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Dodgers rally from five runs down

DENVER (AP) -- Shawn Green called it the biggest home run of his
life. Jim Tracy called it the biggest win of the season.

There was no arguing with either the player or the manager after
Green's two-out homer in the ninth lifted Los Angeles to a 7-6
victory over Colorado on Sunday. Then again, with the playoffs in
sight, the milestones might just keep getting more significant.

The Dodgers overcame a five-run deficit for the second time in
three games to win the series against the Rockies and stay 2½ games
ahead of San Francisco in the NL West. Los Angeles has 13 games
left, and six are against the Giants.

Green and Tracy agreed there was no better way to go into the
stretch.

"It's probably the biggest one I've had," Green said. "It's
the first time I've been in first place at this time of the season.
Any time you win a game with something like that, it's going to be
as big as it can be."

On an 0-2 pitch with two down in the ninth, Colorado closer
Shawn Chacon (1-9) made a mistake and delivered the ball straight
down the middle. Green took advantage and drove it straight over
the center-field wall to cap the rally against the worst bullpen in
baseball.

"Two out and two strikes. You don't want to go there with two
strikes. Not right down the middle," Chacon said.

Los Angeles trailed 5-0 after six innings, but tied the game at
5 courtesy of Adrian Beltre's bases-clearing double, Milton
Bradley's homer into the third deck and a sacrifice fly by Robin
Ventura.

As important as Green's homer was, much of the Dodgers clubhouse
was focused on Bradley's shot. It measured 479 feet, prodigious
even in the mile-high air, and a few players were overheard saying
they'd never seen a ball hit that far.

"We really didn't deserve to win, but we got quality hits at
the right time," Bradley said. "It's unbelievable to come back
from that."

This was the second big comeback for Los Angeles in the series.
The Dodgers trailed 6-1 Friday night before winning 8-6 in 10
innings, although the five-run deficit was made up off starter
Jamey Wright.

In this one, all the big hits came off the Colorado bullpen,
which was pinned with its 35th loss, the worst mark in the majors.

"These take their toll on everybody," Rockies manager Clint
Hurdle said. "The bullpen has been an issue now for a period of
time. And it hasn't been any one specific guy. It's been our entire
group."

After the Dodgers tied the game, Jorge Piedra hit an RBI single
to put Colorado ahead 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth.

But Green answered with his 27th homer of the season. It was the
12th home run allowed by Chacon, who blew his ninth save in 43
tries. Chacon also took the loss Friday, when he gave up two walks
and a triple.

Yhency Brazoban (2-0) pitched one inning for the win and Eric
Gagne pitched a perfect ninth for his 42nd save.

"To be down five, and come back in the manner in which we did,
this is the biggest game we have played all year," Tracy said.

Although the big hits were what propelled the Dodgers, the
classic moment for the Rockies bullpen had nothing to do with them.
With one out in the eighth, reliever Allan Simpson allowed a single
to Alex Cora, threw a wild pitch to advance him to second, then let
him get to third by lofting the ball into center field in an
attempt to pick him off. Ventura followed the comedy of errors with
the game-tying RBI.

The blown lead cost Colorado starter Jason Jennings a victory.
He pitched 6 2-3 innings and allowed four hits, but wound up with
his fifth straight no-decision, all of them in games in which he's
taken the Rockies into the late innings allowing three earned runs
or less.

This time, Jennings left with the 5-0 lead, but still couldn't
get his 24th victory at Coors Field, which would have tied Pedro
Astacio's record.

Jennings started a four-run Rockies rally in the fifth. Vinny
Castilla knocked him in for his NL-leading 126th RBI of the season.
Castilla moved five ahead of Scott Rolen, who was not in the lineup
for the Cardinals on Sunday.

Game notes
Beltre's three RBI gave him 111 for the season, passing
Ron Cey (1977) for the most by a Dodgers third baseman. ... After
an off-day Monday, the Dodgers play at San Diego on Tuesday. ...
RHP Edwin Jackson started for the Dodgers and allowed five runs and
six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He pitched because RHP Jose Lima is
still being bothered by a strained thumb. ... Rockies pitcher Joe
Kennedy served the first game of five-game suspension for an
altercation Aug. 15 with Pittsburgh's Jason Kendall.