Series: Game 2 of 3

San Francisco leads 2-0 (as of 9/10)

Game 1: Monday, September 9
Los Angeles 5Final
San Francisco 6
Game 2: Tuesday, September 10
Los Angeles 2Final
San Francisco 5
Game 3: Wednesday, September 11
Los Angeles 7Final
San Francisco 3

Dodgers 2

(82-62, 42-31 away)

Giants 5

(83-61, 44-29 home)

    10:15 PM ET, September 10, 2002

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 000000200 2 - -
    SF 22001000 - 5 - -

    W: J. Schmidt (11-7)

    L: K. Brown (3-4)

    S: R. Nen (38)

    Giants take over NL wild-card lead

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jason Schmidt approached catcher Benito Santiago before the San Francisco Giants' showdown against Los Angeles with the lineup card in hand.

    The Dodgers would be making a mistake by moving Paul Lo Duca.

    Schmidt was ready for a study session. Instead, Santiago quickly told the pitcher to put the sheet aside, and just overpower them.

    Schmidt did just that to win for the fourth time in five starts as the Giants beat the Dodgers 5-2 Tuesday night for a one-game lead in the NL wild-card race.

    ``Some pitchers are good, but they think too much,'' said Santiago, who added some power of his own with a home run.

    San Francisco has won five straight games and 13 of 16 to take over the wild-card lead for the first time since Aug. 13. Both teams have 18 games remaining, including Wednesday's finale in this three-game series.

    To chants of ``Beat LA! Beat LA!'' Barry Bonds drove in two runs with a first-inning single and Santiago homered in the fifth off Kevin Brown (3-4).

    Bonds passed Ernie Banks for 20th on the career RBI list with 1,637.

    Los Angeles has lost four in a row and five of six.

    ``Tomorrow's a big day for us to get out of town with a tie,'' Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. ``We can't be discouraged by this. These three games won't determine if we play beyond Sept. 29. There's too much season left to look at it as the beginning of the end. It would be ridiculous to look at it that way.''

    Schmidt (11-7), who didn't get a decision in his first four outings this year and then lost in his fifth start, retired his first seven batters and 10 of 11. He allowed a solo homer to Shawn Green in the sixth.

    Schmidt had late-season success last year, too, going 7-1 with a 3.39 ERA after being traded to the Giants from Pittsburgh on July 30.

    On Tuesday, he allowed two runs and six hits with six strikeouts and one walk in 7 2/3 innings, tipping his hat to the crowd of 41,325 that gave him a standing ovation when he gave way to reliever Scott Eyre.

    ``There's nothing better than getting that at Pac Bell,'' Schmidt said. ``It gives you goosebumps coming off the mound.''

    Schmidt also hit a single in the second inning and scored on an RBI grounder by Rich Aurilia. Schmidt appeared to step on the glove of catcher Paul Lo Duca after a throw home by shortstop Alex Cora, but the pitcher was called safe.

    Jeff Kent then drove in Kenny Lofton, who doubled, with a groundout for 4-0 lead.

    Robb Nen pitched the ninth for his 38th save in 46 chances.

    ``It has been a different guy every day, and that's how you win,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said. ``I don't think confidence is a problem on this team.''

    Santiago hit the first pitch he saw from Brown with two outs in the fifth over the wall in right field for a 5-0 lead.

    Brown got in trouble early in his first start for the Dodgers since having back surgery in June. Pitching in place of right-hander Andy Ashby, who has a blister and infection under the fingernail of his middle finger on his throwing hand, Brown loaded the bases for Bonds with no outs in the first.

    Bonds' single to left-center scored Lofton and Aurilia, who both singled. Brown retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.

    He had never lost in San Francisco, entering with a career 9-3 record and 2.51 ERA against the Giants in 14 starts, including a 7-0 mark here.

    Brown allowed five runs and six hits in five innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

    ``To me, Kevin's performance tonight was much better than the numbers would indicate,'' Tracy said. ``You have to give Jason Schmidt a lot of credit. He pitched extremely well, and those early innings were too taxing on Kevin.''

    Giants first baseman J.T. Snow showed in the first inning how well things have been going for San Francisco -- he sprinted toward the bullpen and fell over the fence only somewhat gracefully to catch a foul ball by Lo Duca.

    Game notes

    Bonds drew his major league-leading 56th intentional walk. He also leads the majors in total walks with 166. ... Brown lost 9-2 to the Giants on opening day. ... Dodgers OF Luke Allen, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday, walked in his first major league at-bat. ... Green's homer snapped a 52-inning homerless streak by Giants pitchers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press