MORE DODGERS DOLDRUMS ANAHEIM SHUTS DOWN SOCAL NEIGHBORS AGAIN ANGELS 3, DODGERS 1.
ANAHEIM - The Dodgers like to talk about their pitching being contagious and how one good start leads to another.
But lately they've been spreading the good fortune to their opponents' dugout as well. Or maybe the Dodgers' offense is so bad these days, it makes every pitching staff look good.
Stumbling into the three-game series against the Dodgers with their starting rotation sporting a 5.04 ERA, the Angels got a strong outing for the second night in a row to beat the Dodgers again 3-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 43,726 at Edison Field.
One night after John Lackey shut out the Dodgers for 7 1/3 innings, Angels starter Kevin Appier held the Dodgers to one run and six hits in six innings. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth when neither Adrian Beltre nor Ron Coomer could hit the ball out of the infield.
Dodgers starter Kazuhisa Ishii was up to the task for five innings, but he gave up solo homers to Tim Salmon and Shawn Wooten in the sixth, and that was enough to send the Dodgers to their fifth loss in six games, dropping them three games behind the first-place Giants in the National League West.
The Angels, meanwhile, climbed back to .500 (39-39) and hope to use the past two nights as a springboard back into the pennant race.
Appier got the typical support from the Angels' bullpen, which was perfect the final three innings. Scot Shields (seventh), Brendan Donnelly (eighth) and Troy Percival (ninth, 15th save) each pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
It all started with Appier, who beat the Dodgers and Kevin Brown in his previous start last Sunday.
``I've played a few days in this league, and I don't know any actual reason for it,'' Appier said about good pitching being contagious. ``But it happens. It could be something where one pitcher learns from the previous pitcher, I don't know. Hopefully we're starting one of those things now.''
The pivotal point in the game came in the top of the sixth, after Paul Lo Duca singled and went to third on Shawn Green's double with one out. Appier walked Mike Kinkade intentionally to load the bases for Beltre.
Beltre hit the ball hard, but right at Spiezio, who was playing in at first base. Spiezio's throw home was to catcher Bengie Molina's backhand side. Molina dropped the ball initially but still had time to pick it up and reach back with his foot to tag the plate and get the forceout on Lo Duca for the second out of the inning.
Coomer was up next, but on a 2-2 pitch Appier got him to ground into a force play to end the inning.
``(Scioscia) made it a little more intense because he (made the decision to) load the bases,'' Appier said. ``I had no room for error, but it worked out.''
For the Dodgers, it was too much of the same.
``Brown had a great outing (Friday night), wasted,'' Dodgers center fielder Dave Roberts said. ``Ishii had a great outing, wasted. Nothing against the guys we're facing, but for us to put up one run the last couple nights, there's really no excuse.''
It's getting to be a broken record for the Dodgers.
``Tonight's script as far as I'm concerned is similar to what happened (Friday) night,'' Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. ``We had our opportunity, and that was the difference in the game.''
The Angels scored first with a run in the second inning. With two outs and nobody on, Troy Glaus singled to left and scored from first on Molina's double to right-center.
With a good throw, second baseman Alex Cora might have had a play on Glaus, but his relay from shallow right field was up the line and in the dirt and catcher David Ross was unable to handle it.
(color) Kazuhisa Ishii didn't pitch badly, but with the Dodgers' offense these days, even a good outing isn't enough.
Chris Urso/Associated Press
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jun 29, 2003|
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