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Schmidt pitches into eighth inning for win

4/19/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Marquis Grissom, Jose Cruz Jr. and the rest
of the new Giants are filling in just fine for all the stars San
Francisco lost in the offseason.

Grissom homered against his former team and Jason Schmidt
pitched into the eighth inning as the Giants beat the Los Angeles
Dodgers 5-1 Friday night for their 14th victory in 16 games this
season.

Most of the preseason talk about San Francisco focused on the
departure of manager Dusty Baker and key players such as Jeff Kent,
Russ Ortiz, David Bell and Reggie Sanders.

"It's a great start for us," said J.T. Snow, who drove in
three runs to give him a major league-leading 21 RBI. "It just
puts to rest all the questions that there would have been about
some of the guys we lost. This is probably the best thing that we
could have hoped for."

The Giants improved to 7-0 on the road for the first time in
franchise history. They're off to their best 16-game start since
the 1918 New York Giants opened 18-1.

San Francisco is the 10th team since 1900 to win 14 of its first
16 games.

"We've been playing great defense. There's guys making great
plays every night," Snow said. "Everybody looks at the offensive
stats and who's hitting home runs and who's driving in runs, but
you don't see the plays Jose Cruz Jr. has been making. Those things
really frustrate other teams and it takes them out of games."

Schmidt (2-0) allowed one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings. He
struck out eight and walked four.

"Schmidt was really tough," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.
"Snow is hot, especially with men in scoring position. It's fun
now."

Scott Eyre struck out Shawn Green in the eighth and Felix
Rodriguez got four straight outs for his second save, finishing the
four-hitter.

"Very little happened for us offensively, and yet in saying
that you have to give their defense a little bit of credit,"
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy. "The unfortunate thing to me was the
top of the first. We've got two outs and a man on first and we got
two very good two-out at-bats put on us by Benito Santiago and J.T.
Snow, who is right now about as hot a hitter as there is in major
league baseball."

Barry Bonds went 0-for-3 with two walks, one intentional. But he
made a sensational sliding catch of a looping drive by pinch-hitter
Mike Kinkade in the fifth.

In the eighth, Cruz charged toward a line drive by Adrian Beltre
and caught it in right with a runner on base.

"That's hands-down the best defense I've ever had played behind
me in my career," Schmidt said. "It was unreal. They bailed me
out of a lot of jams that could have ended up with a few runs on
the board."

Kevin Brown (1-1) needed 29 pitches to get through the first
inning, when he was touched for three runs. The right-hander gave
up five runs on eight hits in five innings, struck out three and
walked two.

"I couldn't find the strike zone and when I did, it didn't turn
out good," he said.

Brown also lasted just five innings in his last start, a
no-decision against the Giants on April 13.

The Dodgers are yet to beat rival San Francisco in four meetings
this season.

"We're a great team on paper, but we're not getting it done
between the lines," catcher Todd Hundley said. "Schmidt was
great, but in the overall picture, it's what we're not doing."

Los Angeles had its second sellout of 54,799, the eighth-biggest
regular-season crowd in Dodger Stadium history.

The Giants took a 3-0 lead with two outs in the first on an RBI
single by Santiago and Snow's two-run bloop single to right field.

The Dodgers made it 3-1 in the bottom half. Green singled to
left field between third baseman Alfonzo and the bag, scoring Dave
Roberts, who led off with a single, stole second and went to third
on a sacrifice bunt by Adrian Beltre.

Snow's RBI double to right gave the Giants a 4-1 lead in the
third.

Grissom, who played the last two seasons with the Dodgers,
homered with two outs in the fifth to make it 5-1. He hit a 1-1
pitch from Brown over the center-field wall.

Brown threw 90 pitches, including 68 by the third inning.

Game notes
Both of Grissom's homers have come against Los Angeles. ...
Dodgers relievers Guillermo Mota and Paul Shuey combined to pitch
four scoreless innings. In 52 innings, the bullpen has allowed 34
hits and struck out 53, with a major league-leading 1.56 ERA. ...
Roberts leads the majors with eight stolen bases. ... The Giants
had at least one hit in the first seven innings. ... Brown hasn't
beaten the Giants since a 9-2 victory on June 30, 2000. ... 2B Alex
Cora committed two of the Dodgers' three errors. ... The Giants
began a nine-game road trip, their second-longest of the season.

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