Series: Game 1 of 4

LA Dodgers leads 1-0 (as of 9/8)

Game 1: Monday, September 8
LA Dodgers10Final
Game 2: Tuesday, September 9
LA Dodgers4Final
Game 3: Wednesday, September 10
LA Dodgers4Final
Game 4: Thursday, September 11
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Dodgers 10

(76-66, 35-35 away)

Diamondbacks 3

(73-71, 40-32 home)

    9:35 PM ET, September 8, 2003

    Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 120000034 10 14 0
    ARI 000300000 3 5 0

    W: G. Mota (6-2)

    L: O. Villarreal (7-7)

    L.A. gets fourth straight win

    PHOENIX (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' offense is breaking loose after a season of struggle and closing in on the leaders in the NL wild-card chase.

    Cesar Izturis went a career-best 5-for-5 and just missed hitting for the cycle Monday night in the Dodgers' 10-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    The Dodgers, winners of four in a row and nine of 11, moved within two games of wild-card leaders Florida and Philadelphia.

    "We've been a good ballclub this year," manager Jim Tracy said. "But with what's happening right now offensively, we're an excellent team. We're a very tough team to beat."

    Jeromy Burnitz put Los Angeles ahead 6-3 with a three-run homer in the eighth, then Shawn Green sealed it with his sixth career grand slam in the ninth.

    The Dodgers have scored 10 runs just three times all season, but two have come in the last three games.

    "They got a lot of offense from the top of the order, especially Izturis," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "It seems like they had something going every inning."

    The Dodgers trail the wild-card leaders by just one game in the loss column with 20 to play.

    The Diamondbacks remained six back with 18 left.

    "For us, losing every game is losing ground because it's one more day off the schedule," Luis Gonzalez said, "and we're running out of time."

    Leading off in place of injured Dave Roberts, Izturis tripled and scored in the first, hit a two-run homer in the second and singled in the fifth.

    He hit one into the right-field gap in the seventh and tried to stretch it into a double to complete the cycle, but was barely thrown out by center fielder Steve Finley, sliding head first with the tag applied by shortstop Alex Cintron.

    Replays showed that the throw beat Izturis, but the tag was high and he might have been safe.

    "I saw the replay. I was safe, but it was a bam-bam play," Izturis said. "I could have been called safe or out."

    Guillermo Mota (6-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief to get the victory.

    Shea Hillenbrand, in his second career at-bat against Kevin Brown, tied the game with a three-run homer in the fourth after Cintron barely beat out what would have been an inning-ending double play.

    Arizona reliever Oscar Villarreal (7-7), in his 78th appearance of the season, walked Fred McGriff with one out in the eighth, then gave up a single to Adrian Beltre. Burnitz followed with his 27th homer of the season, an opposite-field shot to left, to put the Dodgers up 6-3.

    "I was out of whack pretty much all day, swinging at some bad pitches and stuff," Burnitz said. "I just tried to stay behind the ball and get a pitch to drive. He threw me a little fastball away and I just put a really nice swing on it."

    After reliever Stephen Randolph intentionally walked Paul Lo Duca to load the bases with no outs in the ninth, Green hit a 420-foot smash to right-center, his 15th homer and the Dodgers' second slam of the season.

    "It's a frustrating night for us," Gonzalez said. "We were in a 3-3 game feeling pretty good about it, then we just fell apart."

    The Dodgers nearly pulled off a slick relay play to start the fourth when Junior Spivey grounded up the middle, second baseman Alex Cora gloved the ball and flipped it in the same motion to the shortstop Izturis, whose throw to first was just late.

    Luis Gonzalez singled to put runners on first and second with no outs.

    Brown struck out Raul Mondesi, and Cintron grounded into what looked like a routine double play. But Cora's relay throw to first was just late.

    That brought up Hillenbrand, who belted Brown's 1-1 pitch 409 feet into the left-field seats, his 13th homer since he came in a trade from Boston on May 29.

    Brown, seeking his 14th victory, allowed three runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked two. Miguel Batista gave up three runs on nine hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one.

    Game notes

    Villarreal tied the Diamondbacks record for appearances in a season. He and the Dodgers' Paul Quantrill lead the majors with 78 appearances. Quantrill got one out in the eighth. ... Roberts didn't start for the fifth consecutive game because of a neck sprain but came on as a pinch-runner in the eighth then stayed to play center field. ... Dodgers' RHP Andy Ashby went back to Los Angeles for examination of an inflamed right elbow.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press