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Dodgers' Perez, Tracy ejected for arguing balk

6/25/2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jason Schmidt was beaming, his arm cocooned
in ice after throwing a four-hitter for his second straight
phenomenal win over the Dodgers.

Down the hall in the other clubhouse, Odalis Perez screamed obscenities at the video replay of umpire Angel Hernandez's pivotal
balk call against him.

Both pitchers had a night to remember -- but their entertaining
duel was interrupted by the controversial call, which set up
Marquis Grissom's two-run homer in the San Francisco Giants' 2-1
win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Just how tense has this longtime rivalry become? The Dodgers
have lost five straight games in San Francisco -- each by one run.

And the latest, which gave the Giants a two-game lead over the
Dodgers atop the NL West, was perhaps the most entertaining of all.

"It wasn't just another game," said Schmidt, whose performance
came just six days after beating Los Angeles with a three-hitter.
"The fans were into it. They were rowdy. You get your adrenaline
pumping. I was throwing in the mid-90s from the start, and I don't
usually do that."

One night after Barry Bonds made history with his 500th career
stolen base, Schmidt shared the spotlight with Hernandez's call.

Perez and manager Jim Tracy were ejected in the sixth for
arguing the balk, which prolonged the Giants' only rally. It also
set the stage for Grissom, who has taken over Tom Goodwin's former
San Francisco role as the ex-Los Angeles player who excels at
beating his old teammates.

When it was over, the Dodgers blamed Hernandez for a poor call --
but they also were quick to praise Schmidt, who threw exactly 127
pitches both on Tuesday night and in a 2-0 win over Los Angeles
last Thursday.

Perez allowed just one hit in the first five innings before Ray
Durham got a one-out single in the sixth -- but Perez appeared to
pick off Durham at first base. Hernandez immediately waved his arms
and called a balk against Perez.

Tracy charged onto the field, screaming "What's a balk?"
Hernandez ejected him.

"I'm told I can't come out to argue, and I understand that,"
Tracy said. "I just wanted to ask what a balk was. I see an umpire
pointing at his knee. ... I don't know."

One out later, Grissom popped a two-out pitch over the
left-field wall for his 11th homer of the season. After the inning
ended, Perez was ejected when he had to be restrained from charging
Hernandez.

"I hate to lose," said Perez, who was ejected for the second
time in three starts. "When somebody takes advantage of me, I'll
be the worst guy in the world. I had to show him up, because he
made the wrong call."

Perez allowed four hits, but Schmidt won for the third time in
four starts. The San Francisco right-hander retired 12 straight
before Rich Aurilia's sixth-inning error led to Shawn Green's
sacrifice fly, which broke a scoreless tie with an unearned run.

The Dodgers threatened in the ninth when Schmidt hit Jolbert
Cabrera with a pitch with one out. Daryle Ward singled to send
Cabrera to third, but Ward was thrown out by Aurilia when he took a
foolishly wide turn rounding first base. Schmidt then got Adrian
Beltre on a game-ending grounder.

Schmidt struck out 11 Dodgers last week. He got just six
strikeouts in San Francisco, but Los Angeles only managed two
rallies all night.

"We knew the Dodgers were coming in, and that these would be
low-scoring games," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "We didn't
want to take (Schmidt) out in a 2-1 game. We wanted him to finish
what he started."

Grissom has four homers among his 11 hits in 36 at-bats this
season against the Dodgers, who let him leave Los Angeles in the
offseason.

"I don't have anything against any team," Grissom said. "I
thank every team I've played for, for giving me the opportunity to
come there and play. There's nothing against the Dodgers. This was
just a big game for us."

The largest regular-season crowd in Pacific Bell Park's
four-year history watched a scoreless game until the sixth. Perez
and Schmidt allowed just one hit apiece in the first five innings --
and Perez kept the Giants hitless until Benito Santiago's leadoff
single in the fifth.

Los Angeles finally rallied in the sixth when Aurilia made a
throwing error on Cesar Izturis' leadoff grounder. Green's fly to
shallow right field eventually scored Izturis.

Brian Jordan beat out an infield single in the sixth, but
Dodgers' left fielder took a long time getting back to first base.
Jordan, who has been bothered by a stiff oblique muscle for weeks,
was replaced by Cabrera later in the inning.

Tracy said Jordan will miss Wednesday's series finale with
soreness in his left leg.

Game notes
Bonds left the game for a defensive replacement in the
ninth. Alou might rest Bonds on Wednesday. ... Schmidt will get his
next start on Sunday against Mark Mulder and the Oakland Athletics.
The Giants will skip rookie Jesse Foppert's scheduled turn in the
rotation, moving up Kirk Rueter for Saturday's game. ... NASCAR
driver Michael Waltrip attended the game.