Dodgers' Billingsley tosses gem for first big-league win

PHOENIX (AP) -- Chad Billingsley's long-awaited first major
league victory was a gem.

The 21-year-old right-hander threw seven scoreless innings and
the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a five-game losing streak by
beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 Tuesday night.

"That was a big shot in the arm for him," Dodgers manager
Grady Little said. "He's pitched a few good ballgames for us and
come away with nothing to show for it, but he was outstanding out
there tonight. You can't say enough about the way he pitched."

Billingsley (1-2) scattered six hits in the longest outing of
his seven big-league starts, striking out four and walking two.
Billingsley has thrown 14 straight scoreless innings, but had
struggled with control problems since coming up from the minors in

"It was just me battling myself and giving the hitters too much
credit," Billingsley said. "Today I just went out there and
trusted my stuff and got ahead of the hitters, and just put guys

The Diamondbacks were surprised by the youngster's array of

"Fastball, curve, cutter, change -- it's good stuff," manager
Bob Melvin said. "He threw a lot of cutters, some sliders at a
little lesser speed, and some changeups, and had more pitches than
we were aware of."

Billingsley has been working on his cutter, and used it
effectively against the seven lefty batters in Arizona's starting

"He showed what he can do," said catcher Russell Martin, who
also teamed with Billingsley in the minors. "He didn't even have
his best stuff today."

It was good enough to impress Arizona's Orlando Hudson.

"That's the first time I've faced him," Hudson said. "He's
got a good live fastball, a hard cutter, a great curveball. I tell
you what, he had command of his pitches tonight."

Nomar Garciaparra doubled, tripled and drove in a run in the
Dodgers' first win since the All-Star break.

Willy Aybar doubled twice with an RBI after being called up from
Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day when Jeff Kent went on the
15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his left side.

"He's like a lot of our other young players," Little said.
"As soon as they hit the door, they come in there swingin' and
making some noise."

J.D. Drew had an RBI single and Andre Ethier brought in a run
with a sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Ethier walked with
two outs and scored from first on Aybar's double into the
right-field corner, where Arizona's Jeff DaVanon had a hard time
coming up with the ball.

Diamondbacks starter Juan Cruz got into more trouble in the
fifth. Kenny Lofton's walk and Garciaparra's ground-rule double put
runners at second and third with one out. Drew singled home Lofton
and Garciaparra scored on Ethier's sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Stephen Drew and pinch-hitter Andy Green singled to start the
Arizona fifth, but Billingsley got three straight outs to end the

Cruz (3-5) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. He
struck out four, walked three and hit a batter with a pitch.

Tony Pena, called up from Triple-A Tucson on Tuesday, allowed
one run in 1 2-3 innings in his major league debut. Gold Glove
second baseman Hudson misread Lofton's grounder in the seventh and
it bounced past him for a double. Garciaparra then hit a
run-scoring triple off Pena to make it 4-0.

Hudson hit a two-out RBI single off Takashi Saito in the ninth
before Stephen Drew fouled out to Martin for the final out.

Arizona center fielder Eric Byrnes robbed Ramon Martinez of a
hit with a headfirst, diving catch in the eighth.

Game Notes
After being ejected in the first inning Monday night, and
having third base umpire Angel Hernandez toss his cap to a fan in
the stands, Dodgers first base coach Mariano Duncan delivered the
lineup to the umps at home plate before Tuesday's game with his cap
taped to his head. ... Arizona C Johnny Estrada threw two runners
out at second. On the second one, Stephen Drew tagged out brother
J.D. to end the fifth. ... Diamondbacks 1B Conor Jackson sat out
his second straight game with a right shoulder strain. ...
Estrada's hitting streak ended at 11 games. ... Arizona had four
left-handed batters and three switch hitters in its starting