Lowe faces 29 batters in one-hit shutout

CHICAGO (AP) -- A new pitching angle paid off for Derek Lowe on

Lowe (9-13) threw a one-hitter for his second shutout and
complete game of the season, leading Los Angeles over the Chicago
Cubs 7-0.

In his previous start, a 2-1 loss to Houston last Friday, the
right-hander moved from the third-base side of the mound to the
first-base side. From that position, Lowe was dominating against

He gave up an infield single leading off the first to Jerry
Hairston Jr., who beat a bouncer to third without a throw from Mike
Edwards. Lowe faced just 29 batters, allowing his only other
runners on walks to Michael Barrett in the third and Jeromy Burnitz
in the seventh.

"Derek Lowe was obvious the show today," Los Angeles manager
Jim Tracy said. "One chopped, two-strike swing from a no-hitter.
That's basically what it boiled down to today."

Lowe struck out seven to win for the first time in five starts
since Aug. 5.

"When we hit it hard, it was right at somebody," Cubs manager
Dusty Baker said. "He got strike one low and away. He had good
stuff today."

It was the third career shutout and complete game for Lowe, who
pitched a no-hitter for Boston against Tampa Bay on April 27, 2002.
His other complete game this year was a three-hit shutout against
San Diego on April 15.

"From the third-base side, I wasn't able to consistently get
the ball inside," Lowe said. 'We thought we'd just take a shot, I
can't tell you the difference, not just the results, but the feel
of being able to command the outer half (of the plate) against
right-handers and inside for left-handers. It's fun to be able to
go out there and feel like you have a better chance of having

Over the course of the season, Lowe also has changed his grip on
the ball so the seam doesn't rub against his thumb, which has had a

"Changing the way I throw, so I don't have that stupid blister
problem, has made a big difference," he said. "I just took my
thumb and put it in the middle of the ball so there's no seam
running over it."

NL batting leader Derrek Lee struck out twice, left in the sixth
inning and went for X-rays on his left foot, which were negative.
He was struck by a foul ball in his second at-bat.

Jose Cruz Jr. went 3-for-3 with three RBI, Olmedo Saenz added a
two-run homer and Jayson Werth hit a two-run single for the
Dodgers, who won for the fourth time in five games.

Cruz had a single, double and triple in Los Angeles 11-hit
attack. Every Dodger starter had a hit except shortstop Oscar

Glendon Rusch (5-8) lost his sixth straight decision since June
2, allowing seven runs and seven hits in two-plus innings. Michael
Wuertz, Scott Williamson, Jermaine Van Buren and Will Ohman
combined for four-hit shutout relief.

"I put us in a hole, and with the way Derek threw today, we had
no chance after that." Rusch said.

Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead in the second on Cruz's RBI single
and Werth's two-run bloop single to short center.

Saenz homered in the third after Jeff Kent's infield single,
Phillips singled and Edwards walked, finishing Rusch.

Cruz tripled in two runs off Wuertz, which were charged to the
starter, putting the Dodgers ahead by seven, before Wuertz struck
out three straight batters.

Game notes
Cubs RHP Kerry Wood had athroscopic surgery Wednesday in
Sharonville, Ohio to clean out his right shoulder. The hour-long
operation included reinforcement of the labrum, as well as a
removing dead tissue from the rotator cuff and bursa. Wood is
expected to begin rehab next week. ... Nomar Garciaparra started
his sixth straight game at third base in place of injured Aramis
Ramirez ... The Dodgers won two of three to take their fourth
straight series at Wrigley Field. ... Dodgers RHP Brad Penny began
a five-game suspension on Wednesday for arguing with umpire Rob
Drake on Aug. 14. ... RHP Giovanni Carrara returned to Los Angeles
after learning that his 2-year-old son had convulsions.