Rockies Score In 10th; Drop Dodgers 7-6

DENVER, Colorado-- The Dodgers flew into Denver having taking two of three from the Cubs but limped away from Coors Field after the hottest team in the N.L. West swept the three game series, scoring in the 10th Sunday to win 7-6. Jose Cruz knocked in a pair of runs in the fourth and Jeff Kent erased a 6-2 Denver lead with his 13th career grand slam and his second this season. Edwin Jackson pitched better than the results show but left the game trailing by four.

Jackson, making his 15th major league start and his third since being recalled from Jacksonville, sailed through the first eight Rockie batters but was tagged for two runs in each the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Jose Cruz tied the game in the fourth with a two-run single and Kent knocked in his 93 run of the season with his jackpot shot in the seventh but in between the Dodgers left nine on base against a pitching staff that ranks last in the National League and 29th of 32 major league teams.

But having said that, the Rockies are the hottest team in the marshmallow NL West, recording a 40-46 record since June 1. San Francisco is second with a 39-46 record, San Diego third (35-49), the Dodgers fourth (35-50) and Arizona last with a 31-55 record.

The remainder of the Dodgers' schedule will be against teams in the division. San Diego leads San Francisco by 6 1/2 games, Los Angeles by seven and Arizona by eight. Colorado, hot or not, is 14 games out of it.

Jackson finished the afternoon with two out in the fifth inning, having allowed seven hits and six runs. Steve Schmoll had a perfect sixth, Elmer Dessens worked two scoreless innings before Duaner Sanchez took over in the ninth, threw a zero then allowed a run in the 10th to lose.

Two defensive mistakes, neither of which appeared as an error in the scorebook, cost Jackson and the Dodgers four runs, two each in the third and fourth innings.

Misfortune hit Jackson in the last of the third after he had registered a pair of strikeouts to open the inning. Rockies pitcher Zach Day hit a ground ball into left field for a single and Clint Barmes the lofted a soft single over Antonio Perez's head for another single.

Cory Sullivan connected on a long fly to center field and apparently Jayson Werth forgot he was in Coors Field and was playing very shallow. The ball cleared his head by 30 feet and rolled to the wall in center field. Both runners scored and Sullivan ended up at third with a semi-gift triple.

Los Angeles knotted the score in the fourth when Olmedo Saenz, after booming a shot onto the walkway in left field -- foul -- shot a single to left. Jason Phillips hit a ball that nearly made the Rockies bullpen but he settled for a double. Jose Cruz rolled a ball into right field for a two-run single. Werth beat out an infield hit to the shortstop and after a wild pitch moved both runners up, Jose Valentin was intentionally walked.

Jackson, was so talented with the bat as on mound when he was drafted No. 6 in 2001 that the Dodgers puzzled over where they would use him. He had collected his first major league hit in the third inning when his shot bounced off the third base bag, holding him to a single. This time he left the bases loaded when he flew harmlessly to left.

Cruz, who made a sparkling catch in the third inning, lost a high pop in the sun and it dropped just a foot foul. Jackson then walked Todd Holliday and with two out, he walked J.D. Closser. Rookie Omar Quintsanilla made the Dodgers pay for the misplayed pop and lining his first major league double into left field to give Colorado a 4-2 lead.

Matt Holliday made the costly mistakes academic in the fifth inning when he lined Jackson's 94th pitch into the left field seats with Sullivan on base with a walk and the Rockies extended their lead to 6-2.

Jackson was finished for the afternoon, having allowed seven hits, six runs all "earned" and had struck out three. Rookie Steve Schmoll took over and worked a scoreless sixth inning.

The Dodgers mounted a rally in the seventh. Jose Valentin walked and was forced at second by pinch-hitter Hee Seop Choi. Antonio Perez singled off pitcher Jamie Wright -- literally -- and Robles shot a ball into center to load the bases.

Jeff Kent shocked the Colorado crowd when he lined a ball 378 feet into the first row of the left-field seats for a grand slam home run to tie the game. It was his 25th home run, his 13th career grand slam -- the all-time leader for second basemen -- and his second this season. His 85 runs batted in by a Los Angeles second baseman this season (93 total) passed the record 83 set by Charlie Neal in the Dodger championship year of 1959.

The Dodger eighth inning was a microcosm of the season. With one out, Werth walked and Jose Valentin boomed a shot into the crease in center field, the deepest part of the park, but Cory Sullivan ran it down some 400+ feet in center field. After Dioner Navarro singled to right, pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee duplicated Valentin's shot, only to right-center and Sullivan ran that one down also, again 400+ feet from the plate.

The ninth inning was even more vexing for the Dodgers. Kent singled with one out and Saenz hit a smash that the second baseman fumbled -- but it rolled right to the shortstop and he completed a 4-6-3 double play.

Sullivan came back to haunt the Dodgers in the last of the 10th, smacking a double into the right field corner leading off. Todd Helton's nine-game hitting streak against the Dodgers ended with an intentional walk. Holliday, who had homered in the sixth, struck out. Brad Hawpe, hitless in four trips, went 3-2 against Duaner Sanchez and then smashed a shot into right center to win the game and give the Rockies a three-game sweep.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Rockies announced that 3,600 fans purchased game-day tickets to raise more than $50,000 for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund. …Elmer Dessens come on strong in late August and early September and has allowed only one earned run in his last nine appearances, a span of 15.1 innings that adds up to an ERA of about a half a run a game. He followed 2 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday night with another 2 1/3 Sunday and has lowered his season earned run average to 2.77, lowest on the team. …J.D. Drew (broken left wrist) took 60 swings Saturday, including 40 "dry" swings to work up to full speed and 20 swings off the batting tee. …Cesar Izturis (sprained lower back) has been throwing the ball the last few days. He increased his activity to running on the treadmill Saturday. He is eligible to return from the DL on Wednesday, but Tracy called the situation "day-to-day," dependent, in part, on how he handles swinging the bat. …Odalis Perez (strained right oblique muscle) threw catch on flat ground for the third consecutive day. Ricky Ledee was out of the lineup but pinch-hit Sunday and drove the ball to deep left field. …Derek Lowe (9-13, 3.91 ERA) will start the series opener against San Francisco Monday night.