Rockin' Robin to the Rescue

Saturday night saw yet another player step forward to boost the club. Robin Ventura's two-run pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning keyed a three-run rally that gave them their fifth straight win after Guillermo Mota (7-3) had a rare bad game. The 37-year-old Ventura's second homer of the season, a shot that sailed deep into the Arizona night, made him the hero de jour on a club beset by injuries but who have seemingly found a way to win.

Rockin' Robin to the rescue It was their fifth consecutive victory (51-38), their 11th in their past 12 games and 10th in 12 meetings with the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers remained 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Francisco in the National League West and set the stage for a four-game sweep over Arizona.

The Dodgers' got a two-run single by Jason Grabowski in the top of the eighth, his seventh pinch-hit in 33 at-bats, to tie the score at 4-4, then fell behind by two runs, when Mota allowed a walk and consecutive doubles that broke his streak of 14 scoreless innings.

Alex Cora was hit by a pitch to begin the ninth. A limping Adrian Beltré, who had entered defensively in the sixth, slugged a double, cutting the deficit to 6-5. Cesar Izturis popped out on a sacrifice attempt before Ventura's shot.

"I realize what I do and where I'm at in my career. I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying the guys I play with, and I'm enjoying who I play for, and that's important. That's something that helps me do this. I'm trying to be the best I can. That's all I can do."--Robin Ventura.

Eric Gagné allowed a single but struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to record his 25th save of the season.

Odalis Perez came off the disabled list after developing tendinitis in his left rotator cuff to make his first start since June 26. He allowed nine hits and four runs, only one earned and left after 71 pitches.

He was given a 2-0 lead when first baseman Olmedo Saenz dropped a pop single down the right-field line. Jayson Werth doubled him home, then stole third and scored on Cora's sacrifice fly.

Arizona answered with four runs, three of them unearned after Saenz error in the bottom of the third.

The Dodgers tied the game 4-4 a run in the fifth when Werth led off with a walk and later scored when Cesar Izturis singled.

In the eighth Milton Bradley was hit in the back of the head by a fastball. Chin-Feng Chen ran for him and Jason Grabowski lined a single to right that scored Chen to tie the game at 4-4.

Behind again, 6-4, in the ninth, Cora was hit by a pitch and scored on Beltré's double. Izturis was unable to bunt Beltré to third but Ventura made that academic with his game-winner.

Every Dodger position player except catcher David Ross saw action in the win. Six of them scored and six drove in a run.

Dodger Blue Notes--Saenz's fielding error was the Dodgers' seventh in 34 games and only their major league-best 36th overall. ... Bradley had a rough game, getting hit twice in four at-bats. ... Paul Lo Duca has had a bad series, going 2-for-13 and striking out four times after striking out just 23 times in 78 previous games. ... Beltré, batting .315 and leading the team with 22 home runs and 56 runs batted in, didn't start but finished the game 2-for-2 after entering the contest defensively, singling in the seventh and doubling in the ninth. ... The Dodgers put rookie starter Edwin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right forearm. ... Bradley made his first start against a left-handed pitcher since June 21, when shoulder soreness made him bat right-handed . ... Juan Encarnacion is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday and he took batting practice with the club for the first time before Saturday's game. ... Outfielder Jeffrey Larish, the Dodgers' 13th-round selection in last month's amateur draft, decided not to sign with the club and to returned to Arizona State University for his senior season.