Green's Shot Brings Back Dodgers

In the spring the whispers grew louder until they were no longer muted. It was obvious, they said, Shawn Green is no longer a premier player. Oh, he'll produce some small hits now and then. But the long ball? Forget it, he just doesn't swing that way any more.

Coming back from a bad shoulder has taken Green over two seasons. Return he has, though. Oh, he may never hit those record-setting 49 dingers anymore but in the midst of a struggle for a division title, he has once more emerged as the force of the team.

Adrain Beltre contributed to the luster that has produced the chant of "MVP" every time he comes to the plate- at least, at home. Green , who bats behind him the order, may not get any votes for that honer; however, he looked the part in the ninth inning at Coors Field Sunday afternoon when he followed a Beltre strikeout with a two-run blast into the seats that gave LA a 7-6 win in a struggle that the Rockies earlier had seemed sure to win. The victory kept the Dodgers 2 1/2 in front of the Giants, who also won.

Edwin Jackson got the start in place of Jose Lima, unable to go because of an injured thumb , and looked sharp for four innings, yielding only a solo home run to Jeromy Burnitz (his 36th). Alas, for the Dodgers , he came unraveled in the fitth as four runs crossed. When he issued a walk with the bases loaded, his day was done. And so ,it seemed at the time were the Dodgers for they hadn't scored until then.

They came on in the seventh , thanks to a two-out double by Beltre with the bases loaded that brought them to within two. That rip gave Beltre 111 ribbies on the season and counting.

In the eighth, a Milton Bradlley jack (his 18th) brought them within one and before the inning was done, a Robin Ventura sac fly knotted matters. But the Rockies counted one against Yhency Brazeban in the eighth before Green's shot settled matters., giving LA their second comeback from a five-run deficit in the series as they took two of three in Denver.

The Dodgers now take a day off before heading to San Diego for three ,followed by three in San Francisco.