The joy the Dodgers exhibited on the field at Dodger Stadium after they rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4, in 10 innings was summed up by Orel Hershiser.
To the delight of his teammates, Hershiser taunted reporters in the Dodgers' clubhouse Monday, yelling: "Enjoy that rewrite tonight, guys. Enjoy turning that obituary into a happy story."
Hershiser was right. The Dodgers had looked dead. Through eight innings, it looked as though Manager Tom Lasorda's latest attempt to bring life to their anemic offense would produce another failure.
Lasorda shuffled the lineup for the 22nd time in 37 games. This time it was hardly recognizable. With Darryl Strawberry already on the disabled list and Eric Davis in batting school, Lasorda benched two staples, Jody Reed and Eric Karros.
Down, 4-1, the Dodgers rallied to tie the score in the ninth inning. Then with two outs in the 10th and Mitch Webster on third base, Cory Snyder hit a line drive to center field to give the Dodgers a victory and send the players on the field in celebration before what remained of the crowd of 31,688.
All that could be heard from the Reds' clubhouse was some clatter and yelling. The Dodger victory stopped the Reds' seven-game winning streak and negated an impressive performance by pitcher Jose Rijo, who had held the Dodgers to five hits and one run in 7 2/3 innings.
Rijo took his anger out on a clubhouse chair, kicking it so hard he knocked off a leg.
But the lineup shake-up wasn't the only thing that kept the Dodgers in the game. The reserves were important, too.
In the ninth inning, Dave Hansen pinch-hit a single to center field off reliever Jeff Reardon that Reggie Sanders overran, scoring Snyder and Lenny Harris and putting Hansen on third base.
Hansen, a .154 hitter, has not started a game this season for the Dodgers and had two pinch hits in 13 at-bats before Monday.
"I always get psyched up for a pinch-hit," Hansen said. "It feels good to know that I could help the ball club."
With Davis running for Hansen, Brett Butler hit his first sacrifice fly this season, to deep left field to tie the score, 4-4.
With Bill Landrum (0-1) pitching for the Reds, Webster led off the 10th inning with a single to right field, stole second base on the first pitch and moved to third on a groundout by Mike Piazza.
Jim Gott (2-1) was the Dodger beneficiary, having relieved in the 10th inning.
The Dodgers had lost five of their last six games, but Roger McDowell, who pitched two scoreless innings in relief, said the team can't put too much emphasis on one victory.
"If we go on a winning streak, then you can turn around and point to this, but the same could be said about last weekend in San Francisco when we won two out of three and then went 1-5 in the last six games (of a trip)," McDowell said. "You don't get too high, and you don't get too low. It's just exciting to see the guys hustling and doing their own small part in a team effort.
"We needed a boost, but it remains to be seen if this is a turning point."
The Reds scored two runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie on a two-run double by Joe Oliver. Rijo followed with a single, but Ramon Martinez induced Bip Roberts to pop up and Bobby Kelly to ground out.
Snyder foiled the Reds' attempt to score in the fifth, when he made a perfect throw from to get Kevin Mitchell at third base.
Snyder made another great throw in the seventh inning when Kelly tried to stretch a single into the double. The throw beat Kelly, but shortstop Jose Offerman missed the tag. Kelly later scored on a single by Kevin Mitchell to put the Reds ahead, 4-1, and knock out Martinez, who was relieved by Rick Trlicek.
Chris Sabo scored the first run of the game in the second inning when he singled to left, moved to third base on a single by Reggie Sanders and scored on a groundout by Oliver.
The Dodgers tied the score in the third inning when Butler singled up the middle, took second on a groundout, third on a fly and scored on a single by Tim Wallach.