DENVER -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' 11-4 rout of the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night gave them the lead in the NL wild-card race. The best part of the win, however, may have been that Greg Maddux was able to hand the ball over to the bullpen after just 76 pitches.
That means he will be able to take the mound again this weekend at San Francisco if needed, manager Grady Little said.
Maddux doesn't foresee any problems pitching on short rest.
"I don't get as sore as I used to," the 322-game winner explained. "I don't throw hard enough anymore to get sore."
He sure befuddled the Rockies, who had been on a tear at Coors Field this month.
Maddux (14-14) allowed three earned runs and seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in six innings. Maddux said he never felt comfortable at Coors Field, where his six wins is the most by an opposing pitcher.
"Nope. You wake up panicking and hope to get through six when come here," he said. "Tough place to pitch. Tip your hat. The boys scored a lot of runs today. Eleven runs makes it a lot easier."
Nomar Garciaparra drove in three runs and hit his 20th homer despite straining a muscle in his side trying to avoid a tag at the plate in the first inning. His big day helped the Dodgers move one game in front of Philadelphia, which lost 4-3 at Washington, in the wild-card race.
"I'll trade an injury for a home run any day," said Garciaparra, who left the game after homering in the fifth. "I'll do that any time as long as we keep winning. I'll be back in the lineup tomorrow. I'll play through this. We were scoring some runs and Grady said, 'Let's take you out.' He said, 'Go take care of it."'
Russell Martin had a bases-loaded triple in the sixth and drove in four runs as the Dodgers were able to empty their bench and play seven reserves.
Marlon Anderson singled, doubled and homered for the Dodgers, who are two games behind first-place San Diego in the NL West. Anderson's homer capped a six-run sixth that made it 11-1.
Los Angeles scored three times in a wild first inning in which the Rockies committed an error and had a mental miscue and right-hander Jason Jennings surrendered two bloop singles and Martin's infield run-scoring single.
Rafael Furcal led off with a bloop single to center, stole second and scored on Kenny Lofton's triple down the right-field line. Garciaparra followed with a bloop single to center to score Lofton.
Rookie catcher Chris Iannetta didn't chase down the ball and Jennings had to try to field it and tag out Garciaparra, who got hurt trying to avoid the charging pitcher, who missed the ball anyway.
Garrett Atkins hit his 28th homer in the third for Colorado. Garciaparra hit his 20th homer in the fifth, a two-run shot following a walk to Lofton. Kent then drew a walk and came around to score on Anderson's double down the right-field line.
Jennings (9-13) allowed five earned runs and nine hits in five innings.
"Jennings wasn't crisp with his fastball or his slider. I think the workload has piled up on him a little bit," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "Some balls that weren't hit hard found grass, and the ones that were hit hard found grass, too. We threw a bunch of double plays out there, but it just didn't do that much for us."
- Maddux has won six of eight career starts in Denver despite a 6.00 ERA.
- Only Randy Johnson (14) and Jason Schmidt (13) have beaten the Rockies more than Maddux (12).
- Garciaparra reached 20 homers for the first time since 2003.