Dodgers 5, Rockies 4

Preview | Box Score | Recap

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Milton Bradley snapped. Then, aided by the horrendous Colorado Rockies’ bullpen, the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off perhaps their most improbable victory of the season.

Steve Finley’s two-run single capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning that gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday night, enabling them to lower magic number for winning the NL West championship to three. They lead San Francisco by three games with five remaining.

“It’s the most unbelievable comeback I’ve ever been a part of in the close to 30 years that I’ve been in the game,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “I really don’t have words to express what I just witnessed.”

Colorado’s Vinny Castilla did.

“Unbelievable. Pitchers couldn’t throw strikes,” he said. “If you can’t win this game, what game can you win? It’s unbelievable.”

The Rockies led 4-0 entering the ninth thanks mainly to the three-hit pitching of Jamey Wright and three relievers and a two-run error by Bradley that led to the Los Angeles outfielder’s ejection.

Shawn Chacon struck out Olmedo Saenz to start the ninth, but walked Alex Cora, pinch-hitters Robin Ventura and Jose Hernandez, and Cesar Izturis to force in a run.

Tim Harikkala (6-6) relieved and gave up a two-run double to Jayson Werth and Finley’s single, a grounder between first and second.

“My mechanics were messed up,” a disconsolate Chacon said. “I don’t know what it was. This one hurts.”

Elmer Dessens (2-6), who retired the Rockies in order in the top of the ninth, was the winner.

Bradley was thrown out of the game after a fan threw a plastic bottle at him following his two-out error and subsequent RBI single by Brad Hawpe that capped a three-run, eighth-inning rally by the Rockies.

Bradley couldn’t handle pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney’s liner with the bases loaded, allowing two runs to score and giving the Rockies a 3-0 lead.

Bradley, whose temper led the Cleveland Indians to trade him to the Dodgers before the season, picked up the bottle, left his position and angrily approached the stands—appearing to yell at a fan. He then slammed the bottle into the front row of the stands.

Several Dodgers players came out to right field and tried to calm down Bradley, who was arguing with umpire Jim Joyce and was ejected.

As Bradley walked from right field to the Dodgers’ dugout, he took his jersey and hat off. With the crowd behind the dugout booing, Bradley gestured with palms up, urging the fans on.

The game was delayed for about four minutes.

“Needless to say, the incident is unfortunate,” team spokesman Gary Miereanu said after the game. “We will have further comment once we have ascertained the facts.”

Bradley was suspended for four games earlier this season following a temper tantrum in which he threw a bag of balls on the field after being ejected.

The umpires refused comment after the game.

“It’s a very unfortunate thing,” Tracy said. “Obviously, Milton let his emotions get the best of him tonight, and I feel terrible about that. I think that fans—our fans, anyone’s fans—they pay money to come to the game. And jeering and getting on you is a part of it. We’ve all been a part of that. That’s part of the game. Unfortunately, he allowed his emotions to spill over on the other side of the wall, and that’s something you can’t let happen.”

Regarding a possible suspension by major league baseball, Tracy said it was out of his control. And the manager said he didn’t want to speak immediately concerning possible disciplinary action by the team.

“There’s no excuse for either side,” Finley said. “I guarantee you, nobody feels worse about this than Milton.”

Bradley was unavailable for comment.

“He’s a passionate guy,” Finley said. “He got a tough ball in the lights — I saw it coming. The fans were all over him. Somebody threw a bottle at him. That’s inexcusable.”

Rookie Garrett Atkins gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead by hitting a two-out, RBI single off Kazuhisa Ishii in the first. Ishii pitched six hitless innings after that.

The Rockies loaded the bases in the eighth off relievers Duaner Sanchez, Mike Venafro and Giovanni Carrara, who pitched to Sweeney and Hawpe.

Five of the first eight Los Angeles batters reached base before Wright settled down, retiring the next 10. Izturis broke the string by drawing a one-out walk in the fifth, but Wright picked him off first.

Before being lifted for a pinch hitter, Ishii gave up two hits while walking four and striking out nine—one below his career high.

After hitting Hawpe to start the second, he retired 18 of the next 21 batters—nine on strikes.


Ishii had struggled in his previous three starts, allowing 10 hits, 11 earned runs and 11 walks in 10 2-3 innings. … The Dodgers lead the NL with 51 comeback wins—second-most in franchise history. The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers had 52 come-from-behind victories. … Adrian Beltre’s 63 multihit games rank third in the NL and are the most by a Los Angeles player since Steve Sax had 64 in 1986.

Related Articles