Weaver pitches eight shutout innings

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jeff Weaver heard all spring about how San
Francisco is favored to win the NL West over his defending
champion Dodgers.

Not if he can help it.

Weaver had his best stuff in his first start, pitching eight
sharp innings and adding an RBI single in Los Angeles' 6-0 victory
over the Giants on Thursday night.

"Everybody says they're supposed to win the division," Weaver
said. "We think we're going to win the division. We came in here
trying to make a statement that we're just as tough as last year."

Jeff Kent had three hits, drove in a run and scored twice
against his former team, and Jason Phillips hit a run-scoring
single. Weaver, who went 2-3 in six starts against San Francisco
last season and led the Dodgers with three exhibition wins this
spring, struck out two and walked one.

"You can't pitch much better the first time out than Jeff
Weaver did," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "He picked right up
where he left off last year being the type of starter he was a year
ago. From my vantage point, it looked like he took it a notch

Kelly Wunsch completed the five-hit shutout and the Dodgers took
the first series between the division rivals. Los Angeles knocked
San Francisco out of playoff contention on the final weekend last

Brett Tomko, pitching on his 32nd birthday, hung tough through
five innings despite allowing baserunners in all but his 1-2-3
fifth. He ran into trouble in the sixth, getting tagged for three
runs and four hits.

"I felt good," Tomko said. "They just pieced together some
hits in that one inning. A 2-0 game would have been a lot better
than 4-0."

Tomko was San Francisco's most consistent pitcher in the second
half last season and figured that staying with the same team for
the first time in four years might help him get comfortable on the
mound right away.

The right-hander went 5-1 with a 1.43 ERA over his final eight
starts last season as the team's most reliable starter down the
stretch along with Friday night starter Noah Lowry, a lefty who
went 6-0 after moving into the rotation full-time last Aug. 3.

Jose Valentin hit a sacrifice fly off Tomko in the fourth, but
it was an unearned run after Giants center fielder Marquis Grissom
misplayed Milton Bradley's single for an error that allowed Kent to
reach third.

For the first time in nine seasons, the Giants didn't win their
season-opening series.

"The pitching was pretty good for them all three games, but we
just didn't do what we were supposed to be doing," said Giants
right fielder Michael Tucker, who started in place of the injured
Moises Alou. "When you have runners in scoring position and don't
get them in, it's going to be tough winning some games."

Kent batted .545 (6-for-11) and scored five runs in the three
games, facing boos all series.

"There's no messages to be sent," Kent said. "It's a long
season. Yeah, I heard the boos and I take it as a compliment. There
was no special motivation to beat the Giants."

Giants manager Felipe Alou returned to the dugout after serving
a one-game suspension Wednesday he received last September when
former pitcher Dustin Hermanson plunked Kent. Second baseman Ray
Durham also returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game
with a mild groin strain.

Omar Vizquel provided another glimpse of how huge an upgrade the
nine-time Gold Glove shortstop is for the Giants. In the fifth,
Vizquel barehanded a high chopper by Cesar Izturis and fired the
ball to first baseman J.T. Snow, drawing oohs and aahs from fans
not used to seeing such defense in recent years.

J.D. Drew is yet to get a hit since the Dodgers signed the
outfielder to a $55 million, five-year contract in December. He
went 0-for-4 with a walk and is hitless in 13 at-bats to start the

Game notes
Weaver threw 102 pitches, 70 strikes. ... Valentin tied his
career high with four walks, which he also did Aug. 9, 1999,
against Colorado. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth. ... It
was three years ago Thursday that injured Dodgers closer Eric Gagne
earned his first major league save. ... Moises Alou will have an
MRI on his strained right calf Friday. He left Wednesday's 10-4
loss after the fourth inning with tightness in the calf -- the same
injury that landed him on the DL during the 2000, '01 and '02
seasons. ... Jason Repko's sixth-inning double for the Dodgers on
Wednesday was changed to a single. He got his first career stolen
base Thursday. ... Golden State Warriors point guard Baron Davis
attended the game.