Hey, Ma, Look Who's In First Place!

The Dodgers pulled one out of their hat, or in this case, out of the dugout to score twice in the ninth and edge Colorado 6-5. Pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz doubled, Russell Martin doubled and pinch-hitter Sandy Alomar singled in the winner. Takaski Saito allowed a single in the ninth but got Todd Helton on a ground ball to end the game. Derek Lowe weakened in the sixth but left with a 5-3 lead.

The Dodgers moved into sole possession of first place in the National League West with the win.
  The standings:

  N.L. West      w-l    pct   gb
Los Angeles     35-28  .556   --  
Arizona         34-29  .540  1.0 
San Diego       32-31  .508  3.0 
San Francisco   32-31  .508  3.0 
Colorado        30-32  .484  4.5
Los Angeles drew first blood in the opening inning after Jose Cruz doubled with one out. With two out, Matt Kemp fouled a ball off his foot and hopped around for a time before being attended to by the trainer. He proved himself well on the next pitch, launching a shot into the left-field seats that was estimated to be 442 feet.

Starter Derek Lowe had a tough outing opening day, but since then has gone 5-2, 1.99, the second best ERA among all pitchers in baseball with 50 innings or more and had allowed a .223 batting average.

Colorado was less than impressed, whacking him for three hits in the first inning, including a double, and cutting the Dodger lead to 2-1. Only a double play saved further damage.

Kemp added his sixth homer of the season and recorded his first multi-homer major league game in the fourth, slamming this one 428 feet into the left field seats.

Willy Aybar added a double off the right field wall and Andre Ethier dropped a single into right field. When Ramon Martinez bounced a broken-bat grounder to second, Aybar scored and L.A. bumped their lead to 4-1.

Lowe rolled into the sixth inning without further trouble but a walk and a one-out single was preceeded by a long smash off the right-center field wall by Garrett Atkins that scored them both and the Dodger bullpen started to stir. With two out he issued his second walk. Little waived Jonathan Broxton into the game and with one pitch he got a ground ball to end the inning.

The three earned runs Lowe allowed equalled the total he gave up in his last four games -- all wins.

Broxton, registering 98-99 on the Coors Field gun, gave up a two-out double and Todd Helton straightened out a 1-2 slider and rammed it into the right-center field seats. Matt Hollday banged a double off the right field wall but Broxton came back with the same slider and stuck out Garrett Atkins looking to end the innning.

Jose Mesa, who shut the Dodgers down Saturday night, fanning three in 1.1 innnings, took over in the eighth. He pitched a scoreless inning, working around a walk to Kemp. He ended Nomar Garciaparra's 13-game hitting streak and 33-game on-base streak.

Danys Baez worked a 1-2-3 eighth and it all came down to the ninth for the Dodger with Arizona, San Diego and San Francisco all having lost.

Joel Guzman pinch hit for Baez leading off the ninth. He faced Brian Fuentes who had converted 13 straight opportunities and 30 of his last 31 save opportunities. Guzman went 3-1, then flew to left, Olmedo Saenz hit for Martinez and went 3-1 and lined a ball into the left field corner, just beating the throw for a double.

Russell Martin, 0-for-2 with a walk, drove a shot down the left field line that was fair by inches, Saenz scoring to tie the game. Sandy Alomar hit for Lofton and on an 0-2 pitch, grounded a ball just inside the first base bag to score Martin and put the Dodgers in the lead. Furcal and Cruz flew to left to end the innings with Los Angeles up 7-6.

"Sammy" Saito came in to save the win for Baez and fanned pinch-hitter Jorge Piedra and leadoff man Jamey Carroll. Cory Sullivan singled to left and that man -- Todd Helton -- came up again. But this time he hit a gentle grounder to second base and the Dodgers had remarkable win.

Gagne Watch-- Dodgers closer Eric Gagne is hoping medication will alleviate the pain he feels in his surgically repaired right elbow whenever he tries to throw. Manager Grady Little said club officials aren't quite ready to place Gagne on the 15-day disabled list, a move that would sideline him until at least June 22. "He's still not good enough to throw," Little said. "That's a few days down the road. But we're not going to make any moves now. The bullpen is well-rested, and we have plenty of people, so we're going to wait as long as we can to see if he is able to throw and get back into the game." Gagne has appeared in a total of 16 games since the start of last season.
  Score by innings
Los Angeles 200 200 002-6
Colorado    100 002 200-5

  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      5 0 0 0 .252
Cruz rf        4 1 1 0 .242
Garciaparra 1b 4 0 0 0 .358
Kemp cf-lf     3 2 2 3 .366
Aybar 3b       3 1 1 0 .303
Ethier lf      3 0 2 0 .315
  Broxton p    0 0 0 0 .000
  Baez         0 0 0 0 .000
  Guzman ph-lf 1 0 0 0 .211
Martinez 2b    3 0 0 1 .347
  Saenz ph-3b  1 1 1 1 .295
Martin c       3 0 1 1 .294
Lowe p         2 0 0 0 .067
  Lofton cf    1 0 1 0 .322
  Alomar ph    1 0 1 1 .367
  Saito p      0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals    34 6 10 6
    Rockies   37 5 12 4

  2B hits- Cruz (11), Aybar 
(9), Saenz (10), Martin (7). 
HR- Kemp 3 (6).  RBI- Kemp 
3 (15), Marinez (12), Martin 
(24), Alomar (9). LOB- Los 
Angeles 5, Colorado 7.

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Lowe         5.2 8  3-3  2 3 2.83 
Broxton      1.1 3  2-2  0 2 2.95
Baez (w,4-3) 1.0 0  0-0  0 0 3.62
Saito (sv 4) 1.0 0  0-0  0 0 1.99
  T_ 2:57. Att- 29,221.
Sign here, please-- Nine players from the draft class of 2006 have signed, including No. 2 Bryan Morris for an estimated $1.3 million. Others include No. 3 Preston Mattingly, No. 5 Kyle Smit, No. 11 Justin Fuller, No. 17 Michael Rivera, No. 18 Joe Jones, son of Dodger scout Hank Jones, No. 21 Matt Brezay, No. 24 John Martin and No. 25 Estaban Lopez.

Happy Birthday-- Yhency Brazoban is 26 and Odalis Perez is 29 today.

Martin Steamy-- Rookie catcher went into the final game of the Colorado series with a seven-game hitting streak, during which time he has his .387 (12-for-31). He had his first four-RBI game Saturday and has thrown out seven of 16 runners attempting to steal off him,

Red-Hot Kids-- Rookies Willy Aybar, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Joel Guzman and Russell Martin have combined t hit .300 (100-for-337) with 14 homers and 72 RBI in 111 games. Combined with reliver Jonathan Broxton (2.25, 26 strikeouts in 18 games), they average exactly 22 years old. With only 30 games under his belt, Martin's 23 runs batted in ranks seventh among N.L. rookies. Ethier (.303) and Aybar (.302) are third and fourth among rookies.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Little said outfielder Jason Repko aggravated his injured left ankle during a workout Friday and will be out at least another month. Repko had yet to be cleared to do any baseball activities in his workout but swelling returned after Friday's "little setback," Little said. Repko has been out since May 10. "It's a bad injury, that high ankle sprain," Little said. "You can't rush back from it." …Take away the Dodgers' top two starters, Brad Penny and Derek Lowe, and the rest of the rotation (Tomko, Jae Seo, Odalis Perez and Aaron Sele) is 0-6 in nine starts over that time with a whopping 9.92 ERA. A starter other than Penny or Lowe hasn't gotten a victory since Sele on May 24 against the Rockies. … Jason Repko, who has been on the 15-day disabled list for the past month with a high left ankle sprain, on Friday suffered what Little called a setback, but trainer Stan Johnston called it nothing more than a negative reaction to increased activity as part of Repko's rehabilitation program. … Right fielder J.D. Drew suffered a bruised right quadriceps when Rockies second baseman Jamey Carroll accidentally kneed him as Drew slid in with a double in the fourth inning Saturday. He stayed in the game through the sixth, at which time he had singled, doubled, tripled and hit a sacrifice fly. He sat out the Sunday game.

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