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Lowe puts loss into perspective

Lowe puts loss into perspective

LOS ANGELES -- Derek Lowe did a good thing before Tuesday's game. Something he hasn't done all season, but something he felt really good about after the game.

And there wasn't much to feel good about after Tuesday night's 5-3 loss to the Giants.

Lowe launched his new community program before the game Tuesday night, visiting with four children from Mattel Children's Hospital an hour and a half before the game.

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"It's something I decided to do this offseason," said Lowe of the four kids suffering from cancer he met with prior to the game. "We were asked before the season what we would do if their visit fell on a day I pitched, and I said, 'Nothing.' I don't think spending 15 minutes before a game is going to affect you."

Lowe (2-3) did something that most pitchers wouldn't do on the day they scheduled to pitch, and despite having a tough outing, he said it put things into perspective.

"Three of the kids had never been to a game before," Lowe said. "I would've liked to have gone out there and given them a win, but it's just good for them to get out and enjoy a game."

It was one man who got in the way of Lowe delivering a win on Tuesday night. No, not Barry Bonds. On this night it was opposing pitcher Matt Morris who did the damage.

The Dodgers were limited to just one run and three hits through seven innings. Morris (3-0) was dialed in all night, mixing in a slow curveball with a sharp slider and a solid fastball, leaving Dodgers hitters baffled.

"Yeah, he threw well, obviously he's been in the league for a long time and obviously he's been successful for a long time," said Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI. "He beat us today. They got some timely hitting and good pitching. What can you say?"

The Giants snapped the Dodgers' eight-game winning streak against them dating back to July 9, 2006. The Dodgers, who swept the Giants in a three-game series earlier this season, did not get a hit until the fourth inning and managed just one extra-base hit in the game.

"He went to his offspeed pitches a lot more than he has in the past," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "He was good out there tonight. We just got to tip our hat and get ready for the lefty [Noah Lowry] tomorrow."

As was the trend in the weekend series against the Pirates, the Dodgers allowed a runner on base in the first inning, made a throwing error on a steal and then found themselves down 1-0.

This time it was the Giants' Dave Roberts who singled to open the game, stole second and advanced to third on Russell Martin's throwing error. Roberts scored on a Rich Aurilia groundout.

"Russ is like a pitcher. He's just been misfiring a little bit," Little said about his catcher. "But he did come back with a good throw later in the game. He got back on target."

Lowe, who seemed to work himself in and out of trouble all night, dodged a bullet in the second inning, allowing just one run after loading the bases and getting Bonds to line out to Rafael Furcal.

Lowe pitched a decent game, and although the Giants did get some hits off him, he never gave up a big inning. Lowe went seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while striking out four.

"I have no problem saying a guy pitched better. There's nothing wrong with admitting it." Lowe said. "I was a little inconsistent, but looking back if you can get seven innings against a lineup like that and keep the team in the game, it's not that bad."

Lowe made one bad pitch and it was a changeup to Roberts, who hit the 0-1 offering into right-center field for his first home run in 389 at-bats.

The Dodgers tried to make a game of it in the ninth when Martin drilled the first pitch he saw from Giants closer Armando Benitez to left field for a single. Martin was out at second on a grounder by Andre Either, but an infield single by pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson set the table for Furcal.

Furcal looked at a first-pitch strike on the outside corner to begin the at-bat and then watched Benitez throw two balls in a row, putting him ahead in the count 2-1 with the tying runs on base. However, Furcal rolled the next pitch to first baseman Ryan Klesko, who tossed it to Benitez covering first to end the.

"They did everything well tonight," Garciaparra said. "They got good pitching, timely hitting and good defense. And they beat us."

Jayson Addcox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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