DENVER (AP) -- Putting together another late-inning rally should
do nothing but help Colorado's confidence.
Doing it against baseball's best bullpen certainly will.
Aaron Miles hit a tiebreaking single off Guillermo Mota in the
eighth inning and Jeromy Burnitz homered in his sixth straight home
game to tie a team record, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 5-4
victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
"It's good because we know we can do it and it's good because
they know we can do it," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
With the score tied at 4, Burnitz started off the winning rally
against Mota (8-4) with a two-out double off the wall in
left-center. Charles Johnson followed by fouling off three pitches
to draw a walk, then pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney walked to load the
Miles knocked in the go-ahead run five pitches later, punching a
single between third base and shortstop for Colorado's fifth win in
six games and the 500th in franchise history.
This against a Dodgers bullpen that had allowed 16 earned runs
in its previous 86 2-3 innings.
"You don't like to go to their bullpen, but we were right there
with them," said Miles, who was 3-for-5 with two RBI. "They
cracked, we didn't."
Steve Reed (2-2) allowed a run and two hits in two innings to
pick up the win. Los Angeles had a runner on second with one out
after shortstop Royce Clayton's fielding error in the ninth, but
Shawn Chacon got the final two outs for his 23rd save in 30
It was just one of many chances the NL West-leading Dodgers
failed to capitalize on.
Adrian Beltre hit his 29th homer and Olmedo Saenz hit a two-run
shot, but Los Angeles failed to score with the bases loaded and no
outs in the fourth inning and stranded 12 runners overall to lose
consecutive games for the first time since June 25-26.
"We had some opportunities," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
"The big hit is the one we've not been able to get the last two
Rockies starter Jeff Fassero had something to do with it.
The left-hander gave up at least one hit in each inning, but got
through most of the trouble. He pulled his best recovery act in the
fourth inning, when he got a double play and a groundout after the
Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs.
Fassero still felt like he had something left when Hurdle came
to get him with two on and two outs in the sixth inning, and he
responded by throwing the ball into his glove several times before
handing it over.
It probably didn't help that Cesar Izturis tied the game at 3
against reliever Travis Driskill on a dribbler that somehow stayed
fair down the first-base line.
"I had two outs in the sixth and let two guys get on base,"
said Fassero, who made his 650th career appearance. "I'm
disappointed about that, I cost myself a chance to get a win."
But Los Angeles' lead didn't last long.
Burnitz put the Rockies back up in the bottom half with a solo
homer to right off Jose Lima, his eighth in 10 games and 26th
overall. He joined Dante Bichette (1995) as the only Colorado
players to hit six homers in six consecutive home games and became
the fifth to hit 10 homers in a month.
"He's on fire," Hurdle said.
Lima didn't come out for the seventh inning after giving up four
runs on nine hits. Beltre at least let him go out with the score
tied, leading off the top half with his seventh homer in 13 games
since the All-Star break.
It wasn't much of a comfort to Lima, who was irritated with
himself after walking three.
"Anytime you walk somebody here, 99 percent (of the time) it's
like a giving up a leadoff double," Lima said. "This is a tough
place to pitch -- (walk) one here and one goes up the middle and
they always score."
Colorado got a run in the first inning on Vinny Castilla's RBI
single up the middle, then Saenz put the Dodgers ahead in the third
with a two-run homer that cleared the bleachers in left.
The Rockies tied it in the fourth when Fassero faked a sacrifice
and punched a run-scoring single up the middle, then went ahead on
Miles' RBI single two pitches later.
Fassero was thrown out by right fielder Shawn Green trying to go
from first to third on Miles' hit. The crowd appreciated the
41-year-old's effort, giving him a standing ovation as he left the
field, but Hurdle had his doubts if it was worth getting tired
"He got a little too involved in the offense there in the
fourth inning and that always seems to take a little out of our
guys," Hurdle said. "But it's hard to keep them from doing it."
Both teams took batting practice indoors because of storms
that moved through the area two hours before the game. The grounds
crew had trouble securing the tarp because of high winds before the
storm, spending about 20 minutes trying to keep it from blowing
into the stands. ... Castilla finished 1-for-3 to extend his
hitting streak to 11 games. ... Rockies RHP Jason Jennings had a
pinch-hit single off Lima in the sixth inning. LHP Shawn Estes
replaced him as a pinch-runner.