Finley, Beltre chauffeur Dodgers to victory

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Wilson Alvarez ranked the bases-loaded,
no-out jam he escaped against the Florida Marlins right up there on
his list of baseball accomplishments with the no-hitter he threw 13
years ago.

The 34-year-old left-hander won his fourth straight decision by
pitching seven strong innings, and Steve Finley and Adrian Beltre
each homered and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Los Angeles
Dodgers over the Marlins 6-1 Tuesday night.

"When I got the first two outs, the fans were standing up and
started cheering, and it was great," Alvarez said. "It's
something that's going to be in my mind for the rest of my life."

The Marlins loaded the bases in the sixth without getting a ball
out of the infield. Mike Lowell reached on a dribbler up the
third-base line, Beltre was charged with an error on a smash behind
third, and then got a late start charging a bunt single by Juan

But Alvarez came back to strike out Alex Gonzalez and
pinch-hitter Damion Easley, then retired Juan Pierre on a
fielder's-choice grounder up the middle.

"It's tough," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "If you put
the ball in play, you could have gotten two runs out of that. But
give Alvarez credit. ... He just knuckled down and said, `Hey, I'm
better than you are. I'm going to get you out. You're not going to
hurt me. I'm not going to make a mistake.' "

Easley is 2-for-42 as a pinch-hitter in his career, despite his
two-run double in the 10th inning of Sunday's 5-3 win at Milwaukee.

"He's a different kind of pitcher now," Easley said of
Alvarez. "He was a little more power when I used to face him in
the American League, and now it looks like he's topping out at
about 87, according to the gun. Tonight he was throwing strikes
with every one of his pitches. He was a good pitcher before, but
now it seems like he's stepped it up another notch."

Alvarez (7-3), facing A.J. Burnett in a matchup of pitchers who
have thrown no-hitters, allowed an unearned run and six hits while
striking out six and walking one.

Alvarez, who started the season in the bullpen, is 6-2 with a
3.28 ERA in 12 starts. He has been an invaluable fill-in for the NL
West leaders while Hideo Nomo, Odalis Perez, Edwin Jackson and
newly acquired Brad Penny have taken turns on the disabled list.

Leading 3-0 in the fifth, the Dodgers gave away a run on a
throwing error by second baseman Alex Cora.

Cora took the throw at first base from Alvarez on a sacrifice
bunt by Burnett that advanced Gonzalez to second. But in his haste
to trap Gonzalez off the bag as he made the turn, Cora threw past
shortstop Cesar Izturis and Gonzalez scored easily.

Burnett (3-6) allowed three runs, four hits and two walks over
six innings and struck out nine. He is 0-6 in seven road starts
this season and 0-8 in 11 road outings since beating Montreal on
July 27, 2002.

The Dodgers made it 5-1 in the seventh against Rudy Seanez with
a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Jason Grabowski, a triple by Izturis
and a double by Finley -- who tried to score on Milton Bradley's
single to right and was cut down by Encarnacion's throw to Paul Lo

Lo Duca was 0-for-3 in his second game against the Dodgers since
the July 30 trade that sent him, Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota to
the Marlins for Brad Penny and Hee Seop Choi.

Beltre ended the scoring in the eighth against Billy Koch with
his 34th homer, a career high.

The Dodgers opened the scoring with a pair of first-inning runs.
Finley drove a 3-2 pitch into the right-field pavilion for his 25th
homer, and Choi drove in Beltre with a broken-bat single after a
pair of two-out walks. The RBI was Choi's 44th this season and
fourth with Los Angeles.

The Dodgers leaders extended the margin to 3-0 in the third with
doubles by Finley and Beltre. Finley is 5-for-11 against Burnett
with two home runs. In 14 games since the Dodgers obtained him from
the Arizona Diamondbacks, he is 19-for-42 with two homers and 10

"I struggled a little bit in July, plus everything I hit was
right at somebody and I caught no breaks. But now I'm swinging the
bat better and the balls are falling in," Finley said. "If I
caught Burnett in July, I probably would have gone 0-for-4."

Game notes
Alvarez pitched his no-hitter for the Chicago White Sox in
1991. Burnett got his with the Marlins in 2001. ... Dodgers RHP
Darren Dreifort, who was booed after giving up a pair of
tiebreaking runs in Monday night's loss, had an MRI exam that
revealed a sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right
knee. He faces season-ending surgery.