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Lowe beats Mariners as Dodgers end five-game skid

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Derek Lowe entered the dugout after retiring
the side in order with two strikeouts in the eighth inning, and
manager Grady Little congratulated him for a job well done.

Lowe wanted no part of that. He wasn't about to be taken out of
the game at that stage.

"He wanted to say, `Good job.' I was probably too bossy. I
almost really said, `I'm not coming out," Lowe said. "He said,
`OK, give us a good ninth inning."

And that's what Lowe did, completing a seven-hitter to win his
fifth straight decision in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 4-2 victory
over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

Cesar Izturis had three hits and scored twice as the Dodgers
snapped a five-game losing streak with their second win in nine
games.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Mariners --
their longest since August 2004 -- and was just their sixth setback
in 20 games.

It was also the first interleague loss in nine games for the
Mariners, who were the first team ever to win eight straight
interleague games to begin a season, according to the Elias Sports
Bureau.

Lowe (6-3) walked none and struck out six while throwing 119
pitches in the Dodgers' first complete game of the season and just
the fifth of his career in 171 starts -- 16 this year.

Richie Sexson hit a one-out single in the ninth, prompting
Little to visit the mound.

"I went out there mostly to look at his face. His face told me
he wanted to stay out there," Little said. "He still had good
stuff. Mostly, it was the stuff he was still featuring."

Kenji Johjima hit into a forceout and Jeremy Reed grounded to
second, ending the game.

"Derek did a great job tonight," Seattle's Raul Ibanez said.
"He's got a great sinker and he used it well. Everything he throws
starts in the strike zone and moves around a lot. I mean, he throws
strikes, so it's not like you can sit there waiting for
something."

Izturis was activated Tuesday, and played in his first game that
night since Aug. 22. He underwent Tommy John surgery Sept. 16 to
repair degenerative arthritis in his right elbow.

He singled in his first three at-bats off Felix Hernandez before
striking out against Eddie Guardado in the seventh.

A Gold Glove shortstop in 2004, Izturis made his debut at third
base, playing the position for the first time since May 12, 1999
when he was a minor leaguer in the Toronto organization. He handled
six ground balls without a problem and caught a popup.

"After the first inning, the nerves were gone," Izturis said.
"It was hard to get used to (playing third base), especially the
different angle.

"Today was a good night for the team, and a good night for
me."

The Dodgers scored three runs in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead
and chase Hernandez (7-7), who entered having won four straight
starts.

Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out on singles by J.D.
Drew, Andre Ethier and Izturis before rookie Russell Martin hit a
two-run single. Rafael Furcal added an RBI single before Julio
Mateo struck out Nomar Garciaparra with the bases loaded to end the
inning.

Yuniesky Betancourt hit his fourth homer in the third and Ibanez
hit his 14th in the fourth to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead. The
Dodgers got their first run in the fifth on singles by Izturis,
Martin and Furcal before Hernandez pitched out of a
first-and-third, one-out jam.

Ichiro Suzuki went hitless in four at-bats to end his 20-game
hitting streak. He entered with eight hits in 17 lifetime at-bats
against Lowe.

"Going into the game, my No. 1 priority was to keep Ichiro off
base," Lowe said. "Keeping him off base was huge."

Hernandez allowed 11 hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He
walked none and struck out six.

"I felt like I threw a pretty good game, but it seemed like
every time they hit the ball, they found a hole," he said through
a translator. "They didn't hit the ball real hard, but whatever
they hit was in the right spot."

Game notes
Ethier had three and Furcal, Drew and Martin had two each
for the Dodgers. ... Los Angeles RHP Brett Tomko, who fouled a
pitch off his left foot in batting practice Wednesday, said he'll
be ready to pitch Friday night against Pittsburgh. He had been
scheduled to pitch Thursday night, but flip-flopped with Lowe. "It
feels better today than it did yesterday," Tomko said. ... With a
13-6 record, the Mariners have already clinched a .500 record in
June. They haven't had a .500 month since going 12-12 in April
2005. ... Dodgers trainer Stan Johnston was selected Thursday to be
a trainer for the NL in next month's All-Star game in Pittsburgh.
"We're unsure if he's going to have time to go," Little said with
a smile, referring to the team's numerous injuries this season. ...
Hernandez struck out in his only two at-bats -- the first plate
appearances of his big-league career.