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They're West coasting


They're West coasting
What a glorious place, the National League West, where no deficit is insurmountable.

The Dodgers stormed back from three runs down in the seventh inning to overtake the Colorado Rockies and claimed a 4-3 victory Friday night at Dodger Stadium, extending their winning streak to six games.

Are the Dodgers unstoppable or are the other teams in their division making them look that way?

Three Rockies relievers -- Matt Belisle, Alan Embree and Jason Grilli -- combined to give up four runs and five hits in that fateful seventh inning, in which the Dodgers sent nine players to the plate to overturn a 3-0 deficit.

The Rockies, who lost for the fourth time in five games, looked as determined to hand the Dodgers a victory as the previous visitors to the ballpark, the San Francisco Giants, had. The Rockies' relief corps was already in a state of turmoil, as Manager Clint Hurdle announced before the game that Huston Street's reign closer was over only eight games into the season. Street was replaced by Manny Corpas, who never made it out of the bullpen on this night.

The seventh inning started with Rafael Furcal singling and Orlando Hudson drawing a walk. Up to the plate came Manny Ramirez, who scorched a ball to right field, driving in Furcal, moving Hudson to third and sending Belisle to the showers without a recorded out.

Matt Kemp, hitting cleanup for the first time in Joe Torre's tenure as Dodgers manager, grounded into a force out that scored Hudson. Kemp then scored on a double by Andre Ethier, and it was Embree's turn to hit the showers.

Grilli struck out Russell Martin, but gave up a bloop single to Mark Loretta that plopped onto the grass in shallow left field, completing the four-run surge and moving the Dodgers ahead, 4-3.

But the game wasn't quite over.

Hong-Chih Kuo loaded the bases in the eighth inning, giving up a double to Ryan Spilborghs and issuing back-to-back walks to Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe.

That forced closer Jonathan Broxton out of the bullpen with five outs standing between the Dodgers and a victory.

Touching 99 mph on the stadium radar gun, Broxton struck out Troy Tulowitzki and Chris Iannetta to preserve the lead. Then he finished the job with a 1-2-3 ninth. He struck out two more batters in that inning, giving him a total of 11 in 6 2/3 innings this year.

The win moved Torre past Bucky Harris into sixth all-time on the managerial wins list with 2,159.

Until the Dodgers mounted their seventh-inning rally, about the only noteworthy occurrence for them came at around 8:20 p.m., when the first wave of the season started making its way around the ballpark in the top of the fourth inning.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, who was shelled by Philadelphia for five runs over 4 2/3 innings in his season debut and posted an earned-run average of 6.86 in the spring, held the Dodgers scoreless for 5 1/3 innings.

De La Rosa gave up five hits and walked four, but the Dodgers couldn't take advantage. They had men on first and second with one out in the first but Kemp grounded out to short and Ethier struck out.

A throwing error by De La Rosa on a dribbler by Dodgers pitcher Randy Wolf in the second put men on second and third, but Furcal fouled out to first and failed to drive them in.

Wolf was nearly tagged with a loss because of one bad inning, the first. He gave up a run-scoring double to Atkins and a two-run home run by Hawpe, putting the Dodgers behind, 3-0.

Wolf completed six innings, striking out nine and walking two.

--

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

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