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Dodgers explode late for fifth straight win

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Nothing appears to be able to stop the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After sitting in last place and a season-high 9 1/2 games out of first on June 22, the Dodgers have gone on a tear to take over first place in the National League West, and they are winning in all ways imaginable. Los Angeles routed the Toronto Blue Jays and scored a season-high 14 runs in Monday's opener, and a night later the club prevailed after playing from behind for the majority of the contest.

The Dodgers, who remain unbeaten since the All-Star break, overcame a five-run deficit to win their fifth consecutive game and beat the Blue Jays 10-9 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Trailing 8-3 after six innings, the Dodgers (52-47) scored three in the seventh and tacked on four in the eighth to take their first lead of the game. The Dodgers have won nine consecutive road games, and 22 of their last 27 overall.

"You don't feel great down 8-3, but you also know you've got three or four innings and we've been throwing up big innings," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We feel capable. We're never really out of it."

Adrian Gonzalez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth, his team-leading 15th home run of the season, and Andre Ethier added a solo home run, his seventh of the year, two batters later to provide the insurance. Gonzalez and Ethier were two of five Dodgers with multi-hit games.

Jerry Hairston Jr. also went deep for Los Angeles in a game that saw six balls leave the yard.

"You don't have to sit here and dwell on what happened," said Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. "They hit some home runs and beat us."

All four runs in the eighth were charged to Blue Jays reliever Darren Oliver (3-2), who took the loss. Toronto's bullpen allowed seven runs in the game, the most they have surrendered since a May 8 contest against the Rays.

The Blue Jays, who have dropped a season-high six games in a row, lost for the first time this season when trailing after seven innings. Toronto, which is 0-5 on its current 10-game homestand, has lost four consecutive series.

"It's definitely not how we drew it up, but that's why you have to play the game on the field," Oliver said about the Blue Jays' season. "We definitely have to turn it around so we can enjoy the last two and a half months."

Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis, who went 2-for-5, said Rogers Centre has a reputation as one of the game's best-hitting parks, and the Dodgers have proved as much over the first two games of the series. Los Angeles has scored 24 runs on 29 hits in back-to-back victories.

"This place is right there with Colorado and Texas, you're never out of the game," Ellis said.

Bautista, Mark DeRosa, and Jose Reyes each homered for the Blue Jays (45-54), who are a season-high 14 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East.

Todd Redmond, making his third start of the season for the Blue Jays, went a career-high 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits with six strikeouts.

Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (3-7) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, surrendering five runs and seven hits while walking one and striking out two.

Capuano has allowed at least five earned runs in six of his 12 starts this season.

Reliever Carlos Marmol, making his Dodgers debut, did not fare much better. Marmol allowed three runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings, but four Dodgers relievers combined to throw three innings of one-run ball after him.

Kenley Jansen allowed one run in the ninth but got Brett Lawrie to fly out with two on to post his 12th save of the year. Brandon League (4-3) was the winning pitcher.

Blue Jays reliever Juan Perez, who pitched a clean ninth, has worked 22 scoreless innings to start his Blue Jays career, a franchise record.

NOTES: CF Matt Kemp (left ankle sprain) was held out of the Dodgers' lineup for the second consecutive game. He is unlikely to play at all during the three-game set in Toronto. ... The Dodgers selected Marmol's contract from Double-A Chattanooga and placed RHP Jose Dominquez (left quad strain) on the 15-day disabled list to make room on the active roster. Marmol was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on July 2. ... The Blue Jays unveiled a statue of late owner Ted Rogers outside of the Rogers Centre before Tuesday's game. Rogers, who died in December 2008, became the sole owner of the Blue Jays in 2003.
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