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Dodgers Edge Padres 1-0

September 28, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Paul Lo Duca homered on Jeremy Fikac’s first pitch in the 10th inning Friday night to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Lo Duca’s 10th homer into the left-field seats came about a minute before San Francisco completed a 2-1 victory over Houston to clinch a tie for the NL wild-card berth.

The Dodgers (91-69) trail the Giants (93-66) by 2 1/2 games in the wild-card race. Los Angeles has two games left against the Padres while San Francisco has two against Houston plus a possible makeup game Monday in Atlanta.

One San Francisco win or Los Angeles loss would clinch a postseason berth for the Giants and keep the Dodgers out of the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

The win was the third straight and fifth in six games for the Dodgers, who won each of those five games in their final at-bat. The Padres have lost six in a row and eight of nine.

Eric Gagne (4-1) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the victory. Fikac (4-7) was the fifth San Diego pitcher.

Both starters were terrific. San Diego’s Adam Eaton allowed three hits while walking one and striking out eight in seven innings, while Omar Daal blanked the Padres over eight innings, giving up two hits, walking three and striking out six.

Brian Jordan, who has an NL-leading 27 RBIs this month, took a run away from the Padres in the third, reaching over the left-field fence to rob Wilbert Nieves of what would have been the rookie’s first homer.

Daal, who allowed 28 hits and 17 earned runs in 15 innings in his last four starts, retired the first nine batters before Mark Kotsay walked to open the fourth and Deivi Cruz singled to put runners at first and third.

But Phil Nevin took a called third strike and Ryan Klesko grounded into a double play.

Eaton, who had ligament transplant surgery on his pitching elbow 13 months ago and was making his sixth start this year, held the Dodgers hitless until Mark Grudzielanek singled with two outs in the fifth.

The Padres put two runners aboard with one out in the sixth before Cruz flied to center and Nevin lined to third.

Daal doubled to open the Los Angeles sixth for just his sixth hit in 39 at-bats, but Eaton struck out Marquis Grissom and Lo Duca and retired Shawn Green on a fly to right.

The Dodgers stranded two runners in both the seventh and ninth innings and left the bases loaded in the eighth.

Notes: Eaton replaced RHP Brett Tomko, who was scratched for the second straight night because of a stiff neck. Pitching coach Greg Booker said Tomko (10-10) will start Saturday against RHP Kevin Beirne (1-0) if he feels OK. ... The Dodgers will set a franchise record in fielding this season, having committed only 90 errors in 160 games. The franchise record for fewest errors in a season is 106 in 1952. ... The Padres have been outscored by 143 runs (835 to 692) with two games left. This will be the first season they’ve been outscored by 100 or more runs since 1977. ... The Dodgers are assured of having their best record since 1991, when they went 93-69. ... Gagne has 114 strikeouts this year, putting him second on the Dodgers’ single-season strikeout list for a reliever. Mike Marshall is first, striking out 143 while appearing in a record 106 games in 1974.

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