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Gagne Finally Finds His Groove in Victory

September 12, 2000|JASON REID

PHOENIX — Eric Gagne came prepared and the Dodgers put him to work.

The rookie pitcher rejoined the club and unexpectedly started Monday night, working six scoreless innings in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks before 37,559 at Bank One Ballpark.

Gagne (2-6), recalled from triple-A Albuquerque, was pressed into service only moments after arriving at the ballpark.

Right-hander Ismael Valdes was scratched from a scheduled start because of a numb right pinkie.

Gagne was feeling fine.

He gave up only one hit and struck out seven with four walks, helping the Dodgers (75-69) improve to 2-2 on the six-game trip.

"That was the Gagne we knew from last year," Manager Davey Johnson said. "That's why we projected him to be one of our starters."

Gagne was pleased and tired.

"I only had about 15 to 20 minutes of sleep," said Gagne, who began traveling at 4:30 a.m. PDT after the Dukes lost at Memphis in the Pacific Coast League playoffs. "But I guess sleep is overrated."

He escaped his only jam in the first.

With two out, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases on a hit and two walks. Gagne struck out Matt Williams looking to end the inning.

"He was absolutely great," catcher Todd Hundley said. "He didn't let his emotions get in the way."

The Dodgers scored four runs in the fifth to stake Gagne to a 5-0 lead, and leadoff batter Tom Goodwin again provided a spark.

Goodwin, who has a 12-game hitting streak, hit his sixth home run to start the inning as the Dodgers chased Diamondback starter Armando Reynoso (10-11).

Gary Sheffield had two run-scoring doubles, reaching base for the 10th consecutive time when he doubled in the fifth.


Valdes had taken a line drive off his pinkie in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. . . . In addition to Gagne, the Dodgers also recalled infielder Hiram Bocachica and pitcher Jeff Williams. Pitcher Mike Judd, catcher Angel Pena and pitcher Al Reyes are expected to join the team Thursday.



(0-0, 0.00 ERA)



(10-11, 3.94 ERA)

Bank One Ballpark, 6:30 p.m.

TV--Channel 5. Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* Update--Prokopec, 22, is making his first career start. Schilling is 0-4 in his last four starts.

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