Series: Game 2 of 3

LA Dodgers leads 2-0 (as of 5/12)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 11
Chi Cubs3Final
LA Dodgers7
Game 2: Wednesday, May 12
Chi Cubs0Final
LA Dodgers4
Game 3: Thursday, May 13
Chi Cubs7Final
LA Dodgers3

Cubs 0

(18-15, 8-9 away)

Dodgers 4

(22-10, 11-6 home)

    10:10 PM ET, May 12, 2004

    Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 000000000 0 5 1
    LA 00200020 - 4 6 0

    W: W. Alvarez (2-0)

    L: M. Clement (5-2)

    Los Angeles gets sixth straight win

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- By the time Alex Cora hit his 11th consecutive foul ball against Matt Clement, the crowd was standing and roaring. He went on to foul off the 12th, 13th and 14th. Then, he hit a two-run homer.

    Wilson Alvarez, who held Chicago scoreless into the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 4-0 win over the Cubs on Wednesday night, also was standing and pulling for Cora in the 18-pitch at-bat.

    "He was fighting and fighting, and when he hit it, I was 'Get out of here!' " Alvarez said, smiling.

    Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy called it maybe the best at-bat he has seen against a quality pitcher.

    "You can't have a better at-bat than that, and to have it end like that, it's phenomenal," Tracy said after the Dodgers won their sixth straight.

    Cora, not exactly a power hitter, seemed a bit awed by the whole thing.

    "It was tough; he was throwing good pitches. When they put it on the scoreboard [as the string of consecutive fouls built], that put me under a little bit of pressure. I had to stand back and regroup," said Cora, who drove a 2-2 pitch into the bullpen in right to put the Dodgers up 4-0 in the seventh.

    "It was great to finish it that way," he said. "It was fun."

    When Cora came up, Clement had thrown 86 pitches. By the time Cora homered, the Chicago right-hander's pitch count was up to 104 and Kyle Farnsworth came on in relief.

    "He beat me. That's all there is to it," Clement said. "It was a tough at-bat, and he won the battle."

    Cubs manager Dusty Baker called it a "heck of an at-bat," but didn't necessarily approve of the way Cora reacted.

    "He kind of spoiled it a little bit at the end by flipping the bat," Baker said. "He won the battle already, so you don't rub it in. But that's modern stuff, I guess."

    Alvarez (2-0) gave up five hits in 7 2/3 innings with his second impressive outing in a row since rejoining the Dodgers' starting rotation. He struck out eight and walked one.

    "It was just a tremendous performance," Tracy said.

    Guillermo Mota retired all four batters he faced to complete the shutout, the Dodgers' third of the season.

    Clement (5-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in six-plus innings.

    Alvarez, 34, was coming off a dominant performance in his first start of the year, a 4-0 win over Pittsburgh in which he allowed just one hit in seven innings.

    Invited to spring training as a non-roster player in 2003, Alvarez went 6-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 21 appearances for the Dodgers last season, with 12 starts. He won six consecutive decisions as a starter in 10 games between July 13-Sept. 23, with a 1.39 ERA during that stretch.

    Los Angeles went 9-3 during his starts last year, but the left-hander still began this year in the bullpen before he replaced Jose Lima in the rotation last Friday. Lima, 2-1 with a 7.91 ERA, was sent to the bullpen.

    The Dodgers, with the 22-10 start their best since the 1983 club went 23-9, scored twice in the third inning on four consecutive infield hits with two outs.

    Adrian Beltre beat out a single in that stretch to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

    Game notes

    Los Angeles RHP Paul Shuey has the splint off his right thumb and will begin some light throwing. Shuey has been on the DL since April 3 with a ruptured tendon in the thumb. ... Chicago RHP Kerry Wood is expected to miss at least one start because of inflammation in his triceps, which forced him out of Tuesday night's outing after two innings. ... Cubs RHP Mark Prior had another bullpen session Wednesday and reported no discomfort, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. ... Three-time Gold Glove SS Rey Ordonez agreed to a minor league contract with the Cubs, a week after Alex Gonzalez broke a bone in his right wrist.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press