LOS ANGELES -- The scorecard looks like somebody knocked over an ink bottle. The NL West race looks like a candy grab after somebody flung an Easter basket. The car horns blasting off in the distance here at midnight sound like the postseason has already started.
|With this swing, Nomar Garciaparra punches the Dodgers back into first. (AP)|
"That's the first time I've been involved in one that wild," Dodgers manager Grady Little gushed.
"I'm sitting here with my seventh beer doing another round of interviews and I didn't even pitch!" Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe shrieked from the chair in front of his locker.
Trailing by four runs going into the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers blasted four home runs in a seven-pitch span against Padre reliever Jon Adkins and closer Trevor Hoffman.
Starting with the inning's sixth pitch, the Dodgers walloped three homers in three pitches.
Then, when the Padres refused to cave, scoring a go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, Nomar Garciaparra came back in the bottom of the 10th and slugged another home run, this one a game-winning, soul-soaring, two-run shot off reliever Rudy Seanez to deliver the Dodgers not only an incredible 11-10 win, but first place as well with just 12 games to play.
Making it five home runs in a nine at-bat span to save themselves from dropping 1½ games behind the Padres in the NL West and, perhaps, saving their season in the process.
As they were saying. ...
"I tell you what, I have eight years in and I don't think I've ever seen anything like that," said Dodgers outfielder J.D. Drew, who belted the second of the Dodgers' four homers in the ninth.
Matter of fact, you could have attended every single big league game since, say, the middle of 1964 and never have seen anything quite like this.
Last time a major-league team slammed four consecutive homers in an inning?
Try May 2, 1964, when Minnesota did it against the Kansas City Athletics.