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Pitching, Defense in Sync

Kevin Brown’s elbow was in pain Saturday night, but his earned-run average--as well as the entire rotation’s ERA over the last eight days--did not suffer, thanks to some superb Dodger defense against the Padres.

After Brown walked D’Angelo Jimenez and Mark Kotsay to open the first inning, Phil Nevin hit a grounder up the middle that appeared ticketed for center field.

But shortstop Cesar Izturis made a spectacular diving stop and, on his stomach, flipped to second baseman Mark Grudzielanek to start a double play. Brown got Ryan Klesko to pop to first, ending the inning.

Ray Lankford walked and Deivi Cruz doubled to start the second inning, putting runners on second and third, before Brown struck out Ramon Vazquez. Brown exited during Tom Lampkin’s at-bat, and Lampkin walked on a Terry Mulholland pitch, but pitcher Brian Tollberg bounced into a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.

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In the seven games before Saturday, Dodger starting pitchers went 5-0 with an 0.61 ERA, allowing three earned runs in 441/3 innings.

TONIGHT

DODGERS’

HIDEO NOMO

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(1-1, 3.38 ERA)

vs.

PADRES’

BRIAN LAWRENCE

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(1-0, 2.45 ERA)

Qualcomm Stadium,

San Diego, 5 p.m.

TV--ESPN.

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Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

Update--Nomo rebounded from a shaky debut (four runs, six hits, six walks in three innings against the Giants April 4) with six innings of one-run, three-hit ball in a 3-0 win over the Giants Tuesday. Lawrence is coming off the first shutout of his career, a four-hitter in an 8-0 win over Arizona Monday.

Mike DiGiovanna


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