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DODGER REPORT

Dodgers Give Prokopec Some Powerful Support

September 18, 2000|STEVE HENSON

Can anything be more gratifying for a pitcher in search of his first big league victory than watching his teammates blast five home runs?

"That was a sweet sight," Luke Prokopec said.

The Australian right-hander gave up two runs in six innings, left with a four-run lead and watched from the bench as the Dodgers pummeled the Colorado Rockies, 12-6, Sunday in front of 36,498 at Dodger Stadium.

Adrian Beltre hit two home runs, Chris Donnels and Chad Kreuter each hit three-run blasts and Alex Cora also homered as the Dodgers surpassed 200 home runs for the first time since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.

The power display can't mask the Dodgers' disappointing season and is not much more than a sign of the times. But the fact remains they are only five homers short of the franchise record of 208 set in 1953.

Beltre became the fifth Dodger to hit at least 20 homers, joining Gary Sheffield (41), Eric Karros (30), Shawn Green (24) and Todd Hundley (23). The only other Dodger team to accomplish the feat was in 1979, when Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Davey Lopes each hit 28 homers, Dusty Baker hit 23 and Joe Ferguson hit 20.

Prokopec was aided by double plays in the second, third and fourth innings. The last one deflated the Rockies (76-73), who were trying to rally from a 5-0 deficit. They loaded the bases with none out and Juan Pierre scored on a sacrifice fly by Todd Helton. But Todd Walker lined to Cora, who doubled Neifi Perez off second.

The Dodgers (78-72) surpassed last season's victory total but will be eliminated from the National League West race by any combination of two losses or victories by the first-place San Francisco Giants.

*

Back spasms kept left fielder Gary Sheffield sidelined for the second game in a row. The pain, Sheffield said, originates in his lower back and spreads to his left side.

"Any time I turn to my left, it shoots down," he said.

In August, Sheffield sat out 10 games because of flu, returning to the lineup Sept. 1.

"I probably came back too soon from the flu," he said. "I wasn't ready and this injury is probably a result of it."

On Deck

* Opponent--Arizona Diamondbacks, three games.

* Site--Dodger Stadium.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox Sports Net 2, all three games.

* Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* Records--Dodgers 78-72, Rockies 76-73.

* Record vs. Rockies--9-4.

TONIGHT

DODGERS' KEVIN BROWN

(12-6, 2.71 ERA)

vs.

DIAMONDBACKS' ARMANDO REYNOSO

(10-11, 5.40 ERA)

* Tuesday, 7 p.m.--Chan Ho Park (15-10, 3.67) vs. Brian Anderson (10-5, 4.18).

* Wednesday, 7 p.m.--Darren Dreifort (11-8, 4.53 vs. Randy Johnson (18-6, 2.38).

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