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Updated: Saturday, August 21, 2004 9:02 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
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LOS ANGELES 7, ATLANTA 4
 

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Once again, Mike Hampton was no match for Shawn Green .

Green belted two homers off Hampton, including his second grand slam of the season, as the Los Angeles Dodgers posted a 7-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves .

Entering with a .583 career average against Hampton with three homers and 12 RBI, Green teed off on the lefthander again in this one, swatting a grand slam in the first inning and a solo shot in the third.

"There's really no explanation for it," Green said of his success against Hampton. "I'm not any more comfortable against him than any other pitcher."

"I know his numbers, he's hit well against me," Hampton admitted. "I made two mistakes that cost us five runs. It was just two bad pitches."

It was the eighth career grand slam for Green, who also had one July 15 at Arizona, and fourth by a Dodger this season. With his third multi-homer game of the season and 26th career, Green surpassed Willie Davis for seventh place on Los Angeles' all-time homer list with 155.

"He doesn't want to walk me there," Green said. "Once I was ahead in the count, I was looking for something up in the zone that I could drive."

"The key today is Shawn Green with his bat," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "The job he did offensively, with two homers and five RBI, he was tremendous. He's very reminiscent of the Shawn Green of 2001 and 2002."

Jeff Weaver (11-10) survived a shaky opening frame, allowing three runs and eight hits in seven innings. The righthander, who hit three batters in the first, walked one and struck out three en route to his fourth straight win.

" Jeff Weaver wasn't sharp today, but his ability to battle was tremendous," Tracy said. "It was a gutsy performance."

"It's tough to get into the record books," Weaver said of his first inning. "I put myself in a hole but got out of it."

Over his last 14 starts, Weaver is 8-3 and has raised his record over .500 for the first time this season. He improved to 3-0 lifetime against the Braves with a 2.35 ERA.

"The first four or five starts of the year were shaky," Weaver said. "I worked with Colby (pitching coach Jim Colborn ) on my mechanics and confidence, turned things around and found some consistency."

After being hit hard in each of the previous three games, closer Eric Gagne was unavailable to preserve the Dodgers' three-run lead in the ninth. Manager Jim Tracy turned to Giovanni Carrara , who loaded the bases before inducing a game-ending groundout by Julio Franco for his second career save and first since 2002.

Hampton (9-9) lost for the first time since June 29, yielding six runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The Braves staged a rally in the eighth but only could come away with one run. Nick Green led off with a double against Mike Venafro and, one out later, Franco plated him with a single off Yhency Brazoban .

But after a base hit by Rafael Furcal , Brazoban struck out Marcus Giles and induced a foulout by J.D. Drew, who homered and singled earlier in the game.

"It was a very interesting at-bat," Tracy said. "(Drew) represents the tying run, but Yhency needed to get him out. He came through for us in a big way."

Righthander Roman Colon made his major league debut for Atlanta in the eighth, recording two strikeouts in a perfect inning.


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