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PIRATES Shawn Green's homer lifts L.A.



Published: Wed, April 30, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Dodgers handed Pittsburgh its fourth straight loss.

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- If the Los Angeles Dodgers are successful this season, they may look back on a couple of late-inning wins in April as a catalyst.

Shawn Green hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to help the Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Saturday night.

The Dodgers, down 3-0 after four innings, sent the Pirates to their season-high fourth straight loss. The victory came just one night after the Dodgers rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a five-run ninth inning.

"It's huge any time you win but when you get comeback wins it tends to carry over," Green said.

With two outs and the bases empty, Green lifted a 2-1 pitch from Scott Sauerbeck (0-2) into the right-field seats for his third home run.

Prior to that at bat, Green had been 0-for-7 with four strikeouts against Sauerbeck.

Tough spot

"He's as tough as any left-hander you ever see," Green said. "The first three pitches were pretty nasty. The last one didn't break as much."

Pirates Manager Lloyd McClendon said the home run pitch was a breaking ball that was meant to be down and away but it ended up being high and inside.

"That's a real bad spot to throw one to Shawn Green," McClendon said.

Said Sauerbeck, "I made one bad pitch and it cost us a game. But you look at who hit it. He's a great hitter, their best player, an All-Star. The thing is right now we have absolutely no margin for error. We can't make a bad pitch."

Hideo Nomo (3-3) pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits.

Eric Gagne pitched the ninth for his seventh save. He escaped a first-and-second, no-out jam, and now has pitched 14 scoreless innings to start the season.

Adrian Beltre, who had been in a 2-for-14 slump, hit a two-run single in the sixth to tie it at 3. Alex Cora opened the inning with a single off starter Salomon Torres and, an out later, left-hander Joe Beimel was brought in to face Green.

"Adrian Beltre has had some fantastic at-bats these last two nights," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "He's playing the game the way I've known he's capable of playing it. He's been fantastic on both offense and defense. He can produce multiple runs with one at bat."

Green was hit by an 0-2 pitch and after the runners advanced on Fred McGriff's groundout, Beltre singled in two runs.

The Dodgers scored their first run in the fifth. McGriff and Beltre hit singles and McGriff scored on Todd Hundley's infield grounder.

The Pirates, who had managed just three runs in their previous 29 innings, took an early 3-0 lead.

Jack Wilson's two-out triple scored two runs in the second after walks to Reggie Sanders and Kenny Lofton. Randall Simon singled to open the fourth for the Pirates and scored when Matt Stairs doubled.

Notes

The Pirates are 3-8 on the season's longest homestand with one game remaining. They are 4-10 at home this season. ... Lofton left the game in the fifth because of tightness in his left quadriceps. "It grabbed a little bit," Lofton said. He's day-to-day. ... Nomo has worked at least seven innings in all but one of his six starts this year. ... Pirates 3B Aramis Ramirez was charged with his ninth error of the season when he failed to handle a throw from the outfield in the fifth. At the start of the day, the entire Minnesota Twins team had made only seven errors. ... Torres took the place of Josh Fogg in the starting rotation. Fogg left Sunday's start after one inning because of a strained oblique muscle and was placed on the disabled list. ... Pirates pinch-hitters other than Stairs (3-for-9) are 2-for-26.

LOS ANGELESPITTSBURGH

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Rmano cf0000JWilsn ss4012

Izturis ss4000Kendall c4000

ShGren rf3211Simon 1b4110

McGrff 1b4110ARmrz 3b4020

Beltre 3b3022Stairs rf4021

Ward lf4010Hyzdu pr0000

Gagne p0000RSndrs lf2100

Hndley c4001Reese 2b3010

JoCbra cf3000STorres p2000

Nomo p3000Beimel p0000

Qantrill p0000ANunez ph1000

BJordn lf0000Srbeck p0000

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Totals32464Totals32373

Los Angeles000012010--4

Pittsburgh002100000--3

E--ARamirez (9). DP--Los Angeles 1, Pittsburgh 1. LOB--Los Angeles 4, Pittsburgh 6. 2B--Stairs (2). 3B--JWilson (1). HR--ShGreen (3). S--Reese.

IPHRERBBSO

Los Angeles

Nomo W,3-3753334

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Gagne S,7120002

Pittsburgh

STorres5 1-332213

Beimel1 2-311102

Sauerbeck L,0-2111101

Tavarez010000

DReyes1-300001

Boehringer2-300000

Tavarez pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. HBP--by Tavarez (Beltre), by Beimel (ShGreen). Umpires--Home, Jerry Meals; First, Tim Timmons; Second, Mike Reilly; Third, Bill Hohn. T--2:35. A--22,267.




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