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Schilling wins for first time since Aug. 17

9/17/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An aching Curt Schilling was still plenty
good enough to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Schilling won for the first time in a month, Junior Spivey drove
in two runs and the Arizona Diamondbacks won 3-2 on Tuesday night.

"It didn't look like anything was bothering him out there on
the mound. That was vintage Curt Schilling," Arizona manager Bob
Brenly said. "He had the little extra on the fastball when he went
up high in the strike zone, a devastating split-finger, threw some
real good breaking balls. It seemed like he was ahead of every
hitter."

Schilling (8-8) gave up one run on eight hits in seven innings,
struck out eight and walked one despite a stiff groin that
concerned Brenly more than Schilling's sore neck.

"I'm a little banged up, but I'm still serviceable right now,"
he said. "It's a big win for us. Believe it or not, we're still
alive. Our season is pretty much riding on every game every day."

So is the Dodgers' season. Los Angeles dropped 2{ games behind
Florida in the NL wild-card race, and clinched a playoff berth for
Atlanta.

"Schilling threw a tremendous game and proof of that is he
completely shut down the middle of our order," Dodgers manager Jim
Tracy said. "That hasn't happened in a couple of weeks."

Schilling missed a start last week in San Francisco because of a
strained neck muscle. He had been winless in his previous four
starts since a 2-0 victory over Atlanta on Aug. 17, with two losses
and two no-decisions.

"I knew the ball was not going to carry in this park tonight
and I tried to use that to my advantage early in the game, throw a
lot of fastballs, get them aggressive and then start mixing it
up," he said.

Matt Mantei gave up a solo homer to Jeromy Burnitz in the ninth
before finishing for his 24th save in 27 opportunities.

Spivey's second double of the game gave Arizona a 3-0 lead in
the seventh. Steve Finley singled to center and scored when Spivey
doubled to center.

The Diamondbacks led 1-0 on Spivey's RBI double in the third.
With two outs, Finley doubled and Spivey followed with a hit that
bounced into the center-field seats.

"I wanted to see the ball up a little bit and put a good swing
on it," Spivey said. "I just got good pitches to hit and took
advantage of them."

Alex Cintron led off the fourth with a triple off the
center-field wall, and Shea Hillenbrand's RBI fielder's choice made
it 2-0. Cintron was called safe by umpire Gerry Davis in a close
play at the plate.

The Dodgers threatened in the fifth when Dave Roberts walked
with two outs to load the bases, but Paul Lo Duca ended the inning
with a pop foul.

"It's frustrating. We're trying to win every game," said Shawn
Green, who was 1-for-4. "It's a tough task, especially when you
face a guy like Schilling, who's one of the best pitchers in the
game."

In the seventh, Cesar Izturis was called out by first-base
umpire Mark Carlson. Tracy ran onto the field to talk to Carlson,
then yanked first base from its moorings and moved it several
inches up the line. The crowd of 31,689 roared its approval, while
Carlson waited as a ballboy put the base back.

"As it turns out, I was wrong," said Tracy, ejected for the
sixth time this season.

Alex Cora, who led off the inning with a double and moved to
third on Izturis' groundout, scored on Roberts' RBI single.

Kazuhisa Ishii (9-6) gave up two runs on five hits in five
innings, struck out four and walked three.

Game notes
Dodgers LHP Odalis Perez will miss his start Wednesday
because of a broken nail on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Tracy said the team doesn't want to risk Perez developing a
blister, so RHP Edwin Jackson will replace him. ... Schilling's
eight strikeouts gave him 2,540 for his career, surpassing Tim
Keefe for 23rd on the career list. ... Arizona RF Raul Mondesi left
in the seventh after re-aggravating a right hip flexor injury that
originally occurred Sept. 2. He's day to day. ... The Diamondbacks
opened their final road trip of the season. After three games at
Dodger Stadium, they'll play three each at Milwaukee and Colorado
before concluding with a three-game homestand against St. Louis.
Arizona has yet to be mathematically eliminated from the wild-card
race, but the Diamondbacks would need help from other teams to make
the playoffs for the fourth time in six years. ... Schilling beat
the Dodgers for the first time this season. He had a no-decision on
April 1, and lost 1-0 on July 27.