Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Dodgers leads 1-0 (as of 5/15)

Game 1: Monday, May 15
LA Dodgers5Final
Game 2: Tuesday, May 16
LA Dodgers1Final
Game 3: Wednesday, May 17
LA Dodgers3Final

Dodgers 5

(20-19, 10-9 away)

Rockies 4

(21-18, 9-9 home)

    8:35 PM ET, May 15, 2006

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 010001300 5 9 1
    COL 110000101 4 6 0

    W: B. Tomko (5-1)

    L: R. Ramirez (2-1)

    S: T. Saito (1)

    Streaking Nomar delivers Dodgers' win over Rockies 

    DENVER (AP) -- Right-hander Brett Tomko had never seen home plate quite so up-close.

    Nomar Garciaparra singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, scoring Tomko, whose headfirst slide was the highlight of the evening as he won for the first time at Colorado's ballpark when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Rockies 5-4 Monday night.

    Short Hops
    Nomar Garciaparra's bat speed is back, and so are the hitting skills that seemed to erode the last couple of seasons.

    To read more of Short Hops from Monday, click here.

    "I don't know when the last time I did a headfirst slide, it might have been softball in college," Tomko said. "It might have been instinct to get away from the ball."

    Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single off rookie Ramon Ramirez, who hadn't given up a run in his first 15 1/3 innings covering 11 appearances but allowed three runs in just 1/3 of an inning.

    "He's going to give up some runs in the big leagues sooner or later. Tonight just happened to be the night," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said.

    Ramirez was philosophical about the end to the longest scoreless streak by a Rockies reliever to being a major league career.

    "It's just a game and tonight wasn't my night," said Ramirez, whose ERA jumped to 1.72.

    Ramirez (2-1) replaced starter Josh Fogg to start the seventh and issued a leadoff walk to Tomko. Rafael Furcal followed with a single and one out later, Garciaparra singled to right and Tomko scored to break a 2-all tie when Brad Hawpe's throw pulled Danny Ardoin off the plate just enough to miss the tag.

    "It's fun to get dirty sometimes," Tomko said. "I don't know about a headfirst slide. I'll probably get reprimanded, but you've got to do what you've got to do."

    Ray King came in and surrendered a two-run double to J.D. Drew that made it 5-2.

    Tomko (5-1) allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and one walk in seven innings.

    He had lost his previous four decisions in downtown Denver's spacious ballpark and got off to a rough start again, allowing an unearned run in the first and an RBI double to Clint Barmes in the second before settling down and retiring 15 straight batters before Hawpe's ninth homer cut LA's lead to 5-3 in the seventh.

    Takashi Saito pitched the final two innings, giving up Matt Holliday's 11th homer in the ninth before finishing up for his first career save.

    Dodgers manager Grady Little said he was going to use both Saito and Danys Baez in closing situations until Eric Gagne returns to the bullpen later this month.

    Jeff Kent added three doubles as the Dodgers (20-19) moved above .500 for the first time since April 10.

    Garciaparra, who signed with Los Angeles during the offseason, strained his right side during the Dodgers' final spring training game and was put on the disabled list. Since his return, he's knocked in 23 runs in 21 games, and during his hitting streak, he he's batting .443 (19 for 43) and has 14 RBI and the Dodgers are 8-2.

    "I'm happy to be playing. I'm happy to where I'm at. Happy to be with this club," Garciaparra said. "That's the way it is."

    Although the former All-Star shortstop is playing first base for the first time in his major league career, he's the only first baseman in the National League with at least 100 chances who hasn't committed an error.

    He did, however, bobble a foul ball off the Barmes' bat in the fourth that fell into the Rockies' dugout.

    Fogg had trouble finding the plate, throwing 46 strikes and 47 balls. He allowed Jose Cruz Jr.'s second homer of the season, a solo shot in the second, then allowed Kent's double down the left-field line that scored Garciaparra to tie it at 2-all in the sixth.

    The Rockies scored an unearned run in the first. Saenz overthrew first base on a groundball to third by Luis Gonzalez, who ended up at second and scored on Garrett Atkins' single that barely eluded shortstop Furcal.

    "I laughed about it a little because that's this place," Tomko said. "I've seen some crazy stuff happen here."

    And sliding headfirst into home plate topped them all.

    Game notes

    Kent's only other three-double game of his career came on Sept. 18, 1998, against the Dodgers while he was with the Giants. ... Rockies RHP Jose Mesa pitched a scoreless eighth, giving him 20 career scoreless innings against Los Angeles, the only team which hasn't scored on him.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press