for this game

Dodgers rally in ninth, move to brink of playoff berth

Sep 30, 2006 - 5:28 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers suddenly have higher aspirations than a wild card berth.

Olmedo Saenz delivered the game-tying pinch single in the ninth and Russell Martin scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch as the Dodgers rallied for an enormous 4-3 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.

Los Angeles (86-74) won its fifth straight game to move into a tie with San Diego (86-74) for first place in the National League West Division. Both teams have two games remaining.

The Dodgers can clinch a playoff berth Saturday with a victory against the Giants or a loss by Philadelphia (84-76), which sits two games back in the wild card hunt entering its matinee against Florida.

San Francisco starter Noah Lowry was cruising along with a two-hit shutout until the seventh, when he allowed a leadoff single to Jeff Kent and a monstrous two-run homer to J.D. Drew that made it 3-2.

The Dodgers were unable to generate any offense against Kevin Correia in the eighth, but they did get to Giants closer Mike Stanton (7-7) in the ninth.

Kent led off with a single and Martin drew a one-out walk from the veteran lefthander. Saenz, pinch-hitting for Marlon Anderson, then flared an opposite-field single into right field to tie it.

Two batters later, with Ramon Martinez at the plate, Stanton threw a pitch in the dirt that catcher Eliezer Alfonzo was unable to block. The ball went all the way to the backstop and Martin easily scored the go-ahead run.

Jonathan Broxton (4-1) recorded the final out of the eighth to pick up the win and Takashi Saito worked out of trouble in the ninth to notch his 23rd save.

Saito allowed one-out singles to Steve Finley and Randy Winn to put runners on the corners. However, the righthander got Omar Vizquel to foul out as Martinez made a fine leaning catch into the stands, and struck out Mark Sweeney looking to end it.

Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra appeared to aggravate an oblique injury swinging through a changeup in the eighth inning. He was wincing in pain as he walked back to the dugout and was replaced defensively by James Loney in the bottom half.

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