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Brown gets first win since mid-June

8/6/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When Kevin Brown won his 10th straight
decision, his teammates thought he'd never lose again this season.
It took him seven more starts before he got his next win.

"It's been a long time. It's nice to get back in the right
column," Brown said after the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the
Cincinnati Reds 5-2 Tuesday night. "It's nice to not worry about
every pitch. The guys are doing everything they can to turn things
around. The key is, we still have to play hard every day."

Brown (11-5) had gone 0-4 since June 17, when he beat San
Francisco. The six-time All-Star, who leads the majors with a 2.13
ERA, allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings and struck
out nine.

"Anytime you can get a few runs for Kevin Brown to work with,
he's usually going to pretty much shut the door," said Sean Casey,
who drove in both of Cincinnati's runs with a triple.

After striking out his first two batters in the seventh, Brown
gave up a walk and a single by Barry Larkin, who was 3-for-5 after
getting only six hits in his previous 41 at-bats.

Tom Martin relieved and walked Casey to load the bases, but
escaped the jam when Adam Dunn struck out. Dunn, hitting only .218
despite 26 homers and 55 RBI, struck out three times to raise his
season total to 115. He set a club record last season by whiffing
170 times.

"He's got the home run-hitting swing, and guys like that are
going to strike out sometimes," Casey said. "But I'd take Adam
Dunn hitting home runs and driving in runs and take the strikeouts
with it, because that comes with the territory."

Paul Quantrill pitched a scoreless eighth, and Eric Gagne got
three outs for his 44th consecutive save and 36th this season.

The Dodgers, playing their first game since replacing hitting
coach Jack Clark with George Hendrick, got three runs in the fifth
inning to take a 4-2 lead. Alex Cora tied it with his third homer --
and the 26th allowed by Danny Graves, who was converted into a
starter this season after four seasons as the Reds' closer.

Shawn Green gave Los Angeles the lead for good with a double to
right-center after two-out walks to Dave Roberts and Cesar Izturis,
who doubled home a run in the third inning.

"He's tough," Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca said of Graves.
"He's a good sinkerball pitcher, so you've got to try to make him
get the ball up because that's the only time you can really hurt
him."

Hendrick, who began the season with the Dodgers' Triple-A team
in Las Vegas, knows he has his work cut out for him. Los Angeles
entered Tuesday last in the NL in batting average (.239), runs
(379), hits (888), home runs (74), walks (260), slugging percentage
(.357) and on-base percentage (.297) -- and had been shut out a
league-leading nine times.

"I don't expect miracles, I can tell you that," manager Jim
Tracy said. "I don't expect him to be a savior. Is this going to
make a huge difference? I don't know the answer. But if nothing had
been done at all, and we were to remain offensively the way we've
been for 110 games, then we wouldn't know anything."

The Dodgers added an unearned run in the seventh against Kent
Mercker. Catcher Jason LaRue tried to throw out pinch-runner Jason
Romano on the front end of a double steal as Izturis struck out,
but the ball sailed past third baseman Juan Castro and down the
line.

The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the third when Casey's hit down the
left-field line kicked off the front of the box seats in the corner
and skipped away from Jeromy Burnitz for a triple. Casey's second
triple of the season drove in D'Angelo Jimenez and Larkin, but
Brown struck out his next four batters to begin a streak of nine in
a row.

Graves (4-12) lost his fifth straight decision over seven
starts, allowing four runs and six hits over six innings. He struck
out two and walked two.

Game notes
Actress Sharon Stone threw a ceremonial first pitch. Her
batterymate was Fernando Valenzuela. ... Graves, who pitches from a
stretch regardless of whether there are any baserunners, has
allowed 1.55 home runs per nine innings. He entered this season
having allowed 0.73 homers per nine innings. ... The Reds will call
up INF Brandon Larson from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday.