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Lo Duca's single drives in Bradley

4/8/2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Paul Lo Duca was surprised to discover former
teammate Ismael Valdez has added a sinker to his repertoire.

But not too surprised to hit it.

Lo Duca's two-out RBI single off Valdez in the 11th inning drove
in Milton Bradley with the winning run Wednesday night, giving the
Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres for a
second straight win in their last at-bat.

Bradley started the winning rally by drawing a one-out walk from
Eddie Oropesa (0-1). After Shawn Green flied to center, Valdez
relieved Oropesa and Bradley stole second on the first pitch.

Bradley went to third on a wild pitch before Lo Duca lined a 1-2
pitch past third baseman Sean Burroughs down the left-field line
for his fourth hit of the game, giving him eight hits in 13 at-bats
in three games.

"I've caught him before," Lo Duca said of Valdez, who played
for the Dodgers from 1994-00. "I was sort of looking for something
out over the plate. He kept throwing me sinkers in."

The Dodgers downed the Padres 5-4 Tuesday night on pinch-hitter
Robin Ventura's RBI single in the ninth.

"It's a good two wins -- especially after an opening-day loss,"
Lo Duca said. "I think we're going to be surprising a lot of
people."

Jeff Weaver and Jose Lima were excellent in their pitching
debuts with the Dodgers.

Weaver, a local product, allowed eight hits in seven innings
while walking one and striking out six. The Padres had at least one
hit off him in every inning but the first, but managed only one
run.

"He did a terrific job," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said of
Weaver, acquired from the New York Yankees for Kevin Brown in
December. "His ability to keep the ball down lends to his
effectiveness. He was down in the zone all night long."

Weaver invited 26 family members and friends to the game. Twenty
watched from a luxury suite he reserved and the other six from the
stands.

"It's pretty special to have your friends and family in the
stands to enjoy this with me," he said. "We all grew up Dodger
fans. I've got a whole new league to work with, with the hometown
team that I've always dreamed of playing with."

Lima (1-0) worked two shutout innings.

"I just wanted to keep the ballclub close -- put some zeros up
there," he said. "I haven't come out of the bullpen for a long
time. I was ready to go. I'm glad I got in and did my job."

Lima made the team as a non-roster player after signing a minor
league contract during the offseason.

San Diego's Adam Eaton pitched eight strong innings, giving up
four hits and one run. He walked one and struck out three.

"Everything was where I wanted to throw it," he said. "There
were some great defensive plays behind me today."

The Padres scored their run in the third when Eaton doubled,
went to third on an infield out and scored on Mark Loretta's
single. The Dodgers tied it in the bottom of the inning on
Bradley's grounder that drove in Weaver, who reached on an infield
hit.

"We just got shut down today," Padres manager Bruce Bochy
said. "We're not clicking offensively. Great pitching, just not
enough offense."

Both teams threatened in the seventh.

The Padres put two runners on with two outs before Weaver threw
a called third strike past Brian Giles on a 3-2 pitch.

Eaton retired 12 straight before Lo Duca doubled off the
right-center fence on the first pitch in the bottom half. Lo Duca
went to third on Juan Encarnacion's infield out, but was stranded
when Adrian Beltre popped to second and Alex Cora lined to second.

The Padres threatened again in the eighth, putting runners at
first and third with two outs before Guillermo Mota retired Ramon
Vazquez on a fly to center.

Lo Duca hit a one-out double in the ninth, but Trevor Hoffman
retired Encarnacion and Beltre to send the game into extra
innings.

Game notes
The Padres open their new 42,000-seat downtown ballpark
Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants. Former president
Jimmy Carter, a friend of Padres owner John Moores, and
commissioner Bud Selig are scheduled to throw out ceremonial first
pitches at $458 million Petco Park. ... Weaver, who was born in
Northridge and grew up in suburban Simi Valley, is the first
area-born pitcher to start for the Dodgers since Kevin Gross of
Downey, who played here from 1991-94. ... Beltre turned 25
Wednesday and, like Weaver, reserved a luxury suite to celebrate
the occasion. ... The announced attendance was 26,932. The teams
drew 58,850 in Monday's season-opener and 26,437 Tuesday night. ...
San Diego's three starting pitchers went 4-for-8 with three doubles
and three runs scored in the series.