A Bradley Keys a Grand Comeback

Dodger fans in attendance at Dodger Stadium Friday night suffered an emotional rollercoaster ride, delighted with a 2-0 lead Jeff Weaver had crafted going into the eighth inning, crushed when he allowed the Braves a grand slam to fall behind 4-2, then estatic when Milton Bradley duplicated his four-run shot in the bottom of the same inning to key a 7-4 win. After a shot in the second, Bradley duplicated the difficult feat of homering from both sides of the plate for the second time this season.

Jeff Weaver made one mistake, making a pitch too fat with a 2-0 lead and the bases-loaded to Dodger minor leaguer Andy LaRoche's big brother Adam, and he launched it out of the park, giving Atlanta a seemingly devastating 4-2 lead.

But before the packed house of 53,589 stunned fans could collect their thoughts, Milton Bradley slammed a grand slam in the bottom of the inning to hand the Dodgers a much-needed win in the first game of a long home stand after the disappointing series loss in St. Louis.

Suddenly, the come-from-behind tradition of 2004 had reappeared.

Bradley also hit a solo shot in the fourth to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. The eighth-inning jackpot hit and was the third grand slam of Bradley's career and marked the second time this season that Bradley had homered from both sides of the plate in the same game.

Bradley was called back out of the dugout to take a bow by the celebrating Dodger fans before Hee-Seop Choi lined a pinch-hit RBI single to give the Dodgers a three-run lead. Giovanni Carrara (4-0) got one out in the eighth in relief of Weaver and was credited with the win when Yhency Brazoban nailed it down with a perfect ninth for his 11th save.

Weaver didn't allow a hit until the sixth and had allowed only three hits over seven shutout innings, but the 2-0 lead slipped away on a leadoff single, a one-out double and a walk loaded the bases before Weaver got a second strikeout and the sellout crowd breathed a sigh of relief.

But it was premature.

With LaRoche, a left-handed hitter, coming to the plate and Weaver's pitch count at 114, the Dodgers decided to give him a chance to finish the inning but LaRoche's bomb to center field finished Weaver instead.

Carrara got what looked like a 'too-little, too late' out but it gave him his fourth victory just as suddenly in the last of the inning

In the bottom of the eighth, Cesar Izturis and pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee hit consecutive one-out singles J.D. Drew then slapped a routine ground ball to LaRoche at first. He looked at second, decided not to throw, then couldn't get to first in time to beat the hustling Drew to load the bases.

The Dodgers' top RBI man, Jeff Kent, then popped to shallow left field and Izturis held at third. Then came Bradley and there went the ball deep into the right field pavilion.

Weaver was nearly perfect through four, sailing through the Braves and fanning four of the first 11. However a walk ended the perfect game dream and a double quelled any thoughts of a no-hitter. The Braves collected consecutive singles with one out in the seventh, but a pair of gentle fly balls ended that threat.

The Dodgers maintained their one-game lead over the Diamondbacks, holding a two-run margin in the loss column over both the DBacks and Padres and a three-game cushion over the Giants.

Dodger Blue Notes--Eric Gagne will be activated today and, since he has not dropped his appeal of a two-game suspension by the commissioner's office, will be eligible to pitch immediately. He worked two perfect innings in his final rehab with Las Vegas and is ready to roll. The Dodgers will probably shed a reliever to make room for Gagne on the 25-man roster. The club is reluctant to shed D.J. Houlton since he is a Rule V draft pick and must be offered back to Houston if cut. Houston will welcome him with open arms. The other option is rookie Steve Schmoll who can be optioned to Las Vegas. While Gagne was on the disabled list, Yhency Brazoban rang up 11 saves in a dozen opportunities, but will return to his regular eighth-inning setup role. … Jayson Werth (broken wrist) is still hurting and took a second consecutive day off from his rehab assignment in Las Vegas because of pain in the wrist. Werth, who joined Las Vegas last week, has two hits in 17 at-bats. … Hee-Seop Choi was 10-for-20 at-bats during the recently road trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis, since he has one hit in seven at-bats against lefties this season, manager Jim Tracy holds him out when a lefthander opposes the Dodgers. … Antonio Perez will be eligible to return from his rehab assignment ends May 18, giving the Dodgers another choice at third base and running their total to six (Jose Valentin, Norihiro Nakamura, Mike Edwards, Olmedo Saenz and Oscar Robles) at the left corner of the infield. … Los Angeles has three more games against the tough Braves and then host the nearly as tough Marlins and the first-place Angels in the current homestand. The Dodgers will go to southpaw Odalis Perez (4-3, 4.50) against Braves lefty Mike Hampton (4-1, 2.05) today.

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