Grudzielanek hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth
inning to overcome Pat Burrell's grand slam in the top half, and
the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Phillies 7-6 Friday night to increase their NL wild card lead over San Francisco to 1½ games.
"You just try to get a good pitch and put it into play. I got
in there and put everything out of my mind,'' Grudzielanek said.
"I was confident in my hands and just trusted my reactions.
Anytime you get a hit that puts the team in a good situation, you
have to feel happy about it.''
"It's obviously a big win for us,'' said Eric Karros, who had a key pinch-hit single during the winning rally. "I mean, it may even have been better for us to win it in the fashion that we did, just because it created a lot more excitement.''
Paul Shuey (1-1) got his first NL victory despite giving up
Burrell's fourth career slam, which put Philadelphia ahead 6-4. All
four runs were unearned because the homer followed shortstop Alex
Cora's fielding error on Placido Polanco's slow bouncer with two
"I've given up grand slams, but I don't think I've given up a home run on my curveball before. So that in itself is a good shock to your system,'' Shuey said. "When Burrell hit that ball, my heart sunk lower than anybody else in that stadium. But Grud said, 'It's OK.' He said it after his home run -- not before.''
Burrell's home run was his 29th this season. The Phillies entered 18-for-107 (.168) with the bases loaded, the worst percentage in the majors.
"Shuey's throwing 95-96 mph and painting the outside corner,
and there wasn't much I could do with it. But luckily I got a pitch
to hit,'' Burrell said.
"I was real high after that because we had a two-run lead with
two outs in the eighth, but then things started to unravel. It was
crazy. I guess that's the nature of the game. But, man, it seems
like it's happened to us a lot.''
Timlin (3-4) relieved Rheal Cormier with one on and two outs in
the bottom of the eighth and gave up Karros' single. Grudzielanek
then drove an 0-2 pitch to center field -- making him 4-for-7
lifetime against Timlin with three homers and six RBI.
"I don't know if he's ever hit a home run to win a game before,
but I haven't seen it here,'' Karros said. "That was a huge at-bat
-- 0-2 and he goes to dead center.''
Eric Gagne, the fifth Dodgers pitcher, worked a perfect ninth
for his 38th save in 40 attempts. Opponents are batting .175
against the right-hander this season.
"Watching him pitch last year, it baffled me the way he kept
getting hit the way he did,'' said Phillies pitcher Terry Adams,
who spent the previous two seasons with the Dodgers. "He's got
three nasty pitches, he throws 95 and above with a curveball and
changeup that look unhittable. It's real nice to see him flourish
like he has.''
Philadelphia starter Brett Myers allowed four runs and seven
hits over seven innings in his rematch with Omar Daal, who homered
off the right-hander last Sunday at Philadelphia in the Dodgers'
4-3 victory. Myers left in the eighth for a pinch-hitter with his
team trailing 4-2.
Daal allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. The
left-hander, who lost 19 games two years ago with the Phillies and
Arizona Diamondbacks, was aided by four double plays.
Grissom, who opened the scoring in the first inning with a first-pitch homer, hit his second of the night and fourth of the season in the third to tie it at 2. Myers walked the next batter, Adrian Beltre, and Green followed with an opposite-field drive to left for his 33rd homer.
Grissom had his sixth multihomer game, the sixth of his career and first since May 26 at Arizona -- when he connected twice off Randy Johnson.
Dodgers ace Kevin Brown, in perhaps his final tuneup before
coming off the DL, threw 86 pitches over six innings at Edmonton in
a rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas. He allowed a run and five
hits, struck out four and walked one. ... Myers has allowed seven
homers over 25 innings this season in his first four major league
starts. ... Paul Lo Duca's eighth-inning single ended his 0-for-16
drought. ... Philadelphia has lost three straight road games after
winning eight of its previous 10 away from Veterans Stadium. ...
Dodgers LF Brian Jordan missed the game because of a stiff back.