Stark outduels Perez; Dodgers running out of time


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Rookie Denny Stark did it to the Los Angeles
Dodgers again.

Stark outpitched Odalis Perez and the Colorado Rockies handed
the Dodgers another damaging defeat in their NL wild-card chase,
1-0 Tuesday night.

''Our hopes are very slim,'' Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
''We pretty much have to win out and we need help even if we do win

The Dodgers were held to just three hits in losing their third
in a row and 10th in 17 games. They dropped three games behind San
Francisco, which beat San Diego 12-3.

Los Angeles has only five games left to overcome its deficit in
the wild-card race.

''It's prayer time,'' Dodgers left fielder Brian Jordan said.
''Three is kind of tough to come back.''

The World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks clinched a
playoff spot with Los Angeles' loss.

''It was nice to do well against those guys when they're in a
pennant race,'' Stark said. ''They've had a great year and they've
got a pretty tough lineup over there.''

Todd Zeile, an ex-Dodger, hit an RBI single in the first as
Colorado won its fourth in a row. The Rockies swept Arizona in a
three-game weekend series.

Stark (11-3) continued his mastery of the Dodgers, improving to
2-0 in four games against them. He gave up one hit -- a single by
Jordan in the first -- in seven innings.

''Denny Stark pitched a heck of a ballgame,'' Colorado manager
Clint Hurdle said. ''He mixed his pitches up, hit his spots with
his fastball, controlled bat speed and got outs. It was tough to
take the kid out after seven innings the way he pitched, but we had
a couple good guys to finish up.''

Stark struck out one and walked three. Twice, he retired seven
batters in a row and threw just 93 pitches before leaving.

''This kid has been giving us trouble all year long,'' Jordan
said. ''He pitches well against us and we still haven't figured him
out yet.''

Rockies reliever Todd Jones gave up a two-out triple to Marquis
Grissom in the eighth, but struck out Paul Lo Duca.

Jose Jimenez pitched the ninth for his 41st save. Eric Karros
doubled with two outs before Adrian Beltre struck out to end it.

''Just no offense at all,'' Karros said. ''We weren't finding
any holes. We had two or three strikeouts all game, so we were
making contact, just not very good contact.''

Perez (15-10) allowed one run on five hits in eight innings,
struck out eight and walked none. The left-hander retired nine
consecutive batters at one point.

Perez had been tough against the Rockies with a 3-0 record
including a one-hit shutout coming in, but he got no run support.

''You can't ask your starting pitcher to give you any more than
he gave,'' Tracy said. ''That's the pitcher he's been all year for
us. You hate to even think of the fact that this guy gets a loss
for a performance like that.''

Game notes
The Dodgers have been shut out 12 times this season,
including nine at home. ... Perez lowered his ERA to 2.68 at home.
... Grissom's triple was the 50th of his career. ... Colorado's
Greg Norton started at first base in place of 1B Todd Helton, whose
wife gave birth Tuesday to the couple's first child. ... Stark's 11
victories are the most by a Colorado rookie since Armando Reynoso
won 12 in 1993. ... Dodgers fans seemingly have lost interest. The
announced crowd of 30,332 appeared considerably smaller. ... Karros
went 1-for-4 and needs four extra-base hits to surpass Willie
Davis' club record of 585. ... After Wednesday's game, Colorado
heads to Arizona to close out the season on the road for the third
consecutive season.