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Gagne, ho hum, saves another

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shawn Green emerged from a monthlong slump
with two timely hits that had his teammates hopeful he'll return to
form in the second half of the season.

Green homered and doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth
inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat San Francisco
5-4 on Thursday night.

The victory pulled them within 2½ games of the first-place
Giants in the NL West.

"It felt great, it was a big win," he said. "I don't get too
excited. I'm just happy with tonight."

All three times the Giants took the lead, the Dodgers responded
in the bottom of the inning against 10-game winner Jason Schmidt to
tie it.

"Right from the first inning, I just didn't feel right. I
wasn't really locating that well," Schmidt said. "We should have
won that game, but I just wasn't able to hold them."

Schmidt gave up four runs on six hits in seven innings, struck
out five and walked three.

"Running their ace out of the game had a lot to do with the
type of at-bats we took all night long -- grinding, grueling type of
at-bats, where we battled and battled," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy
said. "We fouled pitches off, we built his pitch count up. You
can't play any better than we played."

Felix Rodriguez (2-4) relieved Schmidt to start the eighth and gave up a one-out walk to Milton Bradley before Green drove a 2-1
pitch into the left-center alley just beyond the reach of Marquis
Grissom to give the Dodgers their first lead of the game.

"It's great for him, it's great for the team," second baseman
Alex Cora said of Green. "Everybody here knows what he can do. For
a certain period of time he carried the team. Hopefully this is the
beginning of that."

Guillermo Mota (4-4) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the victory.

Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save, and major league-record 83rd in a row.

Green was coming off a disappointing June, in which he hit .287,
with four doubles, one homer and 11 RBI.

"It bothers him as much as it does anybody," Tracy said. "To
have him step up and have the type of game that he had against the
pitcher that he had it against, I'm very hopeful that's a sign of
things to come."

The Dodgers tied it 1-1 in the third inning on Paul Lo Duca's
fifth homer of the season after Schmidt hit his fourth career home
run in the top half.

They tied it 2-2 in the fourth on Juan Encarnacion's RBI
groundout after Pedro Feliz put the Giants back in front with a
run-scoring infield single.

Barry Bonds, 1-for-2 with two walks, led off the seventh with
his 21st homer and 679th of his career. Moments later, Deivi Cruz
made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly after a single by A.J. Pierzynski
and a ground-rule double by J.T. Snow.

But the Dodgers came back again, a week after being swept in a
four-game series at San Francisco.

"Every inning we scored, they scored -- three different innings.
It was incredible," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.

Green led off the seventh with his 10th homer, an opposite-field
shot to left on the first pitch from Schmidt. Encarnacion followed
with a single, was sacrificed to second by Cora and scored on Dave
Roberts' single.

"He looked great," Roberts said of Green. "He looked like he
was swinging the bat with some purpose and confidence."

The Dodgers held a closed-door meeting before the game.

"Trace said there's a lot of baseball left. We're not out of
it, so there's no reason to act like it," Roberts said.

The Dodgers have won three of four series against the Giants
this season. The teams don't meet again until late September.

Game notes
Green tied Dusty Baker for eighth on the Dodgers' career
home run list with 144. ... It was Gagne's 127th career save with
the Dodgers, tying him with Todd Worrell for second on the club's
list. ... Bonds needs four walks to tie Rickey Henderson for the
most in major league history with 2,190. ... In Schmidt's previous
14 starts against the Dodgers, he didn't allow more than four
earned runs. The last time he allowed more than four against them
was April 30, 1998, when he gave up five over six innings in a
no-decision. ... Postgame fireworks helped attract 54,717, the
Dodgers' 13th sellout of the season and the most since they had 27
in 1991.