Ethier's Walkoff Homer Crumbles Rockies

Andre Ethier likes to play baseball but when the games run too long, he simply drives in a late-inning run and everyone can go home. When his two-run home run in the 13th inning gave L.A. a 4-2 win over Colorado it was his fourth walkoff in 2009 and seventh over the last two seasons.

It took a little doing, lining the stars up just right, and before they got the right combination they left the potential winning run on base five times after the seventh inning until Ethier closed up the shop with the Dodgers ninth walk-off hit of the season.

"I can't believe we did it again," said Ethier, who hit three home runs last Friday against Seattle. "It's about having fun and enjoying the moment. In a situation like that, you can see the energy going into the situation and one swing can end the game. I've just been trying to learn to balance that energy."

Until then it was the "Night of the Pitcher" with both teams scoring twice in the fifth inning, starting Randy Wolf collecting both RBIs on a two-out, two-strike single.

The win gave the Dodgers a 49-28 record and they maintained a seven game lead over the Giants, who beat St. Louis 10-0, and an 8.5 spread over Colorado who came into the game having won 20 of their last 24 games for manager Jim Tracy.

The Dodgers, coming off series losses to the White Sox and Seattle in their final two interleague series, are the only team in the majors that hasn't lost three a row.

James McDonald (2-1), the eighth Dodgers pitcher, struck out two in his single, perfect inning for the win and Los Angeles improved to 9-1 against Colorado this season. The Rockies slid to 0-4 in extra-innings and are the only major league without a win after regulation play.

The winning run scored off the sixth Rockies pitcher Joel Peralta (0-1), who had run his scoreless streak to 11 innings. Casey Blake opened the inning with a single before Ethier, on a 1-2 count, slugged his shot into the right field pavilion for his team-leading 15th home run and 14th at Dodger Stadium.

"It was a tough night," manager Joe Torre said. "Juan Pierre (who had three hits) tried to do it himself. He was just trying to will himself around the bases. We had some ugly swings, but you have to give them credit. Their bullpen was as good as our bullpen."

Wolf, who finished with his 11th no-decision of the season, worked the first six innings and allowed four hits and two runs. The left-hander has allowed 15 home runs in 102.1 innings.

The seven relievers who paraded in from the bullpen surrendered two hits over the next seven innings and held the Rockies scoreless and struck out 11.

Throwing one scoreless inning each, Ronald Belisario, Ramon Troncoso, Jonathan Broxton, Jeff Weaver (who allowed a single and a double but wriggled out of the mess), Brent Leach, Guillermo Mota and McDonald provided iron-clad relief work.

Randy Wolf and Ubaldo Jimenez each allowed a single hit over the first four innings before Brad Hawpe singled with one out and Ryan Spilborghs drove a shot deep into the left-center field seats.

The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a bit of good fortune.

Ethier struck out to open the inning and Matt Kemp ripped a single up the middle for Los Angeles' second hit of the game. After James Loney flew to right field, Kemp stole his 19th base.

Colorado walked Russell Martin intentionally to pitch to Wolf. "Iannetta [the Colorado catcher] was trying to call timeout so I started to step out, and I realized that the umpire wasn't calling timeout and that Iannetta wasn't ready, so I [lifted my arm] and Jimenez stopped, which is a balk," Wolf said.

Then Wolf ripped his third hit of the season into right field and both runners scored. It was Wolf's fifth run batted in.

The Rockies threatened only once more. With Weaver on the mound in the 10th, Spilborghs doubled and Chris Iannetta singled but the veteran struck out the side and Colorado didn't get another hit during the long evening.

The game continued in a 2-2 tie until Either unknotted it.

Loney and Martin singled in the seventh, Pierre walked and stole second in the eighth, Ethier led off the ninth with a double and Loney walked, Pierre singled, was bunted to second and stole third and Blake walked in the 10th and Pierre beat out a bunt and stole second with one out in the 12th but he Dodgers were 1-for-9 (Wolf collecting that hit) with runners in scoring position and overall left 10 on base.

With the win, the Dodgers also improved to 7-2 in extra-inning games, including a 6-1 mark at Dodger Stadium.

Tonight, in a battle of aces, RHP Chad Billingsley (9-3, 3.10 ERA) and RHP Jason Marquis (9-5, 4.22 ERA) could again make it a tough night on the batters.

However, Billingsley let a lead get away from him in his two previous starts while looking for his 10th win of the season. Marquis was pounded by the Angels on Wednesday, giving up seven earned runs in 3.1 innings. Marquis is 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 10 games against the Dodgers.

  Score by Innings
Colorado 	000 020 000 000 0-2
Los Angeles	000 020 000 000 2-4

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
pierre lf	5  0  3  0  .329
Furcal ss	5  0  0  0  .241
Hudson 2b	6  0  0  0  .297
Blake 3b	5  1  1  0  .291
Ethier rf	6  1  2  2  .263
Kemp cf	        5  1  1  0  .309
Loney 1b	4  0  1  0  .277
Martin c	4  1  1  0  .247
Wolf p	        2  0  1  2  .100
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	1  0  0  0  .261
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Ausmus ph	1  0  0  0  .260
 Weaver p	0  0  0  0  .143
 Leach p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Mota p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 MJones ph	1  0  0  0  .308
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
  Totals  	45  4 10  4
  Colorado	45  2  6  2

  Error- Loney (3). 2B- Ethier (16).
HR- Ethier (15), RBI- Wolf 2 (5),
Ethier 2 (52). S- Furcal. LOB- Los
Angeles 10, Colorado 6. SB- Pierre 3
(21),Kemp (19), DP- Blake unassisted.

  Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Wolf	        6.0  4  2-2  1  4  3.61
Belisario	1.0  0  0-0  0  2  1.97
Troncoso	1.0  0  0-0  1  1  1.98
Broxton	        1.0  0  0-0  0  3  2.21
Weaver 	        1.0  2  0-0  0  3  3.58
Leach 	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  3.31
Mota	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  4.24
McDonald (2-1)	1.0  0  0-0  0  2  5.55
Dodger Blue Notes-- Rumors have it that the Dodgers are interested in the Seattle Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn, a left-hander who could help the rotation. Washburn has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his 14 starts this season and reports he likes Dodger Stadium. "It's a great park and there's always a big crowd and the team's winning, so that would be good," Washburn, a friend of Doug Mientkiewicz, said before the Mariner-Dodgers series at Dodger Stadium. The former Angel is 4-5 with a 3.22 earned-run average. ...Reliever Will Ohman's left elbow has tendinitis and he will rest and be reevaluated. ...Eric Stults, on the disabled list because of a thumb injury, gave up one run in three innings Thursday during his first rehabilitation start for Inland Empire and did himself one better last night by limiting Rancho Cucamonga to a pair of hits and an unearned run in 4.1 innings. . ...Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, who has been sidelined since early May because of a strained elbow, could soon pitch in the rookie Arizona League. ...The Dodgers will celebrate Independence Day early with Fireworks Night at Dodger Stadium tonight. ... Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt celebrated his 55th birthday.