the dugout with the ball. Betemit crossed the plate, but the play was overruled because Iannetta's body was in the dugout, regardless of where the ball was. It was a dead play. But Betemit would score soon enough, anyway.

Martin drew a walk, Lowe struck out and Furcal scored Betemit with a sacrifice fly.

Pinch-hitting for reliever Elmer Dessens, Marlon Anderson singled in his first at-bat as a Dodger. Anderson was acquired from Washington late Thursday night.

Lowe didn't do everything right, but he was where he wanted to be, thanks to the Dodgers' offense.

``He was just battling himself out there,'' Martin said. ``He wasn't locating like he likes to, but I think he was being hard on himself.''

Newcombe would agree.

jill.painter@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3615

CAPTION(S):

4 photos, box

Photo:

(1 -- color) The Dodgers' Wilson Betemit, right, appears to score on a wild pitch in the fourth inning but time out had been called.

Keith Birmingham/Staff Photographer

(2) The Dodgers' Wilson Betemit heads for first on what would be a fourth-inning RBI double.

(3) Dodgers starting pitcher Derek Lowe tosses the ball to Nomar Garciaparra at first to record an out Friday night against Colorado.

Han Gutknect/Staff Photographer

(4) PENNY

Box:

DODGERS vs. COLORADO

- Jill Painter
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 2, 2006
Words:735
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