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Dodgers work late-inning magic, pull out victory

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The magic continues.

Trailing by two runs in the ninth inning against the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers got a two-run home run from pinch hitter Andre Ethier, then beat the New York Mets 5-4 on Adrian Gonzalez's RBI double in the 12th inning.

Yasiel Puig started the game-winning rally in the 12th inning with a grounder up the middle that glanced off the glove of Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla. The deflection allowed Puig to turn the single into a double, as he easily beat the throw from center fielder Juan Lagares.

Gonzalez stroked the next pitch from losing pitcher Pedro Feliciano (0-1) down the left field line to give the Dodgers their eighth win in a row and their the 40th in their past 48 games.

"That was pretty awesome." Gonzalez said. "When a runner's at second base, it's huge. I was just looking for a fastball, and I got a hold of it."

It was the sixth walk-off win this year for the Dodgers, who maintained a 7 1/2-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.

"This is a great homestand," Gonzalez said. "Start it with a walk-off, finish it with a walk-off, and win in between every game."

The first walk-off victory Gonzalez referred to was a 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday, when he scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on an error. Los Angeles swept three-game series against the Rays and the Mets.

Regarding the latest win, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, "Crazy ballgame."

Mets pitchers smothered the Dodgers up until the ninth inning. Starter Dillon Gee gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings. He was relieved by Scott Rice, who pitched two perfect innings before giving way to LaTroy Hawkins.

Mark Ellis walked to open the Dodgers' ninth, and one out later Ethier homered off Hawkins, the Mets' de facto closer with Bobby Parnell on the disabled list. The right-hander hung a pitch to the left-handed hitter, and all of a sudden the game was tied thanks to Ethier's eighth homer of the season.

Ethier was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive night while dealing with soreness in his left calf. On Tuesday, he was examined for a possible blood clot.

On Wednesday, Ethier was healthy enough to take a fastball away over the fence to give the Dodgers a chance.

"I know I hit it well, but here at night, especially opposite, not too many lefties hit balls out that way too often," Ethier said.

Paco Rodriguez (3-2) threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win, capping a run of seven shutout innings by five Los Angeles relievers.

New York blew a 4-0 lead by allowing two runs in the sixth inning and the two on Ethier's blast.

The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Andrew Brown doubled home Ike Davis.

However, the real damage was done in the third when Dodgers starter Chris Capuano gave up consecutive singles to Daniel Murphy and Josh Satin before grooving a fastball to Marlon Byrd on a 3-0 count that Byrd deposited over the center field fence for his 17th home run.

The Mets led 4-0, Capuano was struggling, and for one of the few times in recent weeks, the Dodgers looked vulnerable. Capuano lasted five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits.

Gee exited after throwing six innings of two-run ball, both runs scoring in his final inning. Ellis' RBI fielder's choice sliced New York's lead to 4-1, and Jerry Hairston Jr. followed with a run-scoring single.

Byrd had three hits, including a three-run home run, and finished a triple short of a cycle.

Gee left with a 4-2 lead, and the way the Dodgers were struggling at the plate, it looked as if the Mets would be able to pull out the victory. However, they ran out of gas in the late innings, and the Dodgers took advantage.

"We've got a lot of guys playing on low petrol," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

NOTES: Mattingly wouldn't reveal a timeframe for when the Dodgers might add RHP Brian Wilson to the bullpen. The veteran reliever, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is rehabbing in the Los Angeles farm system, and he's retired 13 of the 14 batters he's faced in four scoreless innings. ... The Mets put RHP Jeremy Hefner on the 15-day disabled list due to a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. He was optioned to the minors Sunday, but that transaction was negated by the DL move. The Mets expect him to be able to return this season. ... New York 3B Wilmer Flores was out of the lineup because of a sprained right ankle. He singled as a ninth-inning pinch hitter.
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