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Los Angeles 6, Colorado 2

9/7/2003

DENVER (AP) -- The worst hitting team in the National League
showed some pop in its three-game sweep at Coors Field.

The Los Angeles Dodgers averaged eight runs and 15 hits in the
three games, an offensive resurgence that could make the already
pitching-rich Dodgers a threat in the NL wild-card race.

Adrian Beltre drove in three runs and had four hits to back
Wilson Alvarez as the Dodgers beat Colorado 6-2 Sunday, handing the
Rockies their season-high eighth straight loss. The Dodgers are
hitting .243 as a team.

Los Angeles, which has won eight of its last 10, moved within 2{
games of Philadelphia in the wild-card chase. The Phillies played
the New York Mets on Sunday night.

Shawn Green had two RBI including a solo homer, his 14th of the
season.

"This series was huge for us not only to win the three games,
but also to get a lot of hits and score a lot of runs," Green
said. "We've been swinging the bats better."

Manager Jim Tracy agreed.

"Offensively, we're beginning to see some very positive things
from the middle of our order," Tracy said. "Beltre again today,
Fred McGriff, Shawn Green, Jeromy Burnitz. They all had very good
at-bats all weekend long.

"We were a solid team even when we weren't hitting that well.
But with what we've been doing offensively, I think it elevates our
ballclub a notch. We're an excellent team when we get offense like
that."

Beltre was 7-for-48 in the previous 12 games before having a
pair of four-hit games in this series and going 9-for-15 overall.

"I feel comfortable here," Beltre said. "This place puts me
at ease and I relax. I know it's a good park for hitters. The ball
carries good. Anything in the gap is going to go for a hit."

The Rockies have stopped hitting, scoring only two runs in each
of their last two games.

Colorado has gone 1-13 in its past 14 games, including 1-8 at
Coors Field.

Alvarez (4-1) allowed eight hits and one run in seven innings.

Juan Uribe doubled off Paul Shuey in the ninth and Mark Bellhorn
drew a walk. Eric Gagne came in and got the final three outs for
his 49th save this season and 57th straight dating back to last
season, both major-league records.

Colorado's Jose Jimenez (1-8) went five innings, yielding 10
hits and five runs, four of which were earned.

Todd Helton hit a solo homer, his 29th, for the Rockies.

Colorado's Preston Wilson, the major league leader in RBI with
128, left the game after three innings because of back spasms.

"It can't get any worse, can it?" Rockies manager Clint Hurdle
said. "Maybe it can. I think we've hit all the levels of
frustration you can hit."

The Dodgers opened the game with three straight singles,
including Green's RBI hit. Beltre added a run-scoring infield
single.

Colorado got a run in its half on Pablo Ozuna's single and Chris
Stynes' RBI double.

Los Angeles went up 3-1 in the third on back-to-back doubles by
McGriff and Beltre.

Jimenez's fielding error led to an unearned run for the Dodgers
in the fourth. Jolbert Cabrera reached on the error, Alex Cora
singled and both runners advanced on Alvarez's sacrifice. Cesar
Izturis followed with an RBI single.

The Dodgers made it 5-1 in the fifth when McGriff singled and
scored on Beltre's triple.

Green homered off Justin Speier in the ninth.

Jimenez's inability to get down bunts killed Colorado threats in
the second and fourth.

The Rockies had runners on first and third with one out in the
second when Jimenez popped up a bunt. It landed short of Alvarez,
who threw to Cora covering first to get Jimenez. Jay Payton, on
third, then ran home but was thrown out by Cora.

Hurdle said Jimenez bunted when no bunt play was on.

In the fourth, Colorado had runners on first and second with one
out when Jimenez bunted hard to third baseman Beltre, who threw to
Izturis covering third to get the lead runner.

"I've said it all week: When you can't do the little things,
you can't expect big things to happen for you," Hurdle said.

Game notes
Dodgers OF Dave Roberts missed his third straight game
because of a stiff neck. ... Colorado RHP Denny Stark has been
demoted from the starting rotation, and RHP Scott Elarton will
start in his place on Wednesday. ... Dodgers RHP Hideo Nomo,
bothered by a sore shoulder since his last start, will miss his
next start on Tuesday. RHP Edwin Jackson will make the start. ...
Los Angeles swept a three-game series from the Rockies at Coors
Field for the first time since May 5-7, 1995.