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Dodgers beat Bucs, spoil ex-skipper Tracy's return to L.A.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Brett Tomko was more than willing to pitch
through intense pain to get the necessary innings for his first
victory in over a month.

Tomko snapped a string of five consecutive losing starts despite
leaving with a strained left oblique muscle, and the Los Angeles
Dodgers gave former manager Jim Tracy a rude welcome back to Chavez
Ravine with a 10-4 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Tomko (6-6) won for the first time in six outings since May 15,
allowing two hits and no walks through five innings before his
injury forced him out after just 68 pitches.

"I was hunting that `W' because it's been a tough stretch for
me," Tomko said. "I figured some stuff out working in between
starts, looked at a lot of video, and I kind of felt like I was
back on track. But in the fourth, on the second-to-last pitch to
the last batter, something kind of grabbed me. And on the last
pitch it grabbed me a little bit more. But I hadn't won in like six
weeks, so I wanted to go out there and try to get through it and
get the win."

The right-hander retired 13 consecutive batters after hitting
Sean Casey with a pitch in the first. Pittsburgh's only hits
against him were Jack Wilson's single and Ronny Paulino's double.

"It was just a matter of whether I could take the pain," Tomko
said. "I was just trying to throw some strikes and see if I could
get a couple of popups. I've been around long enough to know
obliques and ribcage stuff, and it isn't very good. So I'm hoping I
wake up tomorrow and feel halfway decent. It's pretty sore right
now."

Jeff Kent hit a three-run homer, Jose Cruz Jr. had a two-run
double and J.D. Drew also had two RBI, helping send the Pirates to
their ninth consecutive loss.

It's Tracy's longest drought as a big league manager. The
Dodgers had a pair of eight-game losing streaks during his five
seasons with them, in May 2004 and June 2005.

"To stop it, we need to get back to the point where we get a
well-pitched game," Tracy said.

Tracy, who guided the Dodgers to an NL West title in 2004,
parted ways with the organization during the winter due to
philosophical differences between himself and the front office. But
his first season in Pittsburgh has been anything but a breath of
fresh air. The Pirates have the second-worst record in the majors
at 26-49 and were coming off a three-game sweep by the Kansas City
Royals -- who own the worst record.

"I know he got off to a really bad start and then they just got
buried badly, so I was feeling for him," said Kent, who played one
season under Tracy in Los Angeles. "I just know it's going to be a
rocky road for him over there. But I think, at the end of the day,
he'll earn the respect from his players and they'll play hard for
him because they want to. That's how likable he is. He's got some
good young players over there, so I think that they'll be OK."

Jae Seo earned his first major league save, allowing four runs
and five hits over the final four innings. The Dodgers built a 10-0
lead before Craig Wilson hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his
11th of the season and fourth in 16 at-bats against Los Angeles.
Wilson added an RBI single in the ninth.

Oliver Perez (2-10) threw 96 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings and
lost his fifth straight start. The left-hander allowed seven runs
and six hits while tying a career high with seven walks, one of
which forced home a run during a five-run fourth capped by Kent's
seventh homer.

"The base on balls obviously killed him tonight," Tracy said.
"When you're facing a good offensive club like the Dodgers are,
you cannot create opportunities that set the stage for them to
score runs."

Perez has reached double digits in losses faster than any
Pirates pitcher since 1995, when Paul Wagner lost 10 of his first
11 decisions through June 18 (game 47) and finished with a 5-16
record. That season didn't start until April 26 because of a
players strike. The only other Pirates since then to lose 10 or
more games before the All-Star break were Jimmy Anderson (6-10 in
2002) and Jon Lieber (5-10 in 1998).

Pittsburgh would have to do no worse than 37-50 the rest of the
season to prevent Tracy from becoming the fourth manager in Pirates
history to lose 100 games in his first season at the helm. Lloyd
McClendon was 62-100 in 2001, Fred Haney 50-104 in 1953 and Guy
Hecker 23-113 way back in 1890.

"We've been reading the standings in Pittsburgh from the bottom
up for quite a while," Tracy said. "And in order to read them
from the top down, there are a number of intangibles that have to
be addressed."

Game notes
The Dodgers, who got their first complete game of the
season Thursday night when Derek Lowe beat Seattle 4-2, have not
recorded consecutive complete-game victories since May 22-23, 1998
at Arizona. Darren Dreifort beat the Diamondbacks 5-0 and Ramon
Martinez followed up with a 7-1 win. ... Perez is 5-0 on the road
since beating the Dodgers last September 24.