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Nomar's debut: 2-for-4 in Dodger loss to D-Backs

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Miguel Batista took a hard comebacker off his
leg and Luis Gonzalez was beaned on the right side of the head.
Both stayed in the game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks got away with
a gritty win.

Chad Tracy tied a career high with four hits and equaled a
franchise record with three doubles, leading Arizona to a 5-4
victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.

Nomar Garciaparra, playing his first game for the Dodgers after
spending the first two weeks of the season on the disabled list,
hit a hard smash in the first inning that ricocheted off Batista's
right shin and rolled right to first baseman Tony Clark for the
third out. But Batista gutted his way through the next four
innings.

"It sounded worse than it felt," said Batista (2-0), who
allowed three runs and five hits. "I didn't see the ball at all.
It was hit hard and hit me right by the bone, but it didn't hurt.
It's swollen right now, but I should be OK."

Johnny Estrada homered in the second inning against Jae Seo
(0-2), who retired just five of the first 14 batters he faced and
was removed in the fourth after giving up a double to Tracy. The
right-hander gave up four runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Jose Valverde, the fifth Arizona pitcher, struck out the side in
the ninth for his third save in four attempts.

Tim Hamulack put a scare into the Diamondbacks in the eighth
when his fastball got away from him and struck Gonzalez, who shook
it off and tried to break up a double play moments later.

"I just barely got my shoulder up and it hit my ear flap. It
was scary for a second," Gonzalez said. "You've got a lefty out
there, and he looked like he lost his control for a second on
Tracy. I was just going to take a look at the first pitch, and I
got a real good look at that one.

"I made sure to get right back up," Gonzalez added. "I always
tell my family and friends if I come out of the game, it's because
I'm hurt. I just didn't want anybody to worry about me. I'm sure I
got 100 phone calls tonight from family and friends."

The last Diamondbacks player to hit three doubles in a game also
was Tracy, on June 28, 2005, against San Francisco. Last season, he
had 14 RBI and 19 hits in 18 games against the Dodgers.

"Tracy's been unbelievable, and that helps a guy like me,"
Gonzalez said. "If you look at my numbers the last six or seven
games, my RBI have jumped up tremendously with him being as hot as
he is."

Garciaparra, who was sidelined because of a strained muscle on
his right side, returned to Los Angeles Saturday after a two-game
minor league rehab stint. He went 2-for-4 with a double and scored
Los Angeles' first run on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Jose
Cruz Jr.

"It was special to run out there with that uniform," said
Garciaparra, an 11-year veteran who was born in nearby Whittier and
lives in Manhattan Beach. "I'm not going to lie. I was nervous.
I'm still nervous and anxious, especially when it feels like
opening day and playing in front of these fans. I felt pretty good.
I was able to make my plays, so that was good."

Garciaparra, a five-time All-Star shortstop with Boston, was
converted to first base in spring training. In his first game that
counted, he made 11 putouts and started a double play in the eighth
on Shawn Green's grounder. Garciaparra also dug two throws out of
the dirt, both by shortstop Rafael Furcal on routine grounders by
Orlando Hudson.

"He made two nice picks," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "I
was surprised to see how comfortable he was. They were moving him
around and keeping an eye on him. You could tell."

The Dodgers scratched out a pair of runs in the fifth on
groundouts by Kenny Lofton and Jeff Kent, trimming Arizona's lead
to 5-3. Garciaparra came within a few feet of a game-tying two-run
homer, sending Green to the right field fence to end the inning.

The Dodgers got a run closer in the sixth on a bloop RBI double
by pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee. But Hudson, who won a Gold Glove at
second base last season, prevented the tying run from scoring later
that inning with a diving stop of Furcal's single up the middle.

Green, who set a Dodgers franchise record with 49 home runs in
2001, ended three Arizona rallies by striking out with runners in
scoring position. He is batting .211 with one home run and two RBI
in his first 57 at-bats. Last April, Green hit .253 with three
homers and 12 RBI in 91 at-bats.

Game notes
Ledee's RBI was only the fourth in 30 official at-bats this
season by Dodgers pinch-hitters. ... Rookie 1B James Loney was
optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Garciaparra. ...
The Diamondbacks have won nine of their last 11 games at Dodger
Stadium after going 1-8 at Chavez Ravine in 2004.