LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Andy Ashby is rediscovering his winning
After losing eight decisions in a row dating to last year, Ashby won his second straight with a solid outing Saturday in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Angels -- their 10th win in 11 games.
After starting the season in the bullpen, Ashby moved back into
the rotation when Darren Dreifort had season-ending knee surgery.
"It's frustrating when you sit for a couple of weeks without
pitching, especially with the way the team is playing,'' Ashby
said. "It's nice to go out and be a part of it.
"You have to stay positive and try to work through it. But it's
a long year. The bottom line is that everybody here has been great
Ashby (2-4) held the Angels, who lost for the seventh time in
nine games, to one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings.
The pitching-rich Dodgers, who entered the day tied for first
place in the NL West with San Francisco, have won the first two
games of the Freeway Series.
Eric Gagne pitched the ninth to earn his major league-leading
29th save and 37th in a row dating to last year. He allowed an RBI
single to pinch-hitter Bengie Molina before retiring David Eckstein
with two on to end it.
Beltre hit his first homer since April 30. His fifth of the
season came after Daryle Ward singled home Los Angeles' first run
with two outs.
"It felt great. I haven't had that feeling for almost two
months,'' Beltre said. "I'm just happy to be swinging the bat
better. It's frustrating when you take such a long time to hit one.
"It was a breaking ball over the plate. He threw two good ones
before that, but that one he hung, so I took advantage of it.''
Brad Fullmer's ninth homer, leading off the fifth, accounted for
the Angels' first run. They stranded eight runners.
"We had some chances, like when Garret (Anderson) led off the
second with a double and we didn't get him around,'' Anaheim
manager Mike Scioscia said. "We haven't been executing offensively
the way we know we can.''
Lackey gave up four runs on five hits in four innings.
Ashby was lifted after he hit Jeff DaVanon with a pitch and Tim
Salmon reached on third baseman Beltre's fielding error.
Reliever Wilson Alvarez got Anderson on a fly to right, then hit
Fullmer with a pitch to load the bases. But the left-hander escaped
the jam by striking out Scott Spiezio with a high fastball on a
Erstad singled as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
Eckstein went 0-for-5 and is batting .232, but Scioscia
said, "He's one of the best leadoff hitters in the league, and
he'll get back in form.'' ... Dodgers C Paul Lo Duca went 0-for-4,
ending his streak of reaching base safely at 30 consecutive games.
... The Dodgers' four runs in the first inning were their most in
their first at-bat this year. ... Beltre had gone 147 at-bats
without a homer. ... Los Angeles CF Dave Roberts' bunt single in
the first inning was his major league-high 13th of the season.
Seven of his bunt singles have come in the first inning. ...
Erstad's hit was his 155th in interleague play, most by any player.
Anderson, who also had one hit, is second with 143.