Gagne strikes out Diamondbacks' side for save

PHOENIX (AP) -- When the Los Angeles bullpen had a rare letdown,
Robin Ventura was ready with some run support.

Ventura hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning,
lifting the Dodgers to a 7-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on
Saturday night.

"I was just trying to get a good pitch," said Ventura, a
16-year veteran relegated to spot duty. "Hitting a home run, I
don't think is something you try to do. If you put a good swing on
it, it'll go, but I would have been just as happy with a double."

Adrian Beltre had an RBI double earlier in the inning off Mike
Koplove, who hit two batters, walked one and gave up three runs
while getting just one out.

Koplove was pulled after Beltre's hit. Brian Bruney (2-3)
relieved and got an out before allowing the homer to Ventura.

Eric Gagne struck out the side around a single in the ninth for
his 25th save in 26 chances as the Dodgers won for the 14th time in
17 games.

The Arizona bullpen blew two saves, ruining a strong effort by
starter Casey Fossum and a comeback keyed by Juan Brito's
tiebreaking double in the eighth.

Brito drove the ball into center off Guillermo Mota with one out
after Mota (7-3) walked Alex Cintron to lead off. Luis Terrero also
had an RBI double to give Arizona a 6-4 lead.

In the Dodgers eighth, Koplove came in with two outs, hit Milton
Bradley in the helmet -- knocking him out of the game -- and walked
Shawn Green to set up pinch-hitter Jason Grabowski's run-scoring
single that tied it 4-all.

"A big base hit off the bench in the eighth inning by Grabowski
to tie the game," manager Jim Tracy said. "They score two off of
Mota, and then the other guy, Beltre, off the bench with the two
base hits and then the Ventura home run. You can't say enough about
the job those guys have done."

Koplove called Bradley to apologize after the game.

"I'm sure he felt bad enough, especially when they lost the
ballgame," Bradley said. "I'm kind of glad it happened. We got
the win."

Koplove, Arizona's third closer this season after injuries to
Matt Mantei and Jose Valverde, refused to blame his shakiness on
hitting Bradley.

"I've hit people before -- never in the head -- but I usually
don't let that bother me," Koplove said. "I was just wild."

Earlier, Shea Hillenbrand's two-run homer gave the Diamondbacks
a 4-2 lead. Quinton McCracken and Tim Olson had RBI doubles for
Arizona, which lost its sixth straight and nine of 10.

Manager Al Pedrique, who fell to 2-11 since replacing Bob
Brenly, said it was his most discouraging loss.

"Any time you go in the ninth inning with a two-run lead, that
should be in the bank," Pedrique said.

Fossum worked 6 2-3 strong innings, allowing three runs on five
hits and striking out five in his longest outing since working
seven for the Red Sox in a 5-2 win at Anaheim on April 25, 2003.

Odalis Perez returned to the Dodgers rotation for the first time
since developing tendinitis in his left rotator cuff during a start
against Anaheim on June 26. He went five innings, allowing nine
hits and four runs -- only one earned.

The Dodgers got an RBI single from Cesar Izturis in the fifth to
get to 4-3.

Arizona, which has the worst record in the majors at 31-61,
played like it while giving up two runs in the second.

Olmedo Saenz popped up in short right field with one out, but
second baseman Scott Hairston overran the ball while calling off
first baseman Hillenbrand, and it dropped for a single.

Jayson Werth followed with an RBI double, stole third and scored
on a sacrifice fly by Alex Cora.

But the Diamondbacks scored on back-to-back doubles by Cintron
and Olson in the second, then took a 4-2 lead in the third while
nearly knocking out two position players.

Fossum, leading off, hit a weak grounder to third but jammed
Saenz's glove hand at first, knocking the ball loose after a throw
from Hernandez. Saenz, who was charged with an error, rubbed his
wrist but stayed in the game.

Fossum scored from first on McCracken's double to center, where
Bradley was shaken up diving for the ball, and Hillenbrand added
his 416-foot shot into the left-field seats.

Game notes
Saenz's fielding error was the Dodgers' seventh in 34 games
and only their major league-best 36th overall. ... Bradley had a
rough game, getting hit twice in four at-bats along with his tumble
in the field. ... Dodgers C Paul Lo Duca has had a bad series in
Phoenix, going 2-for-12 and striking out four times after striking
out just 23 times in 78 previous games.