Dodgers clinch on Finley's Rainbow

In the wild tradition of the storied Dodgers-Giants rivalry, Steve Finley's walk-off grand slam capped a unbelievable seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth and Los Angeles won the NL West, beating San Francisco 7-3. The win moved the Dodgers into the postseason for the first time since 1996 and was the first division title since 1995. Trailing 3-0 into the last of the ninth, Los Angeles used three walks, a pair of singles, a Giants error and Finley's historic homer to nail the NLW pennant.

Held to two singles over the first seven innings and four singles moving into the last of the ninth, Dodger late game lightening struck again, just four days after scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Colorado 5-4, it happened again in the most important game of the season.

Giants starter Brett Tomko blanked the Dodgers on four hits for 7.1 innings. Former Dodger Marquis Grissom homered and drove in all three runs for the Giants. He banged a two-out, two-run single off Elmer Dessens in the fourth to break a scoreless tie and homered in the seventh.

Dessens, starting for Edwin Jackson who was scratched because of back spasms, retired nine straight Giants before Bonds drew a four-pitch walk with one out in the fourth. J.T. Snow singled and A.J. Pierzynski walked to load the bases. Grissom then lined a two-RBI single.

Trailing 3-0 into the magic ninth, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out on a single by Shawn Green and two walks by Dustin Hermanson to Robin Ventura and Jose Hernandez. Hee-Seop Choi walked with the bases loaded to force in the first Dodgers run.

Jason Christiansen came on to pitch to Cesar Izturis who hit a grounder that shortstop Cody Ransom, just inserted into the field for defensive purposes, muffed for an error, allowing Ventura to score. Jayson Werth followed with a soft, two-strike single off former Dodger Matt Herges to tie it at 3.

Finley then lined a shot into the right-field seats off another former Dodger minor leaguer, Wayne Franklin, and the 39-year-old outfielder was mobbed at the plate by his teammates as the sellout crowd of 54,594 went wild. It was the Dodgers' league-leading 53rd comeback triumph of the year, setting an new franchise record.

Yhency Brazoban (6-2), sixth Dodger pitcher, worked one inning for the win. Dessens, who made his first start in 2 1/2 months, was relieved by Wilson Alvarez after allowing three hits and two runs in four innings. Duaner Sanchez, Mike Venafro and Giovanni Carrara followed.

The Dodgers opponents in the first round is not known, although they will open on the road.

The painful loss left the Giants in difficult position. The only way Barry Bonds and Co. can make it into the postseason is if Houston loses its last games at home against Colorado Sunday.