Saenz Pinch-Hit Singles gives L.A. 11th Strai

There is no truth to the rumor that the Dodgers will activate Steve Garvey and Ron Cey before tonight's game. But one might be forgiven for thinking that way when 40-year-old Greg Maddux allowed the Rockies two runs in six innings and 35-year-old Olmedo Saenz got the key hit in a two-run seventh that boosted the Dodgers to a 4-2 win over Colorado by a 4-2 margin and their 11th consecutive win.

Greg Maddux, making his first home start after arriving from Chicago in a deal for shortstop Cesar Izturis, destroyed all thoughts of a repeat no-hit bit when he gave up five hits to the leadoff batters in the first and second inning. But when you are Hall of Fame material, you know they pay off on runs, not hits.

Maddux scattered seven hits. Twelve of his 18 outs came on groundballs and only two runners crossed the plate during his watch. A Tuesday night crowd of 50,210 at Dodger Stadium came to see him do just that.

He allowed only a single run in the second and another in the fourth, leaving the game after seven strong innings but trailing 2-1.

Maddux began by giving up consecutive hits to Jamey Carroll and Todd Helton, who was batting second for the first time in more than seven years in an attempt by manager Clint Hurdle to jump-start the Rockies' offense.

But Maddux got Garrett Atkins to hit an easy double-play grounder to shortstop Rafael Furcal, and Holliday then struck out, stranding Carroll on third base.

Rafael Furcal, who has become a force in the Dodger attack, started the crucial double play and slugged his seventh home run leading off in the last of the first.

The 1-0 lead disappeared quickly in the second when Hawpe opened with a double and scored on a single by Torrealba.

Maddux then retired the next six in a row, but ran in the fourth, a leadoff single and stolen base by Holliday and another RBI single by Torrealba drove in the run. Maddux left after six innings, allowing seven hits and two runs.

Then trailing 2-1, Wilson Betemit tied the score at two each with a solo homer to lead off the seventh after a scoreless inning by reliever Brett Tomko. Betemit finished with a 3-for-4 night.

Russell Martin followed Betemit's homer with a single and his eighth base before James Loney lined out to shortstop Clint Barmes who made a spectacular, leaping catch.

With one out Saenz stepped hit for Brett Tomko and dumped a two-strike single into shallow left field, just in front of a charging Matt Holliday. Martin scored easily with the eventual winning run.

"After I got to two strikes, I just didn't want to overswing," Saenz said. "I just wanted to hit a little line drive to bring the guy in from second base."

The hit was doubly sweet with six of Saenz family members who had traveled all the way from Panama in the stands watching the remarkable veteran who can play first and third base and who is a premier pinch-hitter, is now batting .293 off the bench and .306 overall.

Andre Ethier added yet more points to his Rookie of the Year credentials with a clutch run-scoring single that scored Julio Lugo in the eighth, giving the Dodgers a crucial insurance run.

The suddenly extra-effective bullpen took over after Maddux left, with Tomko (7-6) earning his first win in relief.

Jonathan Broxton worked shutout eighth, blowing a 97-mph fastball by Yorvit Torrealba to end the inning after Brad Hawpe's double put runners on second and third with two outs.

Then in the ninth, Takashi Saito struck out Cory Sullivan and Jorge Piedra consecutively to end the game and get his 12th save in as many opportunities this season.

The surging Dodgers (58-55) fashioned their first 11-game winning streak since 1993 and moved within a half-game of division-leading San Diego in the National League West, after dropping into fifth place and trailing 7 1/2 games on July 26. .
  Score by innings
Colorado 010 100 000-2
Dodgers  100 000 21x-4

  Dodgers    ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS    4 1 1 1 .283
Lofton, CF    2 0 0 0 .304
 Broxton, P   0 0 0 0 .000
 Lugo, PH-2B  0 1 0 0 .300
Drew, RF      4 0 1 0 .279
Kent, 2B      3 0 0 1 .266
 Saito, P     0 0 0 0 .000
Ethier, LF    4 0 1 1 .349
Betemit, 3B   4 1 3 1 .285
Martin, C     3 1 1 0 .304
Loney, 1B     2 0 1 1 .274
Maddux, P     2 0 1 0 .106
 Tomko, P     0 0 0 0 .120
 Saenz, PH    1 0 1 1 .306
 Repko, PR-CF 0 0 0 0 .281
   Totals    29 4 10 4
   Rockies   33 2  8 2

  HR- Furcal (7), Betemit 
(12). RBI- Furcal (43), 
Betemit (35), Saenz (43), 
Ethier (46). LOB- Los 
Angeles 5, Colorado 7. 
SB- Martin (8), Betemit 
(3), Loney (1). CS- Repko 
(3), Kent (1). DP- (Furcal 
and Loney).

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Maddux        6.0 7 2 2 1 2 0 4.43
Tomko (7-6)   1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 4.87
Broxton       1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 2.92
Saito (sv 12) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.29
  T- 2:45. Att- 50,210.
Dodger Blue Notes-- James Loney was not returned to Las Vegas when Nomar Garciaparra was activated from the disabled list and the rookie who was leading the Pacific Coast League with a .372 average with 57 RBI in 86 games when he was recalled July 29, was kept as insurance. In addition, Loney has spent time during batting practice taking flyballs in the outfield, where he occasionally played during his minor-league career and where Little plans to use him some during the final two months of the season. Since he was recalled on July 29, Loney has been hitting at a .350+ clip. He has two doubles and two triples in nine games with limited starts. He has bumped his season average to .274. With outfielder Ricky Ledee having been claimed off waivers by the New York Mets, Loney also will replace Ledee as the Dodgers' primary left-handed bat off the bench. …With Jeff Kent returning to second base on Tuesday, Julio Lugo was out of the starting lineup for the first time in eight games since the Dodgers acquired him from Tampa Bay on July 31. Kent's return has left Lugo without a position, although Little said he also plans to use Lugo in the outfield and at third base. …Derek Lowe goes for his 10th win of the season tonight against Colorado in the third game of a four-game series. Jason Jennings starts for the Rockies.

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