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Baseball: Finley fules comeback as Dogers win over D-Backs

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posted on Sep, 9 2004 @ 12:22 PM
Steve Finley ended an 0-for-19 slump in the seventh inning. The hit he'll remember, though, came in the bottom of the ninth against his old team.

Finley doubled in the winning run, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night. It was the Dodgers' 19th victory in their last at-bat this season.

"We need wins. We'll take them any way we can get them," said Finley, who was acquired from Arizona on July 31. "I'm just trying to see the ball and not do too much. I've been guilty of that lately."

Finley's hit off Mike Koplove (3-4) bounced off the right-field wall, scoring Cesar Izturis from first with one out.

"It was a changeup. I left it up in the zone a little bit," Koplove said. "He's a smart hitter. I got him out on it the last time and he made an adjustment on it this time. I should have known better."

Eric Gagne (6-3) retired the side in the ninth for the victory, which tied his career high.

Koplove gave up one run on four hits in 1 1-3 innings and struck out one.

The last-place Diamondbacks lost their sixth in a row, dropping them 55 games below .500 for the first time in franchise history.

The first-place Dodgers remained 4[ games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West, thanks to timely hitting by their bench.

"I don't know how many times they've come through this year, but if you start adding it up, I think the number is starting to get fairly significant," Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said.

The Dodgers tied it at 5 in the bottom of the sixth on a bases-loaded, fielder's choice by pinch-hitter Robin Ventura that scored Milton Bradley, who led off with a single.

Shea Hillenbrand hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth off Elmer Dessens to give Arizona a 5-4 lead.

Pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz hit a grand slam in the fifth, putting the Dodgers in front 4-3. Tuesday night, Ventura had a pinch-hit grand slam against Arizona - Los Angeles' first since 1993.

Saenz, batting for starter Odalis Perez with the bases loaded, sent an 0-1 pitch from Casey Fossum into the left-field pavilion for his first career slam.

"I was looking to get a base hit so we can come back," Saenz said. "He hung up a breaking ball. It's one of the best feelings in baseball and we got the win."

Shawn Green's leadoff single knocked Fossum to the mound as it whizzed past him into center field. Jose Hernandez singled to left and Jayson Werth walked to load the bases. After David Ross popped to right field, Saenz gave the Dodgers their first lead of the game.

"One bad pitch. That sums it up," Fossum said.

Initially, Perez wasn't happy about getting yanked.

"I felt bad," he said. "I don't want to be there only five innings. It worked out. It was the perfect decision by the manager, even if I felt mad."

Trailing 3-0 with the bases loaded, Tracy knew he had to remove Perez.

"Nothing was wrong with his performance, except for the fact that he couldn't figure out Snyder," he said. "He didn't do a bad job, we just had to move him in that situation when we have an opportunity to score some runs and get back in the game."

Chris Snyder homered twice to give the Diamondbacks an early 3-0 lead.

Three of Snyder's four homers this season have been against the Dodgers, including one last Thursday, when the Diamondbacks defeated Los Angeles 3-1 before their skid began.

Snyder gave Arizona a 2-0 lead in the second inning when he homered to left field off Perez. Alex Cintron, who singled, also scored.

Snyder made it 3-0 in the fifth when he led off with a solo shot to left on a 3-1 count from Perez.


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