Mon, Oct 04, 2004 - Page 20 News List

LA Dodgers rule National League West

AMERICAN BASEBALL The Dodgers reached the postseason for the first time since making it as the wild card in 1996, after they defeated the Giants

AP , LOS ANGELESAP, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Oakland Athletics' Jermaine Dye, left, scores ahead of the tag of Anaheim Angels catcher Bengie Molina in the sixth inning in Oakland, California, Saturday. Dye scored on a hit by Marco Scutaro.

PHOTO: AP

National League

Steve Finley's grand slam capped a seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday as the Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West, beating the San Francisco Giants 7-3.

"We never quit -- we're winners," said Odalis Perez, who will pitch the playoff opener. "We know how to do it. We finish."

Barry Bonds and the Giants can still make it back to the postseason. If they beat the Dodgers on Sunday and Houston loses to Colorado, San Francisco would host the Astros Monday afternoon. The winner would get the wild card.

Trailing 3-0, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out on a single by Shawn Green and two walks by Dustin Hermanson (6-9), who was pulled after walking Choi Hee-seop with the bases loaded to force in a run.

Jason Christiansen got Cesar Izturis to hit a grounder, but shortstop Cody Ransom misplayed it for an error, allowing Robin Ventura to score. Jayson Werth singled off Matt Herges to tie it.

Finley, acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline, connected off Wayne Franklin and the celebration began immediately.

"Everything was appropriate about that," Werth said of Finley's heroics. "He's unbelievable. He's brought a lot to the table for us this year."

Yhency Brazoban (6-2) pitched one inning for the win.

Braves 8, Cubs 6

In Chicago, Moises Alou, Aramis Ramirez and Sammy Sosa all homered for Chicago, but Carlos Zambrano couldn't hold a 6-2 lead as Atlanta condemned the Cubs to a 59th year without a World Series appearance.

A season that started with such high hopes for the Cubs wound up with them being eliminated from playoff contention by their fifth straight loss. The Cubs led the NL wild-card race by 1 1/2 games before dropping seven of eight.

Kevin Gryboski (3-2) pitched a scoreless seventh and John Smoltz got his 44th save with 1 1-3 innings of relief. Kyle Farnsworth (4-2) took the loss.

J.D. Drew hit a two-run triple in the eighth to lift the Braves.

Braves starter John Thomson -- scheduled to open Game 2 of the divisional series -- left after three innings with a stiff back. Chipper Jones departed after being hit near the right hand with a pitch in the fifth. He had a bruise, no X-rays were needed and he'll be evaluated daily.

Marlins 4, Phillies 3

In Philadelphia, Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera homered to lead Florida over Philadelphia, hours after the Phillies fired manager Larry Bowa.

Bowa led the Phillies to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 21 years, but they failed to reach the playoffs for the 11th straight season after coming in as favorites to win the NL East.

Josh Beckett (9-9) gave up an RBI single to Tomas Perez in the second and a solo homer to Jason Michaels in the sixth. He allowed seven hits and struck out five in eight innings.

Armando Benitez picked up his 47th save.

Eric Milton (14-6) retired 13 straight in one stretch, but allowed four runs and three hits in seven innings, while striking out seven.

American League

Chasing Oakland and Texas for most of the season, the Anaheim Angels scored three times in the eighth inning to beat the Athletics 5-4 Saturday and clinch the American League West title.

Darin Erstad hit a tying, two-run double and scored on Garret Anderson's single as the Angels earned their first division championship in 18 years and first playoff berth since 2002, when they won the World Series as the wild-card team.

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