Dodgers Finally Shake Pesky Rockies, Win Finale

The Dodgers must have reacted in the eighth inning, trailing 5-3, much like the film when Butch Cassedy turned to the Sundance Kid and said, "Who are those guys and what do they want?" Those "guys" had a 4-11 record when the Dodgers arrived and went by the names of Aaron Miles, Matt Holiday, Brad Hawpe and J.D. Closser and they all came within a couple of innings of sweeping the once-sizzling Dodgers who came into Denver with a 12-3 record.

After the battle in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, the Dodgers had to score six in the eighth to get out of town with a single win in the three-game series by an 8-6 margin.

Colorado collected 39 hits in 111 trips to the plate (.351) during the series, and outscored the Dodgers 23-17. Los Angeles hit .317 in beautiful Coors Field, although Dodger pitchers man not describe it that way.

Brad Penny made his fourth start in Dodger Blue and his first of the 2005 season, working a strong five innings only to leave after back-to-back singles in the sixth. Duaner Sanchez took over with a 3-2 lead and was hit hard, allowing three more runs.

Milton Bradley banged out four hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice. Olmedo Saenz had two RBI as did Jason Phillips. Bradley boosted his average to .362. Saenz, playing first base, slipped to .429 after going 1-for-4. Jeff Kent left Colorado hitting .362 and both Cesar Izturis and Jason Phillips have .333 averages as the team returns to warmer temperatures for a nine-game home stand.

Kent' fly ball knocked in Izturis, who had singled, in the first inning for a 1-0 lead but Colorado nicked Penny for a two-run homer in the last of the inning.

Kent singled and Bradley doubled in the sixth and both scored on flies hit by Saenz and Phillips, taking a 3-2 lead.

Penny allowed two hits and left in the last of the sixth, handing the ball to Sanchez. He promptly gave up a game-tying triple and a single and just as quickly Los Angeles trailed 5-3.

The big eighth inning started with both J.D. Drew and Kent getting hit by a pitch. That made four in the game, Jason Repko taking two shots in consecutive at-bats.

Bradley doubled inside first base, cutting the deficit to 5-4 and Sanenz dropped a single into right to tie the score. Phillips doubled for one run and Nori Nakamura single to right, knocking in his first two Dodger runs and suddenly L.A. led 8-5.

Giovanni Carrara (3-0), who took over for Sanchez, worked a scoreless inning, then allowed a run in the last of the eighth but Yhency Brazoban arrived from the bullpen and crafted a 1-2-3 innings for his third save and the game. Dodger Blue Notes--When Jose was hit by a pitch Saturday night he thought it had broken his wrist. It was only a contusion and Norihiro Nakamura started at third base Sunday. … Rookie outfielder Jason Repko is 1-for-13 lull since going 3-for-4 with a homer in the first game of the trip.…To make room for Brad Penny on the roster, pitcher Elmer Dessens was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder soreness. … Tracy said closer Eric Gagne did not throw Sunday, would play catch Monday and is close to begin throwing off a mound. … The 16 stranded runners left by the Dodgers on Saturday night was one short of the franchise record for a nine-inning game, but the overall record is 25 in a 12-inning game against Atlanta in 1990.