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With 11th straight win, L.A. closing in on NL West lead

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Greg Maddux played a big part in the Dodgers'
11th straight victory, even without getting the win.

Maddux pitched six solid innings in his home debut for his new
team, and Los Angeles rallied past the Colorado Rockies 4-2 Tuesday
night.

"He was good, gave us everything we needed," manager Grady
Little said after the Dodgers pushed a winning streak to 11 games
for the first time since 1993.

Maddux did not get a decision after allowing two runs and seven
hits, but Los Angeles pulled within a half-game of first-place San
Diego in the NL West. They are tied with Cincinnati for the
wild-card lead.

The Dodgers got homers from Rafael Furcal and Wilson Betemit
before pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz singled home the go-ahead run in
the seventh.

"I didn't lose it," Maddux said with a slight smile. "And
Olmedo get the big hit and the defense played well again.

"I felt good. When Rafael turned that double play in the first
inning, that was big. The last thing you want to do is get blown
out of the water in the first inning."

Maddux gave up consecutive singles to Jamey Carroll and Todd
Helton to open the game, but Garrett Atkins grounded to Furcal at
shortstop. He started the double play that helped Maddux escape an
early jam.

"It would have been nice to click him in the first inning,"
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's the kind of guy you've
got to click in the first inning, but we weren't able to do that.
We had the right hitter up, and he hit into the double play."

The winning streak, which began after Los Angeles dropped 13 of
14 coming out of the All-Star break, is the Dodgers' longest since
May 1993. The club record is 15 in a row, set in 1924.

Brett Tomko (7-6) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win, and
Takashi Saito worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 12
chances.

The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on Betemit's leadoff
homer against Byung-Hyun Kim and Saenz's run-scoring single.

"Saenz has been very steady for us," Little said. "He gets
the big hits at the right times this year."

Saenz is 12-for-41 (.293) as a pinch-hitter this season, with 12
RBI and two homers.

"It's hard to find a guy that can do it, and Saenz has really
grabbed hold of that," Hurdle said. "He's a professional hitter
who's very good at what he does."

Betemit, acquired from Atlanta on July 28 for pitcher Danys Baez
and Willy Aybar, hit his 12th homer of the year to draw the Dodgers
even at 2. The home run was his third since the trade.

Kim (7-7) gave up two runs and eight hits in six-plus innings,
the runs coming on Furcal's seventh homer in the first inning and
Betemit's shot.

Andre Ethier gave Los Angeles an insurance run with an RBI
single off Jose Mesa in the eighth.

Kim walked two, one intentionally, and struck out two. He got
little offensive support from his teammates, who have scored only
two runs in each of their last four games.

Saenz, batting for Tomko, drove in the go-ahead run against
Ramon Ramirez, who had just replaced Kim. Russell Martin singled to
chase Kim, then stole second and scored on Saenz's hit.

After the Dodgers grabbed a 1-0 lead on Furcal's leadoff homer
in the first inning, Yorvit Torrealba drove in the tying and
go-ahead runs for Colorado with RBI singles in the second and
fourth.

After being acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the July 31 trade
deadline, Maddux pitched six hitless innings in his first game for
the Dodgers, in Cincinnati last Thursday. But he was denied a shot
at his first career no-hitter when rain delayed the game for 46
minutes before the bottom of the seventh.

Because of the delay, Maddux didn't return to the mound, but
still got the win in Los Angeles' 3-0 victory.

Game notes
Maddux has 328 wins, one behind Steve Carlton for 10th on
the career list. Maddux is tied with John Clarkson for 11th. ...
The Dodgers were 7½ games behind San Diego after a 10-3 loss to the
Padres on July 26. ... Hurdle shifted Helton into the second spot
in the batting order in an attempt revive an offense that scored
just two runs in each of the previous three games. Helton went
1-for-4.