Beltré's Big Hits Spark Win

Much like Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, Los Angeles depended on the kindness of friends when the Marlins allowed three unearned runs off three different errors -- including a game-tying hit in the ninth when Adrian Beltré looped a single to right field with two outs and two strikes on him and scored the winner scoring when an Olmedo Saenz grounder sizzled through the Marlin third baseman's legs in the 11th.

Beltré's two huge hits, in the ninth and the 11th, gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory in 11 innings over the Florida Marlins

The Dodgers (16-9) opened a one-game lead over San Diego in the National League West and also picked up a full game on San Francisco but lost left fielder Dave Roberts for an undetermined time when he suffered a mild strain to his lower right hamstring.

Roberts injured himself when he was caught stealing in the first inning. It was the first time he had been apprehended in 16 attempts this season. He got the Dodgers even in the third, cashing in Cora's leadoff single with a triple down the right-field line, but then left the game. Roberts said afterwards the it was not the same injury he had last year.

"Adrian is grown up now, and he's carrying us. It's not about potential anymore."--Paul Lo Duca.

With Odalis Perez battling on the on the mound without his best stuff, the Dodgers dropped behind 3-1 in the fourth. He allowed the leadoff batter to reach base each of the first five innings, three of them scoring.

Cesar Izturis routine grounder was booted, allowing Alex Cora to score from second with the Dodgers' second run.

And with one out in the ninth, Paul Lo Duca's tap in front of the plate was thrown away by the pitcher and Lo Duca credited with a single. He then took third on a flyout, and Beltré tied it on a two-strike pitch checked swing by Beltré that dropped 10 feet in front of the Marlins' right fielder.

Then in the 11th, Beltré singled with one out and Alex Cora, who had gone 3 for 4, was hit by a pitch. Saenz followed an easy double-play grounder to end the inning, a perfect shot in croquet, that went between the third baseman's legs allowing Beltré score.

Perez allowed eight hits and all three runs. Darren Dreifort worked a scoreless inning, followed by Tom Martin and rookie Duaner Sanchez (1-0) who overcame a shaky start, working 1.1 of the bullpen's five scoreless innings to earn his second big-league victory. Eric Gagné pitched a one-hit 11th for his eighth save of the season and 71st consecutive save opportunity converted. He struck out three.

Boone Considered--General Manager Paul DePodesta said he has had talks with agent Adam Katz about free-agent Aaron Boone, whom the New York Yankees released after he injured his left knee playing basketball Jan. 16. Some in the organization said DePodesta believes the right-handed batter would be a good fit at second base this season and signing Boone to a multiyear contract could provide an insurance policy for next season if Adrian Beltré, off to the best start of his career, would become a free agent. Boone would provide an upgrade on offense at second, but signing him could affect the club's flexibility to make other moves. And the Dodgers are expected to face competition from other clubs for Boone, whom the Yankees would have paid $5.75 million this season. Boone hopes to resume playing in August.

Dodger Blue Notes--Left-hander Wilson Alvarez has apparently won the lottery, moving past Jose Lima in the starting rotation, a move manager Jim Tracy says has nothing to do with Lima's 7.62 ERA in three starts. Tracy said the decision has more to do with matchups and committed to Alvarez for the next two turns through the rotation. Lima said he was not upset and would not complain nor was he even disappointed. He said he would do whatever is necessary for the team to win. Alvarez shined after joining the rotation last season, winning six consecutive decisions, in 10 starts, with a 1.39 earned-run average during that span. He had a scoreless streak of 25 innings. ... Pitcher Jeff Weaver will take the mound at Pro Player Stadium tonight for the first time since Oct. 22, when as a member of the New York Yankees he gave up a pivotal, game-winning home run to Alex Gonzalez in the 12th inning, tying the World Series at two games apiece. ... Center fielder Milton Bradley returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing the previous three games with a sprained left ankle. ,,, Juan Encarnacion was presented with the world championship ring he won playing for the Marlins last year, but he went 0-for-5 in his return to South Florida, robbed of hits twice. ... Jayson Werth hopes to take regular batting practice in the next day or two as he recovers from a pulled oblique muscle. Werth figures to go to Triple-A Las Vegas for a rehabilitation assignment next week.