Nomar plunked three times as Dodgers dazzle D-backs

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nomar Garciaparra reached base three times
the hard way.

He tied a major league record when he was hit with pitches three
times, rookie Andre Ethier went 4-for-5 with two RBI, and the Los
Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 on Monday night.

The first baseman was hit by three different pitchers. The third
pitcher who plunked him was Randy Choate and when he did in the
seventh inning, he and manager Bob Melvin were ejected by home
plate umpire Ted Barrett.

"Obviously, it looked ugly. At times, you try to crowd him, but
certainly no one's trying to hit him," Melvin said. "It looked
like they (the Dodgers) were trying to get our guys a couple of
times and couldn't get them until they finally got (Conor) Jackson.
But I don't think there was any animosity involved, and we'll just
move on."

Garciaparra, who drove in two runs, was hit in the back by Juan
Cruz in the first, then took a glancing blow off the front of his
helmet on a pitch by Edgar Gonzalez in the fourth and was struck on
the foot by Choate.

The mild-mannered Garciaparra calmly walked to first base each
time, and later said he wasn't in any pain.

"Do I get mad? I don't get mad. Go play baseball," he said.
"Just go out there, play the game. It's a game I love and respect
the game. You got to respect the game always."

The Dodgers are 2-7 in their last nine games.

"Three is a big number to be hit that many times," Ethier
said. "Let's put it aside and focus on the other things, which is
finish strong here in the first half and go into the All-Star break
on a winning note. Not this win one, lose a couple thing."

Derek Lowe (7-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in five
innings, struck out two and walked two for his first career win in
four starts against Arizona.

Afterward, Lowe rushed out of the clubhouse and declined to talk
to reporters.

"He's had better games than that," manager Grady Little said.
"He threw a lot of pitches (96) in five innings."

Little said he didn't think the Diamondbacks intentionally hit

Cruz (3-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in three innings,
struck out three and walked two after being activated off the
15-day disabled list earlier Monday. The right-hander had been out
with a sore right shoulder since his previous start June 1.

The Dodgers got to Cruz in the first inning with three runs.
J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent had consecutive RBI singles and Ethier
followed with a run-scoring double.

"I came out early and refocused, did a little analyzing of my
swing," he said. "I was swinging good before, it was just a
little slight mechanical issue yesterday. When you put your mind to
it, good things happen."

Ethier upped his average to .345, which leads all major league
rookies, a day after striking out four times against the Angels.

"It's very humbling," he said. "You can swing it well; I
guess a day like yesterday (you can) feel like and look like you're
the worst player."

The Diamondbacks closed to 3-2 in the second on Johnny Estrada's
RBI double and a run-scoring single by Orlando Hudson.

Los Angeles extended its lead to 4-2 on a single by Rafael
Furcal in the third. He was dropped from the leadoff spot in the
order to seventh a day after going 0-for-4.

The Dodgers added four runs in the fifth, when three of their
five hits went to right field. Pinch-hitter Jose Cruz Jr. had an
RBI double and Ethier and Kenny Lofton added run-scoring doubles --
with Lofton's dropping barely inside the right-field line. Cesar
Izturis had a sacrifice fly and Garciaparra extended his hitting
streak to 15 games with a run-scoring single to make it 8-2.

Los Angeles added two runs in the seventh. After Choate hit
Garciaparra to force in a run, Ethier had an infield hit.

Game notes
After the game, Little said Furcal would return to the
leadoff spot Tuesday. ... Garciaparra tied the major league record
for being hit by pitches in a game. The last major league player to
be hit three times was Tampa Bay's Johnny Gomes on Aug. 15. The
last NL player was Houston's Richard Hidalgo on April, 19, 2000.
... Cruz had a 13-inning scoreless streak when he went on the DL.
... Arizona won eight of nine games at Dodger Stadium last season
and is 1-for-3 so far this year.