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Dodgers Lose Season Series With Rockies : Baseball: Colorado's Liriano continues to carry hot bat, leading expansion team to an 8-5 victory and a 7-6 series advantage.

September 20, 1993|From Associated Press

DENVER — But for a timely telephone call, Nelson Liriano could just as easily be relaxing in his native Dominican Republic right now, instead of beating teams with his bat.

Liriano tripled and drove in three runs Sunday, and the streaking Colorado Rockies beat the Dodgers, 8-5, to win the season series.

The Rockies won for the ninth time in 11 games. They won seven of 13 games against the Dodgers, after losing the first five.

Since a 13-game losing streak in late July and early August, the Rockies have gone 26-15.

Liriano, who had his bags packed and was preparing to return home after his season ended with triple-A Colorado Springs on Sept. 8, was summoned by the Rockies when shortstop Freddie Benavides injured his ankle. The Rockies haven't been able to keep him out of the lineup since.

Liriano, who ended his minor league season with a 21-game hitting streak, went hitless in his first game with the Rockies, but has since run his hitting streak to 10 games. He is batting .447 over that stretch.

Liriano, a veteran of six major league seasons with four teams, admitted that he figured his season was over two weeks ago.

"I was ready to go home and get ready for next year," he said. "But that's the way this sport is. You never know. Good things happen when you work hard, that's all."

Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said losing the season series to an expansion team was "a matter of pride. We should have won it."

Lasorda blamed lack of control by starter Pedro Martinez (10-4) for much of the Dodgers' problems.

"There were two outs (in the second inning) and he walked the pitcher, and three runs resulted," Lasorda said. "Then our bullpen didn't hold them."

Colorado scored three runs in the second inning and three more in the third to take a 6-1 lead.

Martinez, making his first start of the season after 61 relief appearances, survived a bases-loaded jam in the first inning when he got Charlie Hayes to hit into a double play. In the second, however, Liriano hit a two-out triple after two walks for a 2-1 lead. Joe Girardi followed with an RBI single.

Andres Galarraga led off the Rockies' third with a triple and scored on a wild pitch.

Galarraga went two for five, maintaining his average at a league-leading .379, although he still falls several plate appearances shy of the required number to qualify for the batting title.

Henry Rodriguez hit a 448-foot solo home run for the Dodgers.

With a crowd of 61,573, the Rockies extended their major league attendance record to 4,168,453. They have had 60 crowds of 50,000 fans or more.

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