Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Arizona leads 1-0 (as of 5/28)

Game 1: Friday, May 28
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LA Dodgers3
Game 2: Saturday, May 29
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LA Dodgers10
Game 3: Sunday, May 30
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LA Dodgers3

Diamondbacks 6

(18-30, 10-16 away)

Dodgers 3

(24-22, 11-11 home)

10:10 PM ET, May 28, 2004

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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ARI 011020011 6 9 0
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W: R. Johnson (6-4)

L: W. Alvarez (2-2)

S: E. Dessens (1)

Dodgers have lost 14 of 16

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Randy Johnson was less than perfect, yet he was still good enough.

Johnson allowed three runs on six hits in 6 1-3 innings of the Arizona Diamondbacks' 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

It was his second win in as many starts since pitching a perfect game against Atlanta, and Johnson had to battle through this one.

"Obviously, my stuff isn't going to be like it was in Atlanta every time out," he said. "I don't think that any pitcher can realistically say that they've got their best stuff every time they go out there.

"Sometimes you've got to pitch, and tonight I did."

Johnson (6-4) struck out four and walked one and held Los Angeles to one hit through the first five innings. The Dodgers got to him for one run in the sixth, then added two in the seventh.

"I was cruising along the first five innings, but when you don't make your pitches and hit your location, you're going to get hurt. But I didn't beat myself. They were hitting my pitches, but I wasn't walking people."

Johnson, 40, is able to adjust effectively when he's not at his best, Arizona manager Bob Brenly said.

"Randy will change his approach on a given night, depending on what he's got working for him. Some nights he's got the overpowering fastball, some nights he's got an exceptional slider and some nights an exceptional splitter," Brenly said.

"So he'll pitch accordingly. Tonight he had a little bit of everything, but none of them were exceptional."

Luis Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Robby Hammock added a solo shot to help the Diamondbacks end a four-game losing streak. The victory was just Arizona's fourth in 16 games.

Johnson has three of the four wins during that stretch, and is the only Arizona starter with a victory over that span.

Elmer Dessens pitched 1 2-3 innings for his second major league save, and first since he was with Cincinnati in 2000.

Jose Hernandez went 4-for-4 and drove in a run for Los Angeles, which has lost 12 of 14.

Down 4-1, the Dodgers closed to 4-3 in the seventh on RBI singles by Hernandez and Cesar Izturis.

Alex Cintron built the lead to 5-3 in the eighth when he drew a leadoff walk, advanced on two wild pitches by reliever Darren Dreifort, and scored on Steve Finley's sacrifice fly. Hammock then homered off Duaner Sanchez in the ninth.

Hernandez, who was 3-for-24 and had struck out 16 times against Johnson, went 3-for-3 against the Arizona ace, with a pair of doubles. Hernandez's run-scoring single narrowed the gap to 4-2 and chased Johnson.

Gonzalez hit his 13th homer with two outs in the fifth against reliever Brian Falkenborg to give Arizona a 4-0 lead.

Falkenborg came in for Wilson Alvarez (2-2), who pitched just two innings before leaving with a strained left hip.

"The unfortunate thing is losing our starting pitcher after two innings," Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. "He was feeling a little discomfort in the latter part of the first inning and it increased in the second.

"They feel it's just a muscular thing, and we should know more tomorrow."

Alvarez had allowed two hits and Los Angeles trailed 1-0 when he left the game. The 34-year-old is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA.

Before the game, the Dodgers placed another starter, Hideo Nomo, on the disabled list with a split nail on his right index finger.

Game notes


Brenly plans to use Scott Service as the closer in place of Jose Valverde, at least for a while. Service's contract was purchased Thursday from Triple-A Tucson, where he was 5-0 with eight saves and a 3.68 ERA in 21 appearances. ... The Diamondbacks' three-game series at Dodger Stadium will wrap up a 13-game road trip, their longest since 1999. ... Nomo was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 20. He cracked the nail during his May 19 start at Philadelphia. ... Los Angeles LF Dave Roberts was activated after being sidelined by a strained right hamstring.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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