Four Homers Dump Cardinals

The Dodgers used four home runs to stop the Cardinal pennant rush and not so incidentally pick up a full game on the Giants in the process. Jayson Werth, Shawn Green, Adrian Beltré and Steve Finley got the big shots with Finley's breaking a 5-5 tie. Giovanni Carrara earned the win in relief of struggling Kaz Ishii and Eric Gagné picked up his 39th save over the final 1.2 innings.

In front of a sellout crowd of 54,119 at Dodger Stadium saw Ishii give up four runs on four hits before leaving with one out in the third. He walked one, hit one and gave up a long home run.

Shawn Green and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back homers in the second inning off St. Louis starter Jason Marquis to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead but Ishii gave it back before leaving in a 4-2 hole.

Beltré then hit his league-leading 45th homer in the third with two on to the Dodgers a 5-4 edge, trotting around the bases as fans chanted "M-V-P." Beltré has 106 runs batted in, four fewer than Ron Cey's franchise record for third basemen set in 1977.

After the Cardinals tied the game 5-5, Finley added another clutch performance, hitting a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh. The center fielder, hitless in 12 at-bats against St. Louis last weekend, connected for his 32nd homer and third in two nights.

Gagné, the Dodgers' sixth pitcher, worked the final 1.2 innings to earn his 39th save in 41 opportunities, and angered the Cardinals in the eighth when he threw a scuffed ball out of play. In bit of gamesmanship, St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa, who stopped play to apparently ask an umpire whether time had been called after Gagné threw a ball into the Dodger dugout.

After retiring the side, Gagné rolled the ball toward La Russa after taking the feed from first baseman Green, and La Russa spoke with to the plate umpire about Gagné's action, then threw the ball back toward the Dodger dugout.

Milton Bradley then threw the ball back toward La Russa, the Cardinals threw it back toward the Dodger dugout and afteer being tossed back and forth for a while it was finally tossed to a fan behind the dugout.

Gagné gave up a two-out, solo homer to Reggie Sanders in the ninth, but struck out a pinch-hitter to nail down the victory for Giovanni Carrara (5-2) and end the 3-hour 13-minute game.

The Dodgers (82-58) increased their lead to six games (seven in the loss column) over second-place San Francisco. The Padres beat Colorado and remain nine back in the loss column.

Dodger Blue Notes--Star-crossed Darren Dreifort's damaged hip was so bad the surgeon said Dreifort was lucky to be walking let alone pitching on it. Removed were 15 loose bodies and a big spur which produced the pain Dreifort felt while trying to pitch. He is expected to be sidelined up to eight months it is doubtful he will be ready by the start of Spring Training. Once the hip is somewhat healed, Dreifort will undergo arthroscopic surgery to mend a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The knee surgery would make a total of 10 for Dreifort, who also has had two Tommy John surgeries and four arthroscopic knee procedures to remove damaged cartilage. This article will be the only print, voice or televised media report of the operation that will not add for the 10,000th time how much Dreifort will receive next year in the final year of his contract. ... Brad Penny had what Tracy termed "a light throw" and will throw a session in the bullpen Saturday, his third off a mound this week. Manager Jim Tracy said he could pitch in the fall Instructional League before the Dodgers would consider giving him a spot in the rotation. Penny has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 because of a strained right biceps and it's possible he might not be ready until the postseason. ... Tracy set his rotation for the Dodgers' three-game series against the San Diego Padres next week. Left-hander Odalis Perez will start Monday, with righty Jose Lima going Tuesday and lefty Kazuhisa Ishii starting Wednesday.