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Archive for Saturday, October 17, 2009

L.A. rallies in eighth, knots NLCS at 1-all

October 17, 2009

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— A grounder off a fielder’s glove. A bunt that slipped by two players. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ latest postseason rally began in the weirdest, wackiest way.

Another throwing error by Chase Utley, a pinch-hit single and two walks also were part of the Dodgers’ crazy eighth inning that produced a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, tying the NL championship series at one game each.

The Dodgers took the lead after Phillies pulled Pedro Martinez, who allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings. Andre Ethier drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk from rookie J.A. Happ, capping the Dodgers’ third comeback win of this postseason.

“We’ve been doing it all year, it seems like. We’re relentless. We never give up,” catcher Russell Martin said. “We go out there and compete, play through 27 outs, and whatever happens, happens. But we never keep our heads down.”

Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Philadelphia.

“We only need three more games to do something special,” said Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Vicente Padilla pitched brilliantly for 71⁄3 innings and the Los Angeles bullpen did the rest. Hong-Chih Kuo threw three pitches, getting two outs and the win. Jonathan Broxton worked a perfect ninth for the save.

Philadelphia wound up using five relievers in the eighth, but not Brad Lidge, who didn’t get into the game.

“I don’t think it will have any lasting effect on us,” Martinez said. “We didn’t execute. We made errors. If we hit like we normally do, I don’t think the game’s going to end up 2-1.”

For the second time in this year’s playoffs, a visiting team let a late lead slip away at Dodger Stadium. Last week, St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday’s two-out error on an easy fly ball in the ninth doomed the Cardinals, who got swept by the Dodgers.

They perfected their late-inning magic during the regular season by winning 12 games in walk-offs, third best in the majors.

Martinez and Padilla dueled through seven innings in a matchup of castoffs.

Padilla allowed one run and four hits, struck out six and walked one.

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