Red-hot Drew homers as Dodgers squeak past D-Backs

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Brett Tomko and Russ Ortiz both had early control problems and threw an inordinate amount of pitches during the first couple innings. The difference was that Tomko was able to figure out how to correct it.

Tomko lasted through six impressive innings, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 on Sunday. The right-hander gave up two runs -- one earned -- and four hits while striking out four. He allowed only two baserunners after Orlando Hudson's bloop RBI double with one out in the second and departed with a 6-2 lead.

"He worked himself out of some jams, and that goes to show how good a pitcher he is," Hudson said. "He kept his composure, and his boys made the plays behind him and swung the bats behind him."

Tomko (2-1) threw 36 pitches in the first inning, giving up an unearned run when first baseman Olmedo Saenz fielded Shawn Green's
bases-loaded grounder and blew the play while trying to flip the ball with his glove to Tomko at the bag.

"It was just nice to get out of that inning with one run," Tomko said. "It wasn't one of those days where you're just saying to yourself 'What is going on' or 'Where's my stuff?' I actually felt pretty good. I didn't feel like I was wild or that didn't know where the ball was going. I was making good pitches and hitting my spots, but I was just missing. I had a little hiccup in the second, but I got on a roll after that."

J.D. Drew homered and Bill Mueller drove in two runs with a double that highlighted a four-run first inning against Ortiz, who threw 63 pitches and allowed four runs, four hits and five walks in just 1 2/3 innings.

"We were just trying to get a ball in the zone," Drew said. "He was off the corners of the plate, so you just try not to chase and get a ball you can handle. The guys did a good job of getting quality at-bats, and that makes it easier to get to their bullpen early."

Ortiz (0-3) was a 21-game winner with Atlanta in 2003, when he pitched in his only All-Star Game. But he is 20-23 since then and 1-12 over his last 17 starts since consecutive road wins over Colorado and Houston last May.

"We'd like to think he's going to battle his way out of this thing pretty soon," manager Bob Melvin said. "His velocity's down a little bit from his best, but veteran guys will make that
adjustment. Right now it's just his command. You can't put yourself in a position like that where you throw that many pitches and get behind in the count."

Ortiz was forced out of his previous start because of a cramp in his right calf but insisted that wasn't a factor in Sunday's performance.

"After I threw my bullpen two days after that start, my leg was great. So there were no worries about that," said Ortiz, who was 6-0 in his previous seven starts at Dodger Stadium. "My location just wasn't there at all today, for whatever reason. I'm doing the best I can to see if I can fight through it. After the first inning, I was hoping to just battle and give us five or six innings."

The Dodgers batted around in the first, grabbing a 4-1 lead with a two-out RBI double by Saenz, Mueller's double to right-center and a run-scoring single by Ricky Ledee.

Jason Repko led off the fourth with a double and came around on consecutive groundouts by Drew and Jeff Kent, making it 5-1. Drew gave the Dodgers their six run with a solo homer in the sixth against Juan Cruz.

Hong-Chih Kuo pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief of Tomko and was charged with two runs in the eighth, after Danys Baez gave up an RBI single by Johnny Estrada and a run-scoring double by pinch-hitter Tony Clark. But Baez got the last four outs for his fifth save in six chances.

Tomko benefited from an unorthodox double play in the fifth. Hudson took off for second base as Chad Tracy struck out for the third straight time. Catcher Dioner Navarro's attempted throw glanced off Tracy's bat, and plate umpire Randy Marsh called Hudson out because of batter's interference. Hudson was not charged with a caught stealing, and Navarro was credited with an unassisted double play.

Game notes
Green, who was constantly booed by fans for not diving after balls that were out of his reach when he played for the Dodgers, robbed Ledee of extra bases with a diving catch in right field in the third inning. ... A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Dodgers broadcaster Rick Monday, who prevented two protesters from burning an American flag on the field at Dodger Stadium 30 years ago Tuesday by running up behind them and snatching it away. He was playing for the Chicago Cubs at the time. ... Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, who underwent surgery on his right elbow April 7, will not travel to Houston with the club -- but will join them next Friday in San Diego to begin a light throwing program on flat ground from 60 to 90 feet.