LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After stranding two baserunners in each of
his first two at-bats and getting hit by a pitch his next time up,
Milton Bradley was looking for some redemption. He also was looking
for a fat pitch he could drive.
Bradley got one from Colorado reliever Tim Harikkala in the
eighth inning Thursday and hit a go-ahead, two-run homer that sent
the Los Angeles Dodgers to another comeback victory. They beat the
Rockies 4-2 for their 15th win in 17 games.
"We know we're able to come back, so we know the game's not
over at any point," said Bradley, who tied Monday night's game at
Houston with a home run before Shawn Green followed with a go-ahead
homer. "But you don't want to make a habit out of getting
But Adrian Beltre led off the eighth with a single, and Bradley
drove an 0-1 fastball down the right-field line and into the second
deck for his career-high 11th home run. He became the 12th player
to homer into the loge level at Dodger Stadium, and the first
Dodger since Hiram Bocachica on June 19, 2001.
"I know I was frustrated to that point," Bradley said. "I was
getting the ball right down the middle and hitting the ball weakly
around the infield. So I was glad to finally put the bat head on
"It was fair coming off the bat and I knew I had enough of it.
It kind of hooked toward the end, but it went right around the
pole. Usually when I hit balls like that, they go foul. But I'm
glad that one stayed fair."
Guillermo Mota (8-3) pitched one inning for the win. Eric Gagne
struck out all three batters in the ninth for his 28th save in 29
attempts and seventh in a row since his record 84-game streak was
Perez allowed a run and four hits over seven innings and was
done after just 81 pitches. The left-hander, who struck out three
and walked two, took his warmups for the eighth -- but was lifted
after Jeromy Burnitz was sent up to pinch-hit for Cook.
Mota retired Burnitz, but Aaron Miles followed with triple to
left field under the glove of a diving Dave Roberts. Miles scored
on Royce Clayton's sacrifice fly to center field, barely getting
his hand across the plate under Paul Lo Duca's tag after a perfect
one-hop throw by Bradley.
"I didn't want to concede a base hit to Miles, let it drop at
my feet and have the go-ahead run be on base," Roberts said. "I
might have been guilty of trying to do too much. I left some guys
on base early in the game, so I wanted to make a defensive play.
But when you're winning baseball games, people step up -- and Milton
picked me up huge today."
Cook allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings while
stranding eight baserunners. He struck out one and walked two.
"I'm feeling more confident, and more and more every day like I
belong here," Cook said. "I want to get the ball every fifth day
and be able to keep the team in the game."
The Dodgers put two on in each of the first four innings, but
Cook escaped unscathed each time. Bradley hit a comebacker to the
mound, ending the first threat, then grounded into an inning-ending
double play in the third. Roberts grounded out in the second with
two runners in scoring position, then ended the fourth with another
Los Angeles finally broke through in the fifth. Cesar Izturis
led off with a single, advanced on a wild pitch and continued to
third on catcher Todd Green's throwing error before Beltre drove
him in with a sharp single through a drawn-in infield.
The Rockies tied it with two outs in the sixth, when Vinny
Castilla hit his 18th homer and second in two days. It was his 78th
RBI, two more than he had last season. The two-time All-Star, in
his second stint with the Rockies, drove in 100 or more runs in
four consecutive seasons with Colorado from 1996-99.
Castilla played in at 3B to guard against possible bunts by
Roberts and Izturis in the first inning. Castilla grabbed Roberts'
line drive, but Izturis' liner went off his glove for a single. ...
Rockies OF Larry Walker wasn't in the starting lineup because of
the noon start following a night game. He also is 0-for-12 lifetime
against Perez. ... The Rockies botched a rundown play in the
fourth. Alex Cora was trapped off second base by C Green's throw --
but Cora ducked a tag by 2B Miles and scampered back to second
safely after Miles ran over him.