CINCINNATI — Eddie Milner and the Cincinnati Reds wiped away tears before producing another unbelievably sad ending for the Dodgers.
The Reds appeared on their way to losing before 38,747 fans who turned out Sunday afternoon to honor retiring Cincinnati first baseman Tony Perez. But Ron Oester led off the eighth inning with a game-tying homer, Buddy Bell doubled home the go-ahead run and Milner hit a three-run homer to send the Reds to an 8-4 victory.
Milner and the rest of the Reds were on the field before the game for an emotional tribute to Perez. Milner said the ballclub was determined to win the game for Perez despite falling behind, 4-1.
The outfielder said he dedicated the homer to Perez.
"That ceremony brought tears to my eyes," Milner said. "You couldn't hold it back. He's such a great ballplayer and person, too."
Oester hit a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his seventh home run to tie the game, 4-4, against Orel Hershiser (13-13). Rookie Barry Larkin then singled, moved to second on a wild pitch by reliever Ken Howell, and scored on Bell's double.
Milner's 13th home run chased Howell and padded the lead to 8-4. Scott Terry (1-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.
The National League West rivals completed their season series with the Reds holding a 10-8 advantage. The loss dropped the Dodgers' road record this season to 25-48, their worst mark since they went 31-50 in 1967.
It was the 17th time this year the Dodgers have lost a game when they took the lead into the eighth inning.
"We're losing games there's no way we should lose," Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said.
Perez went 1 for 2 with a single and a walk before being removed in the seventh inning for a pinch-runner. The crowd booed when he was taken out of the game. He broke into a wide smile when discussing the eighth-inning rally.
"When I saw Oester hit the homer, I really liked it because I knew we were going to come back and win," Perez said. "Especially on my day, I don't want my team to lose the ballgame."
Hershiser pitched and hit the Dodgers to a 4-1 lead in the sixth.
The Dodgers scored a pair of runs in the second off starter Bill Gullickson, who narrowly avoided his fourth consecutive loss after winning five games in a row.
Consecutive singles by Mike Scioscia, Franklin Stubbs, Jeff Hamilton and Dave Anderson produced the first run, and Hershiser hit into a force out to score Stubbs.
Ralph Bryant doubled in the third inning, took third on Greg Brock's single and scored on Scioscia's sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead. Hershiser doubled home another run in the sixth for a 4-1 lead.
The right-hander allowed Cincinnati's first run with a fifth-inning wild pitch, then gave up an RBI triple to Bell and a sacrifice fly to Dave Parker in the sixth to put the Reds within range for the dramatic comeback.
Dodger second baseman Steve Sax got an infield single in his last at-bat to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games, the longest by a Dodger player since Pedro Guerrero hit safely in 19 games in 1982.