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'Mar power: Nomar drives Dodgers back to wild-card lead

DENVER (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' 11-4 rout of the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night gave them the lead in the NL wild-card
race. The best part of the win, however, may have been that Greg Maddux was able to hand the ball over to the bullpen after just 76
pitches.

That means he will be able to take the mound again this weekend
at San Francisco if needed, manager Grady Little said.

Maddux doesn't foresee any problems pitching on short rest.

"I don't get as sore as I used to," the 322-game winner
explained. "I don't throw hard enough anymore to get sore."

He sure befuddled the Rockies, who had been on a tear at Coors
Field this month.

Maddux (14-14) allowed three earned runs and seven hits with no
walks and three strikeouts in six innings. Maddux said he never
felt comfortable at Coors Field, where his six wins is the most by
an opposing pitcher.

"Nope. You wake up panicking and hope to get through six when
come here," he said. "Tough place to pitch. Tip your hat. The
boys scored a lot of runs today. Eleven runs makes it a lot
easier."

Nomar Garciaparra drove in three runs and hit his 20th homer
despite straining a muscle in his side trying to avoid a tag at the
plate in the first inning. His big day helped the Dodgers move one
game in front of Philadelphia, which lost 4-3 at Washington, in the
wild-card race.

"I'll trade an injury for a home run any day," said
Garciaparra, who left the game after homering in the fifth. "I'll
do that any time as long as we keep winning. I'll be back in the
lineup tomorrow. I'll play through this. We were scoring some runs
and Grady said, 'Let's take you out.' He said, 'Go take care of
it."

Russell Martin had a bases-loaded triple in the sixth and drove
in four runs as the Dodgers were able to empty their bench and play
seven reserves.

Marlon Anderson singled, doubled and homered for the Dodgers,
who are two games behind first-place San Diego in the NL West.
Anderson's homer capped a six-run sixth that made it 11-1.

Los Angeles scored three times in a wild first inning in which
the Rockies committed an error and had a mental miscue and
right-hander Jason Jennings surrendered two bloop singles and
Martin's infield run-scoring single.

Rafael Furcal led off with a bloop single to center, stole
second and scored on Kenny Lofton's triple down the right-field
line. Garciaparra followed with a bloop single to center to score
Lofton.

Jeff Kent reached on an error by second baseman Kaz Matsui, who
booted the ball twice. J.D. Drew walked to load the bases and
Martin dribbled a ball in front of the plate.

Rookie catcher Chris Iannetta didn't chase down the ball and
Jennings had to try to field it and tag out Garciaparra, who got
hurt trying to avoid the charging pitcher, who missed the ball
anyway.

Garrett Atkins hit his 28th homer in the third for Colorado.
Garciaparra hit his 20th homer in the fifth, a two-run shot
following a walk to Lofton. Kent then drew a walk and came around
to score on Anderson's double down the right-field line.

Jennings (9-13) allowed five earned runs and nine hits in five
innings.

"Jennings wasn't crisp with his fastball or his slider. I think
the workload has piled up on him a little bit," Colorado manager
Clint Hurdle said. "Some balls that weren't hit hard found grass,
and the ones that were hit hard found grass, too. We threw a bunch
of double plays out there, but it just didn't do that much for
us."

Game notes
Maddux has won six of eight career starts in Denver despite
a 6.00 ERA. ... Only Randy Johnson (14) and Jason Schmidt (13) have
beaten the Rockies more than Maddux (12). ... Garciaparra reached
20 homers for the first time since 2003.