Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/21)

Game 1: Friday, September 20
Los Angeles 4Final
San Diego 8
Game 2: Saturday, September 21
Los Angeles 5Final
San Diego 3
Game 3: Sunday, September 22
Los Angeles 4Final
San Diego 3

Dodgers 5

(87-68, 45-35 away)

Padres 3

(65-90, 41-39 home)

    10:05 PM ET, September 21, 2002

    Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 100020002 5 - -
    SD 030000000 3 - -

    W: H. Nomo (16-6)

    L: T. Hoffman (2-5)

    S: E. Gagne (50)

    Grissom, Nomo keep Dodgers in hunt for wild card

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have run out of superlatives for describing Hideo Nomo, even after his brilliant performance with their season on the brink of ruin.

    Marquis Grissom

    Hideo Nomo

    Nomo recovered from a three-run homer to shut down San Diego and Marquis Grissom hit a two-run single off Trevor Hoffman with two outs in the ninth inning as the Dodgers won 5-3 Saturday night to remain two games behind San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.

    Nomo was "unbelievable,'' catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "He gave up the three-run homer; it was probably the only mistake he made all day. After that, he was basically unhittable. He really was.''

    The Dodgers won for just the sixth time in 16 games. San Francisco beat Milwaukee 3-1. The Dodgers and Giants each have seven games left.

    "You go three down with seven to go, you're basically toast,'' Lo Duca said. "It's a big win, keeps us alive. We need to run the table, basically.''

    Said Nomo: "If we would have lost today, it would have been bad.''

    Nomo (16-6) allowed just four hits and three runs, two earned, in eight innings. He struck out seven and walked none in winning his seventh straight decision over 13 starts and matching his career high for victories. Nomo hasn't lost since July 16 to St. Louis.

    "To turn into the ace of your staff and pitch the way this guy has pitched, it's just phenomenal,'' manager Jim Tracy said. "Tonight may be as good as he's been all year long.''

    Nomo threw 93 pitches, giving Tracy some flexibility in possibly brining him back on three days' rest to start against Colorado.

    "He was pretty impressive,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been their guy. He came through tonight.''

    Eric Gagne pitched the ninth for his 50th save, becoming the eighth player ever to reach that mark. The Padres had runners on first and third and two outs when Lo Duca threw out pinch-runner Cesar Crespo trying to steal second.

    After Tom Lampkin hit a three-run homer with one out in the second that gave the Padres a 3-1 lead, Nomo retired 18 straight batters until pinch-hitter Ron Gant singled with one out in the eighth.

    The Dodgers scored twice off rookie Jake Peavy in the fifth to tie the game, then won it against Hoffman (2-5) in the ninth.

    Hoffman allowed consecutive one-out singles, but Adrian Beltre was thrown out at the plate by first baseman Ryan Klesko on Alex Cora's grounder. Mike Kinkade, pinch-hitting for Nomo, was hit on the knee to load the bases before Grissom, filling in for the injured Dave Roberts, singled to left to make it 5-3.

    "There's kind of a heightened sense that their games mean a lot,'' Hoffman said. "Their at-bats, they're battling. They were up to the task tonight.''

    Grissom finished with three RBI. Roberts homered leading off the game, his third, then left with a strained muscle in his right ribcage.

    The Dodgers rallied from a two-run deficit to tie it at 3 in the fifth off Peavy, who allowed three straight singles opening the inning. After Beltre and Mark Grudzielanek singled, Cora singled in Beltre. Nomo sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Grissom's groundout scored Grudzielanek.

    Lampkin, 38, homered over the right-field fence with one out in the second, setting career highs with his 10th homer and 37th RBI. Gene Kingsale reached on a Nomo's fielding error and Brian Buchanan singled.

    After Roberts' homer, Peavy retired nine straight batters until Paul Lo Duca singled leading off the fourth.

    Peavy allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked one.

    Game notes

    Roberts said he hurt himself fouling off an 0-2 pitch. "It doesn't look good,'' Roberts said. "I tried to finish that at-bat. Some way, I hit a home run. I don't know how I did it.'' ... Tracy said RHP Andy Ashby has a blister on his pitching hand and won't pick up a ball for three days. Ashby (9-13) allowed five runs on six straight hits without getting an out in the third inning in Friday night's 8-4 loss to San Diego. If Ashby can't make his next start, candidates to replace him include Kevin Beirne or Giovanni Carrara.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press