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Hampton Isn't Much of an Ace to Green

April 08, 2002|Gary Klein

Shawn Green continues to enjoy unusual success against Colorado ace Mike Hampton, but Green cannot explain it. Green had two hits and drove in the first run in the Dodgers' 6-4 victory over the Rockies on Sunday at Dodger Stadium. He is 10 for 12 with nine runs batted in against the Colorado left-hander, who has lost four consecutive decisions to the Dodgers.

Green drew a walk in the first inning, drove in a run with a single to right in the third, drew an intentional walk with two out and a runner on third base in the fourth and singled in the seventh.

"I don't understand it," Green said. "For some reason, I just get pitches to hit against him. When I hit them hard, they're hits, and when I haven't hit them hard, they're hits. It's nice to know going into a game that you have had success against a guy, but at the same time, you know it's going to even out eventually.

"I could see that he was being a little more careful today, but there's no explanation. He's a great pitcher. There are just certain guys, for some reason, that you get hits off of."

Kevin Brown hit his second career home run when he belted a pitch from Hampton into the left-field pavilion in the sixth inning.

Brown hit his only other homer last May 2 at Cincinnati against Pete Harnisch.

Brown was asked if he knew Sunday's shot was leaving the park as soon as he made contact.

"I thought it was, but it's not like I have a whole lot of experience," he said.

The change to daylight saving time meant one less hour to sleep, but no one arrived at Dodger Stadium on Sunday morning looking more relaxed and rested than pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii.

The Japanese left-hander said he got only three hours of sleep after his 10-strikeout debut Saturday night against the Colorado Rockies. However, he added that it was probably the most restful night he has experienced since his first spring training outing April 8. "It was a lot different," Ishii said through interpreter Scott Akasaki. "I was a lot more relaxed when I went to sleep."

The Dodgers are off today and will start a nine-game trip Tuesday that will take them to San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado. Manager Jim Tracy said his team is looking forward to playing the Giants, who swept the Dodgers in the season-opening series.

"It's good for us to go there right now," Tracy said. "I think we're a little better ballclub than we were when they came here. Why wait?"

Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies drove in a run with a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning on Sunday. He returns to Coors Field for the Rockies' home opener with another milestone.

On Saturday, Walker established a major league record for games played by a Canadian-born player. Walker moved past Terry Puhl by playing in his 1,532nd game.

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