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Bradley's RBI hit in the ninth wins it

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Dodgers have rallied 50 times to win this
season. Their latest comeback provided some breathing room in the
NL West.

Milton Bradley singled home the winning run in the ninth inning
and Adrian Beltre hit a grand slam to help Los Angeles defeat the
Colorado Rockies 8-7 Monday night. The Dodgers increased their
division lead to three games over idle San Francisco with six
remaining.

"It's not meant to be," Beltre said. "You have to earn it."

Beltre leads the major leagues with 48 home runs, tying Hall of
Famer Mike Schmidt's record for third basemen set in 1980 with
Philadelphia.

"He's never been a guy who could really carry a team on his
back or change the complexion of a game until this year," Colorado
starter Shawn Estes said. "He's one of those guys that you're
walking with first and third and one out, like we did tonight. In
the past, if you made a good pitch, you could make him hit a
groundball or pop it up to the infield or something. But he's
locked in this year."

The Dodgers won in their last at-bat for the 23rd time this
season.

"We've won games like this all season long," manager Jim Tracy
said. "If you're going to do things like that you have to have
step-up, clutch performances."

Steve Reed (3-8) gave up one-out singles to Jayson Werth and
Steve Finley in the ninth, putting runners at the corners. Beltre
was intentionally walked and the Rockies pulled their infield in,
but Bradley slapped a hard grounder past second baseman Aaron
Miles' glove to score Werth.

Bradley came to the plate believing he would win the game.

"I don't believe in destiny, just play hard and the best team
wins," he said. "It would just be devastating to lose a game like
that."

Yhency Brazoban (4-1) earned the win by retiring one batter,
Vinny Castilla. The Dodgers used seven pitchers.

"That's usually the way those storied seasons go," Colorado
manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's a reshuffled bullpen they have
and they no-hit us the last five innings. They're doing the things
you need to do to put you in the postseason."

Colorado's Brian Fuentes relieved Estes to start the eighth and
allowed three consecutive hits without getting an out.

"Fuentes has been our best pitcher in the eighth inning the
past two years, but he's had back-to-back poor outings," Hurdle
said.

Shawn Green had a run-scoring single, and the Dodgers tied it at
7 when Bradley came home on pinch-hitter Robin Ventura's slow RBI
groundout to the right of the mound against Reed.

"I'd already struck out three times, so I was just trying to
battle," Green said. "It's definitely pretty incredible to come
back 50 times in a season. This team has a lot of heart. It took a
lot of guys coming up big."

Castilla and Brad Hawpe homered for the Rockies. Todd Helton
went 3-for-5 with three RBI.

Estes allowed five runs and six hits in seven innings, struck
out a season-high nine and walked four. He retired 16 of 17 batters
after giving up Beltre's slam with two outs in the second.

Helton's ground-rule double off the right-field wall gave
Colorado a 2-0 lead in the first against Edwin Jackson. Estes
struck out Green to escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the
inning.

"I was a little over-amped, a bit too much adrenaline, I
guess," Estes said. "We knew the implications and where the
Dodgers stand."

The Dodgers scored five runs in the second to take a 5-2 lead.
Cesar Izturis had an RBI single before Beltre hit a 1-0 pitch into
the left-field pavilion for his third slam of the season. The crowd
of 36,958 was on its feet chanting "MVP! MVP!" as Beltre circled
the bases.

"Tonight would be classified as total team effort," Tracy
said. "We used an awful lot of resources."

Castilla hit a two-run homer on the first pitch from Jackson in
the third, cutting it to 5-4.

The Rockies batted around in the fourth and scored three runs to
take a 7-5 lead. Hawpe homered on Jackson's first pitch. Estes hit
a ground-rule double and scored on Miles' RBI single. Helton drove
in Miles with a double down the right-field line.

Jackson, who hasn't won since July 8, gave up six runs and eight
hits in 3 1-3 innings.

Game notes
Beltre's grand slam was the fifth of his career and ninth
by the Dodgers this season, tying the club record set in 2000. ...
Beltre has 374 total bases, breaking the Los Angeles record of 370
by Green in 2001 and giving Beltre the third-most in franchise
history. ... Homers by Castilla and Hawpe made the Rockies the
first franchise in NL history to have six seasons of at least 200
homers. They also did so in 1995, '96, '97, '99 and 2001. ...
Colorado SS Royce Clayton had two singles to tie his career high of
155 hits set in 1993 with San Francisco. ... "American Idol"
reject William Hung, famous for his tone-deaf version of Ricky
Martin's hit "She Bangs," threw out the ceremonial first pitch on
Chinese American Night. Hung's toss from the rubber landed in the
dirt.