Series: Game 3 of 3

LA Dodgers won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, March 31
LA Dodgers8Final
Game 2: Tuesday, April 1
LA Dodgers4Final
in 10
Game 3: Wednesday, April 2
LA Dodgers5Final

Dodgers 5

(2-1, 2-1 away)

Diamondbacks 0

(1-2, 1-2 home)

    8:35 PM ET, April 2, 2003

    Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 

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    LA 101110001 5 12 0
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    W: K. Brown (1-0)

    L: E. Dessens (0-1)

    Brown in command, Dodgers blank D-Backs

    PHOENIX (AP) -- That No. 3 starter for Los Angeles looked like Kevin Brown in his prime, and that bodes well for a Dodgers team expecting big things this season.

    Kevin Brown

    Kevin Brown was second in the NL with a 2.39 ERA last season.

    Brown, backed by flawless, often spectacular, defense, shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks on three hits in six-plus innings of a 5-0 victory Wednesday night.

    Shawn Green was 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs as the Dodgers took two of three in the season-opening series between NL West squads. Both Los Angeles wins were shutouts, the first by Hideo Nomo in the opener Monday.

    "I think it goes without saying that when you can send a Kevin Brown out there on the third day of the season throwing the ball like that, I think it makes a pretty loud statement about what kind of starting pitching rotation you have,'' Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

    Brian Jordan homered for the second time in three games.

    Elmer Dessens (0-1), in his Arizona debut, allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings.

    The 38-year-old Brown (1-0) has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons, but had a strong spring and was in command of the Diamondbacks from the start, striking out three of the first five batters.

    "It's been a long journey. I know it's a test and I'm there for a reason,'' Brown said. "I'm just happy to be back on the field.''

    Asked how long it's been since he felt this good, Brown said, "as far as not hurting and stuff, you'd probably have to go back 10 years. Now, whether that translates into wins, we'll have to wait and see.''

    Brown allowed two hits -- David Dellucci's double in the third and Steve Finley's single in the fifth -- through six scoreless innings. He walked Craig Counsell to start the seventh, then gave up a bloop single to Junior Spivey, and left after just 72 pitches. He struck out four and walked one.

    "He looked like the Kevin Brown of old tonight,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "He just stifled our offense completely.''

    Left-hander Tom Martin came on to face Arizona lefties Luis Gonzalez and Steve Finley. Gonzalez flied out to deep center, and Spivey was thrown out by Dave Roberts trying to advance to second. Finley flied out to end the inning.

    Paul Shuey and Eric Gagne completed the shutout, with Gagne striking out two and throwing only nine pitches -- all strikes -- in the ninth.

    Green took two swings that resulted in two runs in the first three innings, the first a solo home run and the second an RBI double to put Los Angeles up 2-0.

    Green's two-out home run on the first pitch he saw from Dessens made it 1-0 in the first. In the third, Cesar Izturis led off with the first of his three singles, then stole second. Paul Lo Duca drew a two-out walk, then Green hit the first pitch from Dessens into right-center to drive in a run. Two runs would have scored but the ball bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double.

    Jordan's home run leading off the fourth made it 3-0.

    Fred McGriff's check swing blooped the ball into left field for a single that brought home Lo Duca to put Los Angeles up 4-0 in the fifth. Lo Duca reached on a double when the ball dropped out of Dellucci's glove on a diving attempt in left field.

    Roberts tripled in the ninth and scored on Green's double off Miguel Batista.

    Two big defensive plays helped the Dodgers in the fifth. With Finley on first and no outs, Roberts made a diving catch of Mark Grace's fly ball in right-center.

    "That could have really been a big inning had that play not been made,'' Grace said, "and he made one of the better catches I've seen. Unfortunately, it was off of my bat.''

    Moments later, Finley was thrown out trying to steal second by Lo Duca with a difficult tag applied by shortstop Izturis.

    "This team has the capabilities of being as good defensively as maybe many of the best Dodger defensive teams,'' Tracy said. "They catch the ball.''

    Game notes

    Brown is fourth among active NL pitchers with 184 wins. ... Los Angeles will play its home opener next Monday against Arizona after a four-game stop in San Diego. ... Arizona 3B Craig Counsell, in his first start of the season, was 0-for-2 with a walk. ... The Dodgers had four homers in the series, the Diamondbacks none. ... Izturis was 5-for-9 in the series.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press