San Diego at Los Angeles

San Diego
Los Angeles
W: W. Alvarez (5-3) L: I. Valdez (9-6)
HR: SD - None   LA - A. Beltre (27), S. Green (14), J. Encarnacion (13)

Dodgers 12, Padres 2 wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Beltre didn't make the All-Star team despite the best first half of his career. The way he and the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing, a postseason berth would be a nice consolation prize.

Beltre hit his third career grand slam, Shawn Green added a three-run shot and the Dodgers routed the San Diego Padres 12-2 Saturday night for their 17th victory in 19 games.

Beltre, a seven-year veteran third baseman, had five RBI to raise his total to 71 -- just 14 fewer than his career high. He has hit a career-high 27 home runs despite playing all season with bone spurs in his ankle.

"It's very apparent when he swings through something -- it bites him and he falls down, so that's a pretty good indication that it's bothering him," Dodgers outfielder Jayson Werth said. "So to play every day and do the things that he's been doing on top of that, I mean, that's nothing short of amazing to me."

Beltre, who hit a game-ending homer in the ninth inning Friday, capped a six-run fourth against Ismael Valdez (9-6) with a towering drive deep into the left-field pavilion, giving the Dodgers an 8-1 lead after RBI singles by Alex Cora and Cesar Izturis.

"He's having a tremendous year," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We got behind him with the bases loaded and he got a good pitch to handle. We had to go after him, but Izzy didn't quite get the pitch where he wanted it."

Juan Encarnacion followed Green's seventh-inning homer with a solo shot and also robbed Ryan Klesko of a three-run homer in the first to help maintain the Dodgers' 3½ game lead in the NL West over San Francisco and dropped the Padres 4½ out. Los Angeles is a season-high 18 games over .500.

"They jumped on us early and kept scoring," Klesko said. "Last night was tougher to swallow because we had the lead. Do they have a good team? Yes. Otherwise they wouldn't be in first place. But I'm not going to sit and analyze them. Our job is to beat them."

Wilson Alvarez (4-4) allowed a run and five hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk. The left-hander has allowed no more than one earned run in 13 of his 21 starts for the Dodgers since signing as a free agent in January 2003.

Sean Burroughs and Mark Loretta opened the game with singles and Klesko drove a 2-0 pitch to right field with two outs. The 6-foor-3 Encarnacion drifted back on the ball and timed his leap perfectly against the eight-foot wall, depriving Klesko of a home run.

"It doesn't matter whether I thought it was gone. He made a good play," Klesko said. "I should have hit it father, I guess. If I had gotten all of it, it would have gone out of the stadium."

In the fourth, Encarnacion came in on the dead run to make an inning-ending diving grab of Jay Payton's fourth-inning blooper.

"Encarnacion was a hero tonight," Alvarez said. "He saved me in the first inning. When Klesko hit it, I thought it was just a flyball, but it kept going. I saw Juan jump and bring it back in, and that was a big relief. That catch was the difference in the game."

Jay Witasick, working his third inning of relief, gave up Green's 14th homer and Encarnacion's 13th. The Dodgers have hit 112 this season -- just 12 shy of last year's total, when they tied the New York Mets for the fewest in the majors. It was the fifth time this season the Dodgers have hit back-to-back homers.

"Everyone's on top of the world right now, though we're obviously, not going to win the rest of our games this year. But this is the best stretch of any team I've ever been on," Green said.

Valdez allowed eight runs and a season-worst 11 hits over four innings after winning his previous three starts. He is 4-4 with a 6.99 ERA in nine starts since beating Milwaukee 4-0 on June 5.

The right-hander, who got his first 52 big league victories with the Dodgers, started against them for only the second time in his career. He pitched four-hit ball over 6 2/3 innings on June 8, 2001, in a 1-0 win for the Angels.

Valdez gave up singles to three of his first four batters, and two of them scored. Beltre singled home Izturis and Milton Bradley delivered Paul Lo Duca with a sacrifice fly.

San Diego's runs came on Brian Giles' sacrifice fly in the third and Xavier Nagy's RBI single in the eighth.


  • Loretta's three hits raised his season total to 131, the most in the NL. He also has the most multihit games in the league with 42.
  • Padres SS Khalil Greene was back in the lineup after missing two games because of a bruised left shin.
  • Valdez pitching for his sixth team in a span of five seasons, also made two relief appearances against Los Angeles this season.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
Los Angeles

S. Green
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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NL West Preview: San Diego Padres (2:24)
San Diego Padres
Sean Burroughs, 3B3110001 .301
Mark Loretta, 2B3030000 .338
    Jay Witasick, P0000000 .000
    Ricky Stone, P1000000 .000
Brian Giles, RF2001004 .283
   a- Terrence Long, PH-RF1000000 .269
Phil Nevin, 1B2000123 .294
    Rich Aurilia, 1B1110000 .249
Ryan Klesko, LF3000003 .273
    Xavier Nady, LF1011000 .250
Miguel Ojeda, C4000012 .237
Jay Payton, CF4000021 .245
Khalil Greene, SS4000010 .258
Ismael Valdez, P1000000 .152
   b- Jeff Cirillo, PH-2B3010000 .219
a-flied out for Giles in the 8th
b-singled for Valdez in the 5th
SF - Brian Giles (4)
RBI - Brian Giles (58), Xavier Nady (5)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady (3)
Team LOB - 7
E - Jeff Cirillo (2, Misplayed grounder)
San Diego Padres
Ismael Valdez (L,9-6) 41188011 5.47
Jay Witasick 2343102 3.06
Ricky Stone 2000000 4.94
Pitches-Strikes - Ismael Valdez 78-47, Jay Witasick 35-18, Ricky Stone 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ismael Valdez 2-9, Jay Witasick 7-0, Ricky Stone 4-2
Batters Faced - Ismael Valdez 23, Jay Witasick 11, Ricky Stone 6
Los Angeles Dodgers
Cesar Izturis, SS4221001 .302
   a- Jose Hernandez, PH-SS1000000 .294
Jayson Werth, LF4000103 .284
Paul Lo Duca, C5220001 .304
Adrian Beltre, 3B4235000 .330
    Giovanni Carrara, P0000000 .000
   b- Olmedo Saenz, PH-1B1000000 .232
Milton Bradley, CF3111001 .284
Shawn Green, 1B4223011 .263
    Duaner Sanchez, P0000000 .250
Juan Encarnacion, RF4111001 .243
Alex Cora, 2B4121000 .300
Wilson Alvarez, P2110000 .200
   c- Robin Ventura, PH-3B1000000 .221
a-grounded out for Izturis in the 7th
b-flied out for Carrara in the 8th
c-grounded out for Alvarez in the 7th
2B - Shawn Green (19, Valdez)
HR - Adrian Beltre (27, Valdez), Shawn Green (14, Witasick), Juan Encarnacion (13, Witasick)
SF - Milton Bradley (1)
SH - Wilson Alvarez (1)
RBI - Cesar Izturis (38), Adrian Beltre 5 (71), Milton Bradley (42), Shawn Green 3 (52), Juan Encarnacion (43), Alex Cora (29)
2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre 4 (30)
Team LOB - 4
E - Milton Bradley (3, Misplayed grounder), Jayson Werth (2, Wild throw)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Wilson Alvarez (W,5-3) 7511150 3.40
Giovanni Carrara 1210000 1.50
Duaner Sanchez 1000010 3.13
HBP - Burroughs (by Wilson Alvarez)
Pitches-Strikes - Wilson Alvarez 88-62, Giovanni Carrara 12-7, Duaner Sanchez 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wilson Alvarez 5-11
Batters Faced - Wilson Alvarez 28, Giovanni Carrara 5, Duaner Sanchez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 52217
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Jerry Crawford