for this game

Loney ties team mark with nine RBI as Dodgers win again

Sep 28, 2006 - 10:56 PM DENVER (Ticker) -- Rookie James Loney's surprisingly productive bat moved the Los Angeles Dodgers closer to the postseason.

Loney drove in a franchise record-tying nine runs with four hits, including two homers, as the Dodgers erupted for a 19-11 victory over the Colorado Rockies that kept them in control of their playoff destiny.

Kenny Lofton and Marlon Anderson also homered for the Dodgers, who battered nine Rockies pitchers for a season high in runs and nine extra-base hits as they won their fourth straight game. They erased an early 3-0 deficit, blew a five-run lead and fell behind, then broke open a tie game with seven runs in the sixth.

"Just another day at the park," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "We sure got to experience one of the crazy Coors Field games. Maybe there was a short in the electrical with that humidor (that stores the baseballs)."

"It seems like we have had a lot of magic lately on this team," Loney said.

Los Angeles (85-74) inched within one-half game of first-place San Diego atop the National League West Division and opened a 1 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia in the race for the NL wild card. Both San Diego and Philadelphia play Thursday night.

Playing in place of regular first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, who was battling a strained oblique, Loney came in with one homer and eight RBI in 93 at-bats. Before he was finished, he had joined first baseman Gil Hodges in the team's record book.

"I've heard of Gil Hodges," Loney said. "I think he was an infielder."

The lefthanded-hitting Loney hit an opposite-field grand slam in the second, a two-run double in the third, an RBI single in the fifth and a two-run homer in the decisive sixth. He finally struck out in the eighth.

"I wasn't sure that first homer was going to get out," Loney said. "I just kept battling every time I got up to the plate. I wanted to produce for the team. Whenever they need me, I'm here to help out."

Loney's nine RBI tied the franchise mark set by Hodges in his four-homer game August 31, 1950 vs. Boston. He broke the LA team mark held by Ron Cey.

"I didn't even know about any of the records until I got to the clubhouse," Loney said.

After surrendering seven runs and an 8-3 lead to the Rockies in the fourth, Loney and the Dodgers pounded their way back. They scored twice in the fifth on RBI singles by Wilson Betemit and Loney before sending 11 batters to the plate in the sixth.

Lofton and Anderson greeted reliever Ray King (1-4) with long back-to-back homers to give the Dodgers a 12-10 lead. Jeff Kent walked and J.D. Drew struck out before Jose Mesa came on and gave up consecutive doubles to rookie Russell Martin and Betemit, making it 14-10.

Loney followed with his two-run homer, chasing Mesa. Lofton later reached on an error, plating the inning's final run.

"This is all just baseball to me," Loney said. "When you get the opportunity, you got to perform. I found out I was starting the game last night. I went back to my hotel room and visualized hitting. I guess now when I visualize, I should do it with all those runners on base."

"It was good to see the kid have a day like that," Little said. "He had a great game. ... It worked out good for us.

Mark Hendrickson (2-7), who walked and scored in the sixth, allowed one unearned run over two innings to get the win. Brett Tomko and rookie Eric Stults finished up as they combined for three scoreless innings.

"The first five innings, it seemed like the game would never end," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was like going to the dentist where he keeps drilling and drilling on you."

Colorado's Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first, but Loney connected for his grand slam in the second and capped a four-run third with his double that made it 8-3.

"They brought me up and told me to be ready to play," Loney said. "I've been getting myself ready but didn't expect anything like this."

The Rockies slashed back with a huge fourth inning, sending 12 batters to the plate against three pitchers. Todd Helton, Jeff Baker, Troy Tulowitzki and pinch hitters Vinny Castilla and Ryan Spilborghs had RBI singles before Garrett Atkins greeted Aaron Sele with a two-run single for a 10-8 lead.

Helton had an RBI single in the sixth, but Jason Repko stroked a two-run single in the eighth for the Dodgers.

Both starters were awful. Brad Penny allowed four hits and two walks in just one inning for Los Angeles before leaving with a back strain and Byung-Hyun Kim gave up six runs, four hits and two walks in two-plus innings for Colorado.

"It's almost like a cramp," Penny said. "It didn't bother me until my last start. You always worry a little after you have to leave the game like I did."

Betemit drove in three runs and Martin scored three times for Los Angeles, which collected 17 hits. Baker had three of Colorado's 16 hits.

The Rockies went 4-15 vs. the Dodgers this season.

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