Gagné Blows Save, Gets Standing Ovation

The streak ended, not with a bang but with a dribbler. Eric Gagné's 677-day odyssey came to a close when Arizona scored twice in the ninth inning to tie the game 5-5. The Diamondbacks were the team that handed him the blown save that started the streak nearly two years before. But although his record run ended, the Dodgers fought back to score the winning run in the 10th inning on a long fly ball off the bat of Shawn Green.

Their sixth win in eight games pulled the Dodgers to within one game of first-place San Diego and one-half game behind San Francisco but the win seemed to take a back seat to Gagné, who received a standing ovation and a curtain call from the Dodger Stadium crowd after the inning ended.

Gagné gave up a pair of runs to turn a 'certain' 5-3 win into a tie. He allowed three straight hits, two of them on 0-and-2 pitches and the tying run scored on a little mouse that ran through the right side of the infield, eluding the diving Olmedo Saenz at first and Alex Cora at second.

"It was amazing -- one of the best times I've had in baseball. We got a win, so I don't care. There's a smile on my face because we won. I never really thought about the streak. I think about wins. I'm anxious to start another one. I was real lucky for a long time. They got hits. It happens. You have to give them credit.""--Eric Gagné who had a 0.82 earned-run average and 141 strikeouts in 87.2 innings during the streak.

The ninth started with a Gagné trademark strikeout but a single and a double on 0-2 breaking balls scored the first run. Chad Tracy then bounced an 0-2 changeup to the right side and neither Saenz nor Cora could reach it.

Gagné then retired the final two hitters of the inning on ground balls and 32,929 fans in Dodger Stadium crowd demanded and received a curtain call from Gagné, who waved his cap and was hugged by teammates in the dugout.

Gagné's last blown save came against Arizona on Aug. 26, 2002 with two out in the ninth inning of a game the Dodgers eventually lost in 12 innings, 6-3.

This time the Dodgers fought back to win. They loaded the bases in the 10th and Green won it with a fly to the warning track in center to score Dave Roberts, who opened the inning with a single.

Green's fly gave Giovanni Carrara (1-0) his first win of the year, and he had to earn it. He inherited runners on second and third with one out from Tom Martin in the 10th, then got the next two batters to end the threat.

Wilson Alvarez saw a win go down the drain with the little hopper to the right side in the ninth. Alvarez gave up a three-run homer but worked six-quality innings in an emergency start filling in for Hideo Nomo.

Despite the absence of Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnacion, who were out with injuries, the Dodgers cut the lead to 3-2 on Milton Bradley's homer in the third and Saenz banged a pinch-hit, three-run shot (his second pinch-hit homer of the season) in the sixth for a 5-3 Dodger lead.

--Dodger Blue Notes--An MRI exam of Edwin Jackson's pitching elbow did not reveal structural damage, and the right-hander is scheduled to make his next start Thursday against Houston. Jackson said his elbow felt fine after playing catch. ... Hideo Nomo is scheduled to begin tossing lightly this week, but Tracy insisted Nomo would not return from the disabled list soon. Nomo won't be back in the rotation until the Dodgers see that his velocity and command have improved, Tracy said. ... Right fielder Juan Encarnacion did not play in his second consecutive game because of soreness in his left shoulder. Although Encarnacion is batting only .240, he is second on the team with 12 home runs and 41 runs batted in. ... Catcher Paul Lo Duca sat out Monday's game against Arizona because of soreness on his left hip.

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