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L.A. stays 3 1/2 games behind Florida

9/13/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Wilson Alvarez couldn't even recall the last
time he threw a shutout -- and with good reason.

The Los Angeles left-hander held San Diego to four hits for his
first shutout in six years, and Adrian Beltre hit a pair of solo
homers Friday night as the Dodgers beat the Padres 6-0.

Alvarez, enjoying a resurgence with Los Angeles at 33,
smiled when asked whether he remembered the last time he pitched a
shutout.

"I don't remember," he said.

Told it was in 1997, he shook his head and said, "A long time
ago. Well, good."

He was with the Chicago White Sox when he held the crosstown
rival Cubs to four hits in a 3-0 win on June 18, 1997, clinching
the first interleague series between the teams.

"Tonight, even though I had thrown 100 pitches, I wanted to go
out there and finish it. I still had good strength in my arm,"
Alvarez said after the fifth shutout and 12th complete game of his
12-year major league career.

He had thrown 105 pitches through eight innings and threw 14 in
the ninth.

"It was just a sensational performance for Wilson Alvarez,"
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Shawn Green added a solo shot for the Dodgers, who remained 3½
games behind Florida, the NL wild-card leader.

Beltre, who hit a pair of homers at Colorado last Friday,
homered off Kevin Jarvis in the second inning and Brandon Villafuerte in the eighth, giving him 20 this season. Green
connected off Jarvis in the first inning.

Alvarez (5-1) struck out seven and walked one as he won his
fourth consecutive decision spanning seven starts. The win over the
Padres marked the third time in those seven starts that he had
pitched at least seven innings and not given up a run.

"He put on a clinic on pitching," Padres manager Bruce Bochy
said. "He had all his pitches working, great location. We just ran
into a hot pitcher.

"He's a great example of a guy who maybe doesn't throw as hard
as he used to but is a better pitcher. That was very impressive,
the job he did tonight."

After struggling with arm trouble much of the past four years,
Alvarez signed a minor league contract with Los Angeles last
winter. He was impressive at Triple-A Las Vegas, and the Dodgers
called him up on June 7.

"For Wilson to have done what he's done since we got him is
kind of amazing," Tracy said.

Green hit a shot into the right-field seats off Jarvis (4-8)
with two outs in the first inning, his 16th homer. Beltre made it
2-0 by leading off the second with a homer.

Dave Roberts' RBI double to left-center in the fifth made it
3-0, and the Dodgers added a pair of unearned runs later in the
inning when shortstop Khalil Greene booted Beltre's bases-loaded
grounder for what should have been the third out.

The ball dribbled 20 feet behind Greene, and one run scored.
Greene was slow to retrieve it, allowing Roberts to score from
second base.

Mike Bynum had relieved Jarvis with one out and gotten Fred McGriff
on a sharp liner to Phil Nevin, with the Padres' first baseman
diving to his right to spear the ball. Greene then made his error
on Beltre's routine grounder.

Alvarez, a 15-game winner for the White Sox in 1993 and '96, has
pitched for five major league teams. The start against the Padres
was the 243rd of his career, and he is 91-78 with a 3.98 ERA as a
starter.

Game notes
Roberts returned to the lineup after missing seven games
because of a stiff neck. ... San Diego 3B Sean Burroughs turned 23.
... If the Padres do no better than a split of the 10-game trip
that began Friday, they will finish with at least 50 road losses
for the 13th time in their 35-year history. ... Mark Loretta needs
18 hits in the Padres' final 16 games to break Roberto Alomar's
single-season franchise record of 184 by a second baseman.