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Wood leaves after second inning

5/12/2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- For Kerry Wood, Dodger Stadium has been a
chamber of horrors.

Chicago's All-Star right-hander gave up second-inning homers to
Adrian Beltre and rookie Jason Grabowski before hurting his arm,
and Los Angeles beat the Cubs 7-3 on Tuesday night for its fifth
straight victory.

Wood, who struck out more than 200 batters in each of the
previous three seasons after undergoing reconstructive elbow
surgery in April 1999, didn't come out for the third inning because
of tightness in his triceps.

"I didn't want to come out of the game. I felt like I could
have continued to pitch," Wood said. "I mean, it didn't kill me
out there, but it's not something you want to play around with in
May.

"For the last three years, I've made all my starts and haven't
had any problems with anything. So it's better just to nip this in
the bud now and give it time to rest, instead of trying to pitch
through it and make it worse."

The last time Wood (3-3) pitched in Los Angeles, on Aug. 3,
2001, he beat the Dodgers 2-1 with eight innings of three-hit ball
-- and spent the next month and three days on the disabled list with
tendinitis in his shoulder.

In his only other start at Dodger Stadium, Wood lasted only 2
2-3 innings and allowed seven runs in a 12-4 loss on Apr. 24, 1998.
This time, he threw 38 pitches and was charged with three runs --
two earned -- and three hits before Glendon Rusch relieved him.

"I was just trying to get through that second inning," Wood
said. "I didn't really feel like I had a whole lot of command of
what I was doing, as far as location and stuff."

Beltre, who entered the game with a major league-leading .385
average, led off with his 10th homer -- an opposite-field drive to
right-center that extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

"He's done it every night, it seems like," winning pitcher
Jeff Weaver said. "Anytime he comes up with runners on base, we
feel like they're going to come around and score. Whether he's
seventh, fifth or third in the lineup, he's going to be productive.
Hopefully, he just keeps rolling."

Grabowski, starting in left field because of Dave Roberts'
strained right hamstring, homered into the right-field pavilion two
batters later on a 1-0 pitch after Juan Encarnacion reached on a
throwing error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

The Dodgers, whose 21-10 record is the best in the NL, battered
Rusch for four runs and eight hits over the next three innings to
take a 7-1 lead. The offense was a welcomed sight for Weaver (2-4),
who had only four runs of support in his previous three outings --
all losses.

"Anytime you get a lead, you get more relaxed and more
confident," Weaver said. "You can be more aggressive and not
worry about the minimal mistakes that go along with the course of
the game. I knew things would change with the run support. We're
playing too well for it not to."

Weaver pitched eight innings, allowing two runs and six hits and
striking out seven -- including Sammy Sosa three times, leaving the
six-time All-Star one home run shy of tying Mike Schmidt for ninth
place on the career list at 548.

Rusch got through his first inning unscathed, but gave up hits
to four of his first five batters in the fourth with three runs
scoring, two on a bases-loaded single by Paul Lo Duca. Cesar
Izturis scored when Milton Bradley grounded into a forceout. Alex
Cora made it 7-1 in the fifth with an RBI single.

Chicago's Ramon Martinez opened the scoring in the second with
an RBI double after Michael Barrett was hit by a pitch with two
outs.

Todd Walker of the Cubs led off the second with a double,
advanced to third on Sosa's single and continued home when the ball
popped out of right fielder Encarnacion's hand as he cocked his arm
to throw.

Game notes
Dodgers C Todd Hundley underwent successful surgery on his
left hip Tuesday while continuing to rehab from a back operation.
... LHP Kazuhisa Ishii's scheduled start on Wednesday was pushed
back to Friday by the Dodgers because of soreness in the cartilage
that's attached to the left side of his sternum. ... Cubs RHP Mark
Prior, recovering from inflammation in his right Achilles' tendon
and a sore elbow, will receive his diploma from the University of
Southern California during Friday's commencement exercises.