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Dodgers hit four straight homers in comeback win

by Marquis McClure (writer), Los Angeles, September 19, 2006


Incredible. Unbelieveable. Spectacular. Historic.

Simply put, it was a win that couldn't be described with just one adjective.

In what has to be one of the greatest comeback wins in Dodger history, the Boys in Blue put forth the type of offensive performance unseen in over a generation and reclaimed first place from the San Diego Padres, 11-10, in front of the largest Monday night crowd ever at Dodger Stadium.

Those who didn't leave early were treated to a storybook ending in the bottom of the 10th inning, thanks to a two-run homer by Dodger first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, who drove in centerfielder Kenny Lofton.

But the storybook 10th never would have come without a ninth for the history books, in which the Dodgers became only the fourth team in major league history to hit four consecutive home runs in one inning.

What ended in spectacular fashion began somewhat unremarkably, with the Padres lighting up Dodger starter Brad Penny for four runs in the first inning, immediately silencing the sold-out crowd of 55,831 at Chavez Ravine.

However, they wouldn't remain silent for long, and neither would the Dodgers. Los Angeles slowly climbed back into the contest, with second baseman Jeff Kent doubling in shortstop Rafael Furcal in the first, then putting another run on the board in the second on a solo shot by left fielder Marlon Anderson.

Furcal also hit a solo homer to lead off the third, which brought the Dodgers within one.

Big Blue finally pulled even with the Friars later in the third when Kent and right fielder J.D. Drew hit back-to-back doubles.

And for the next 4 1/2 innings, the proceedings remained deadlocked, with both teams failing to capitalize on many a scoring opportunity.

That is until the Padres roughed up Dodger reliever Jonathan Broxton for two runs in the eighth inning, seemingly taking the life out of the raucous Dodger faithful (though the smattering of Padre fans in the crowd was certainly giddy). As is customary for most Dodger fans, they headed for the exits early, this time heads hung low, certain another Dodger defeat was at hand.

A run in their half of the eighth kept L.A. close, but the game was busted open in the ninth, with closer Takashi Saito getting rocked for three more runs to make it 9-5.

About half the crowd remained for the bottom of the ninth, which began with tepid applause for Jeff Kent, who led off the inning. Tepid applause soon turned into a warm reception, as Kent led off with his 14th homer. That homer would ignite an offensive explosion for the Hollywood Swingers.

Kent's homer was followed with one by Drew, both off San Diego reliever Jon Adkins. Padre closer Trevor Hoffman was brought in to put the kibosh on the Dodger rally, but ended up blowing his first save against L.A. in five years, giving up back-to-back homers to catcher Russell Martin and Anderson (his second of the night), capping an improbable power surge by the team with the fewest home runs in the National League.

Such a display hadn't been seen in either major league since 1964, when the Minnesota Twins hit four consecutive home runs against the Kansas City Athletics. It was the fourth such outburst in major league history, with all the previous three taking place in the 1960s.

The Padres pushed a run across to take the lead, 10-9, in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the tenth, Padre reliever Rudy Seanez walked Lofton to lead off the extra frame. With Lofton on first, Seanez served up the game-winner for the Dodgers, a walk-off homer to left by Garciaparra, who had struggled at the plate throughout the game as he played through injuries.

Many who had left in the eighth returned to the ballpark just in time to see the game-winner, and no one want to leave afterward. Ecstatic Dodger fans cheered and continued to soak up the electricity in the air well after Garciaparra circled the bases. The atmosphere, playoff implications and tension between the teams gave this game--and the rest of the four-game series--more of a playoff-like feel than that of an average Monday home game.

In all, the Dodgers hit seven homers in last night's game.

With the win, the Dodgers wrested a half-game NL West lead from San Diego, who had possessed it for just over 24 hours. The Padres slipped to second and a slim lead in the National League's wild card race.

The Dodgers will now host the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games beginning tonight at 7:10.

About the Writer

Marquis McClure is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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