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Dodgers hit four home runs in victory

9/21/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- One down, eight to go.

Manager Jim Tracy thinks the Los Angeles Dodgers may have to win
all their remaining games to gain the NL wild card berth, and they
took the a step forward Sunday with a 7-5 victory over the San
Francisco Giants.

The win moved them within 2{ games of the wild-card lead.

"We have a tall order ahead of us," Tracy said. "It looked
like we had to win out to get there, to win the final nine. To do
that, you have to win the first one."

Shawn Green started the Dodgers with the first of their four
homers. Robin Ventura, Adrian Beltre and Jeromy Burnitz hit
consecutive homers off rookie Kevin Correia in the fourth inning to
tie the game at 5.

"What we did today, we haven't done much -- and that's to hit
the home-run ball," Tracy said. "Those back-to-back-to-back home
runs ignited us, ignited the crowd."

Dave Roberts' RBI triple against Jim Brower (8-5) put Los
Angeles ahead in the seventh, and Burnitz added a sacrifice fly in
the eighth.

Paul Quantrill (2-5) pitched a perfect seventh for the win, and
Eric Gagne retired all four batters he faced -- striking out three.
The major league save leader recorded his 53rd save, four shy of
Bobby Thigpen's major league record, and has converted 61 straight
chances going back to last year.

Gagne came out of the bullpen to a thunderous, standing ovation
from the crowd of 54,584, on hand for the regular-season finale at
Dodger Stadium.

"I had goose bumps," Gagne said. "Now I want to come back and
give them some more in the postseason."

Florida (85-70) leads the wild-card race, with Philadelphia
(85-71) a half-game back and Chicago (84-72) 1{ games behind,
followed by the Dodgers (82-72).

Barry Bonds got the day off along with most of the regulars on
the Giants, who already have clinched the NL West.

Bonds has 44 homers this year and needs three to tie Willie Mays
for third place on the career list at 660. Manager Felipe Alou said
he plans to play Bonds in four of the seven remaining games -- in
two at Houston and two at home against the Dodgers.

Green's 18th homer put Los Angeles ahead 2-0 in the first, but
rookie Todd Linden connected for his first major league homer in
the second, a three-run drive off Kazuhisa Ishii.

The 23-year-old Linden, in only his 24th major league at-bat,
became just the 12th player to hit a ball into the second deck at
Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.

Alou was impressed.

"He's a legitimate prospect. He can do it all," Alou said of
the young outfielder. "He's got power, speed, a good arm, and he's
a good defensive outfielder. He's a good-looking player, but he
hasn't played a lot of baseball. That's the thing."

San Francisco made it 5-2 in the fourth on an RBI single by
Correia and a run-scoring grounder by Pedro Feliz.

Correia gave up five runs and six hits in four innings, while
Ishii allowed five runs, six hits and five walks in three-plus
innings.

The Dodgers are at San Diego for four games before wrapping up
the regular season with four at San Francisco, including a
doubleheader on Saturday.

Game notes
The Dodgers hit three straight homers for the first time
since May 23 last year at Milwaukee, when Green, Beltre and Dave
Hansen homered. ... Ishii and teammate Hideo Nomo were the only two
pitchers in the majors last season to walk 100 or more batters.
Ishii has walked 97 this year and Nomo 92. They each have one start
left. ... This is the seventh straight season the Giants will
finish ahead of the Dodgers in the standings -- their longest such
streak since 1921-31.