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Jordan's four hits lead Dodgers to rout of Padres

9/28/2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers won big in a big game
Saturday.

Ultimately, it didn't mean a thing.

Brian Jordan kept up his September surge with four hits and
three RBIs to lead Los Angeles past San Diego 14-2, but the Dodgers
were eliminated from postseason contention.

Assured of their best record since 1991, the Dodgers were
knocked out less than a minute before completing their win when the
San Francisco Giants finished off Houston 5-2 to clinch the NL
wild-card berth.

"We haven't lost, the Giants have won. There's a difference,''
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "We don't have anything to be
ashamed of, we have everything to be proud of.

"There's an emptiness in here for me today. You know you're
going to have 92 wins and the potential for 93, and you've got a
ticket home. That's a tough pill to swallow. It's tough, it
hurts.''

The Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series last year after
winning 92 games during the regular season.

The Dodgers (92-69), who haven't made the playoffs in six years
and haven't won a postseason game since the 1988 World Series,
trail the Giants by 2½ games entering Sunday's finale.

The win was the fourth straight and sixth in seven games for the
Dodgers, but the Giants made themselves impossible to catch by
winning their last seven.

"We battled hard the last month, the Giants just played great
down the stretch,'' said Shawn Green, who had three hits and three
RBI and scored three times. "You've got to tip your cap to them.

"We've had hope all the way until the last pitch was thrown in
San Francisco. It's a great ballclub, the best team I've ever been
a part of. I feel good about what we've been able to accomplish.''

Jordan, who came off the 15-day disabled list Sept. 1, is
hitting .347 with a major league-leading 30 RBI this month, giving
him an overall average of .285 and 81 RBI.

Jordan and Marquis Grissom, who had three hits, scored twice and
drove in a run, keyed the recent Los Angeles winning streak.

It wasn't enough.

"Well, we're done,'' Grissom said. "We just came up short.
It's not a bad year, no reason to hold our heads down. We still
have a little ways to go to get over the hump.

"We got home tomorrow, get ready for next year.''

Grissom's status is uncertain since he becomes a free agent
after this season. He has said he wants a chance to play every day,
something that's not guaranteed in Los Angeles.

The loss was the seventh straight and ninth in 10 games for the
reeling Padres.

"It was ugly,'' San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't
pitch, we didn't hit, we didn't play well defensively. We got what
we deserved.''

Kevin Beirne (2-0) earned the victory, allowing two runs and
four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers, who scored in every inning except the seventh, took
a 2-0 lead off Dennis Tankersley (1-4) in the first on an RBI
single by Jordan and a sacrifice fly by Eric Karros.

San Diego's Brian Buchanan hit his sixth homer in the second,
but the Dodgers made it 5-1 in their half when Green hit an RBI
single and Jordan followed with a two-run single.

The Dodgers scored twice off Mike Bynum in the third on an RBI
triple by Grissom and a run-scoring single by Paul Lo Duca and once
in the fourth on a double by Jordan and a single by Alex Cora.

Karros hit an RBI single off Doug Nickle in the fifth to make it
9-1.

Gene Kingsale hit a two-out, run-scoring in the sixth to chase
Beirne, but the Dodgers scored three runs in their half on a
throwing error by second baseman Ramon Vazquez and a two-run double
by Green.

The Dodgers were held scoreless for the only time in the seventh
by Jeremy Fikac, the fourth San Diego pitcher, but scored twice off
Jason Shiell in the eighth on an RBI single by Dave Hansen and a
sacrifice fly by Joe Thurston.

Tankersley lasted only two innings, allowing five runs and four
hits while walking five.

Game notes
Jordan's 30 RBI in September are tied for the second-most
in the month since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Kal
Daniels drove in 31 in September 1990 and Mike Marshall had 30 in
September 1985. ... Tankersley was a replacement for RHP Brett
Tomko, who was scratched for the third straight game because of a
stiff neck and won't try to pitch in Sunday's season finale. ...
Tracy said after the game that rookie LHP Victor Alvarez (0-0)
would start Sunday against rookie LHP Oliver Perez (3-5). Odalis
Perez (15-10) had been scheduled to start for the Dodgers, but
Tracy made the change because his team his out of contention. ...
Green broke out of a 5-for-29 slump. ... The Dodgers' bullpen is
4-0 with three saves in the last seven games, pitching 18 1/3
scoreless innings.