Nomo allows only two hits in seven innings


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hideo Nomo usually gives the Los Angeles
Dodgers exactly what they need. He did it this time by giving the
San Francisco Giants almost nothing to hit.

Nomo allowed two hits over seven dominant innings, and Adrian
Beltre hit a three-run homer as the Dodgers salvaged the finale of
an entertaining rivalry series, beating the Giants 6-0 Wednesday

Nomo (9-6) won his third straight start in overwhelming fashion,
silencing the Giants' lineup in his 13th career victory over San
Francisco -- the Japanese right-hander's personal best against any
opponent. He's 9-1 in his career at Candlestick Park and Pacific
Bell Park.

"Obviously, it's fun to play them and fun to watch them," Nomo
said through an interpreter. "But this series was for first place,
so it was especially important to win tonight."

Mike Kinkade also homered, and Ron Coomer and Cesar Izturis had
run-scoring singles as the Dodgers got 16 hits and won for just the
second time in their last 10 games in San Francisco. Their first
five games here this season were all one-run losses.

But the night belonged to Nomo, who was his usual unsmiling
model of efficiency. The Dodgers' quiet ace faced just three
batters over the minimum, never allowing a runner to reach third
base as Los Angeles cut San Francisco's lead atop the NL West back
to one game.

Four of Nomo's nine victories have followed a Los Angeles loss,
and a fifth came on opening day. Nomo struck out seven while
lowering his ERA to 2.41 -- third-lowest in the NL behind teammate
Kevin Brown and San Francisco's Jason Schmidt.

"That was quite a step-up performance once again," Dodgers
manager Jim Tracy said. "He has developed a habit of doing that
for us. He's throwing a lot of Strike Ones, and when he's doing
that, you know there's a long night ahead of that other team."

After minor cramps developed in Nomo's legs, Wilson Alvarez
finished the combined three-hitter with two innings of relief.

After opening the series with two contentious defeats in which
they scored just three runs, the Dodgers thrashed Damian Moss
(7-6), who was dismal in the shortest start of his first season
with the Giants.

The Dodgers began the game with two fly-ball outs, but 11 of
their next 14 hitters reached base before Moss was chased without
getting an out in the third. The Australian left-hander allowed
eight hits, five runs and a walk, hitting two batters and balking

"I don't know what's going on," Moss said. "I'm throwing
strikes, but the results aren't there. It's very frustrating. I've
got to look at some film from last year and try to figure it out.
You can't make excuses. There's a reason for the way I'm going, and
I've got to find it. There's something there."

Heading into the weekend Freeway Series in Anaheim, the Dodgers
stayed right behind San Francisco in what's shaping up as a lively
three-team division race along with surging Arizona. The Giants
face the Oakland Athletics this weekend in the Bay Bridge Series.

"Nomo took advantage of a big lead," Giants manager Felipe
Alou said. "He had better stuff the last time we faced him. Their
pitchers don't normally have that luxury. I've seen him with better
stuff, but he had an easy time of it tonight."

The Dodgers loaded the bases against Moss in the first and
second innings, but got only one run on Izturis' RBI single.

Los Angeles then got four straight hits in the third. Shawn
Green's leadoff double was followed by singles from Kinkade and
Coomer, who drove in Green.

Beltre hit Moss' next pitch into the left-field stands for his
sixth homer of the season. Jim Brower relieved Moss with four
scoreless innings, but the Dodgers already had enough runs to win
with Nomo on the mound.

Kinkade hit a solo homer in the seventh off reliever Chad Zerbe.

After watching the auction of his 73rd home run ball in the
clubhouse before the game, Barry Bonds went 0-for-3 with a

Brian Jordan was a last-minute scratch from the Dodgers' lineup.
Jordan, already bothered by sore oblique muscles, strained his left
leg while beating out an infield single on Tuesday night. Kinkade
took Jordan's spot in left field.

Game notes
Giants OF Marvin Benard will have arthroscopic surgery on
Friday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Benard could miss
the rest of the season. ... Jordan will have an MRI in Los Angeles
on Thursday. ... Attendance was 42,632 -- the second-largest
regular-season crowd in Pac Bell's history. The biggest crowd ever
attended Tuesday night's game, though the Giants regularly set
attendance records while constantly adding new seats to their
4-year-old park. ... Nomo has the majors' fourth-lowest ERA.
Esteban Loaiza of the Chicago White Sox is tops at 1.99.