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No Bat Man Sequel for Dodgers’ Brown

Times Staff Writer

Kevin Brown left his mark on the Cincinnati Reds’ new ballpark last week, smashing a clubhouse wall with a bat to punctuate the Dodgers’ frustrating start.

He had no desire to redecorate the Dodger clubhouse Tuesday night after a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium.

The ornery right-hander followed last week’s seven-inning, 11-strikeout no-decision against Cincinnati with an almost-as- impressive seven-inning, seven-strikeout win before 27,815.

“It’s nice to see him throw the ball like that. It’s reminiscent of what I saw back in 1999 and 2000,” said Manager Jim Tracy of Brown, who threw 76 strikes in 105 pitches. “The movement, the velocity.”

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The Phillies had quickly seen enough, shaking their heads as Brown struck out the side in the second.

“He was pitching 0-and-0 counts like he had two strikes on you,” said Jim Thome. “Just great movement.”

Brown (2-1) delivered his second commanding performance in as many starts after posting an 8.10 earned-run average in his previous two appearances, limiting Philadelphia’s formidable lineup to five hits and a run on Mike Lieberthal’s two-out, solo shot to left-center in the seventh. His fastball was clocked consistently at 94 mph, and his split-fingered pitch was as sharp as it has been this season, the Dodgers said.

“I felt pretty good tonight,” said Brown, weakened for weeks by an upper-respiratory infection. “It’s nice to be a human being again, and not feel like I have one foot in the grave.”

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The inconsistent Dodgers also did their part to dissuade Brown from going to the bat rack again.

A night after wasting Darren Dreifort’s fine work in a 3-0 loss to the Phillies, the Dodgers had 12 hits, despite a patchwork lineup, and capitalized on their major league-leading 19th quality start in 27 games.

Adrian Beltre was at the forefront of the methodical attack against left-hander Randy Wolf (3-2) and ineffective Philadelphia reliever Carlos Silva. Beltre went two for two with his third home run, two walks and three runs.

Beltre and Paul Lo Duca -- who hit his first homer and doubled -- typified the Dodgers’ patient approach at the plate.

“It’s obviously a big lift that we didn’t struggle to score some runs,” Lo Duca said. “We know all we have to do is hit just enough, and our pitching staff is going to take care of us.

“They’ve been great, and Brownie was great again tonight. He’s been dominating the last two outings.”

Cesar Izturis continued his dazzling play at shortstop. He also had three hits, including a two-run single as the Dodgers took command, 6-1, in a three-run seventh against Silva after chasing Wolf in the inning.

The major leagues’ top bullpen was in good form again, and the Dodgers got another boost from the bench with lead- off batter Dave Roberts and cleanup hitter Brian Jordan sidelined.

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Mike Kinkade, starting for Jordan in left, committed an error in the ninth that gave the Phillies their second run, but he also made a sensational sliding catch on the warning track in the sixth to rob Ricky Ledee of extra bases.

Jolbert Cabrera, playing second, had a hit and forced in a run in the seventh when Silva hit him with a pitch.


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