Lowe, Dodgers maintain wild-card lead with win vs. Rockies

DENVER (AP) -- Big and ugly is how the Los Angeles Dodgers
described their latest win over the Colorado Rockies.

Derek Lowe won his seventh straight decision despite a shaky
outing and the Dodgers held onto their lead in the NL wild-card
race by overcoming a three-run deficit for a 6-4 victory on
Wednesday night.

"Right now it doesn't matter how we win, only that we win,"
center fielder Kenny Lofton said after helping the Dodgers stay one
game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies, who beat Washington 8-7 in
14 innings.

The not-so-stylish Dodgers also pulled within one game of NL
West-leading San Diego, which lost to St. Louis 4-2.

"Still, our No. 1 goal is to win our division," said Lowe
(16-8), who got the win despite scuffling through six innings and
getting roughed up for four earned runs and 10 hits.

Lowe said he won't look back with any regrets on his performance
because at Coors Field, outfielders play deep and fly balls that
are outs at other ballparks fall in for hits here, and the runners
often take the extra base.

"This is the only place where I try to go into the game and all
I think about trying to stay in the game longer than the other
starting pitcher," he said. "It doesn't matter what the score is
because runs are going to be scored here.

"It was an exceptionally good win because of the time of the
year it came."

Jonathan Broxton pitched two hitless innings of relief and
Takashi Saito pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.

The Dodgers fell behind 4-1 entering the sixth with Rockies
right-hander Aaron Cook (9-15) in command. But J.D. Drew's two-run
triple put Los Angeles within striking distance, and the Dodgers
scored three times in the seventh to secure their 14th win in 18
games against Colorado this season.

"They have been like this (against) us all year," Rockies
first baseman Todd Helton said. "They get the clutch hits, and
they did all the little things to win ballgames, and that is why
they are in the race right now and we're not."

Andre Ethier, pinch hitting for Lowe, tied it at 4 with a
run-scoring single, and a bad throw by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki
allowed Wilson Betemit to score the go-ahead run. Jeff Kent
followed with a run-scoring double.

Rafael Furcal and Lofton each hit potential double-play ground
balls during the three-run inning but beat the relay.

"Those were the keys to the whole inning," Los Angeles manager
Grady Little said. "I tell you, the hustle that we got out of some
baserunners kept us right in there for a chance at a couple of big
hits, and that was the difference."

Cook allowed six earned runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings but
felt good about his outing.

"There is a whole different level of energy when someone is in
the playoff race and the position they are in," Cook said. "They
are just going to fight and scratch the whole game to try and pull
out a win, and they were able to do it tonight."

Betemit gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead with a 437-foot homer into
the second deck in right-center field above the bullpens in the

The Rockies erased that deficit in the fourth when Helton
singled home a run and Matt Holliday scored when Brad Hawpe
grounded into a double play.

They added two runs in the fifth, thanks in part to a balk by

Jeff Salazar, who reached on a one-out single, was balked to
second just before Garrett Atkins grounded a double down the
left-field line, allowing Salazar to score. Holliday followed with
an RBI-single.

Dodgers shortstop Nomar Garciaparra tied his season high with
three hits despite a sore side muscle and a sore quadriceps, which
limited him to a single when he hit a ball off the wall in the
first inning. Little said he probably won't start Garciaparra
against the Rockies on Thursday. Garciaparra said he'll be ready to
pinch hit, however.

Little said that because Lowe was limited to 90 pitches, he will
pitch on three days' rest Sunday at San Francisco if the Dodgers
need to win that day to wrap up a playoff berth.

"If the Dodgers played us all the time, they probably would win
the World Series this year," Cook said.

Game notes
Lowe, who has one win in relief, hasn't lost since Aug. 9,
against Colorado. ... The only other team to beat Colorado 14 times
in one season was Arizona in 2002. ... Drew's triple gave him a
career-high 95 RBI.