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Grandal slam drops Dodgers' magic No. to 4

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Vin Scully Weekend at Dodger Stadium doesn't officially start until Friday, but the Dodgers got the celebration started early Thursday night with a 7-4 comeback win over Colorado, Yasmani Grandal's two homers cutting the magic number to win the National League West to four.

Trailing 4-1, the Dodgers scored one run on a pair of misplays in the sixth inning, then erupted for five in the seventh. One scored on a bases-loaded walk to Adrian Gonzalez by Boone Logan, then Grandal blasted his second career grand slam and his 27th homer of the season after his solo shot in the second inning. Grandal also had a missed fly ball ruled a double and a single in four plate appearances.

Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Vin Scully Weekend at Dodger Stadium doesn't officially start until Friday, but the Dodgers got the celebration started early Thursday night with a 7-4 comeback win over Colorado, Yasmani Grandal's two homers cutting the magic number to win the National League West to four.

Trailing 4-1, the Dodgers scored one run on a pair of misplays in the sixth inning, then erupted for five in the seventh. One scored on a bases-loaded walk to Adrian Gonzalez by Boone Logan, then Grandal blasted his second career grand slam and his 27th homer of the season after his solo shot in the second inning. Grandal also had a missed fly ball ruled a double and a single in four plate appearances.

Full Game Coverage

"I was just thinking about tying the game up," said Grandal. "I wanted to get something up in the air to get a run in. I didn't want to hit the ball on the ground. Being a catcher, that usually ends up a double play."

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

Colorado manager Walt Weiss noted that in the seventh, he went to Logan "with the exact matchups we wanted." Before Thursday's three-walk performance, Logan's last walk was an intentional one on Aug. 23 and his last walk of commission was Aug. 15.

"I felt good; I can't point it on feeling bad," Logan said. "I couldn't locate my slider, couldn't throw it for a strike when I needed to. If I can't do that, it's tough on pitching because they start laying off. I took my lickin' tonight. It's part of baseball. I'm not going to be perfect every time."

Brett Anderson came off the disabled list to start and pitched five innings, giving up four runs for the Dodgers in a tryout for the postseason rotation. The bullpen followed with four scoreless innings, Luis Avilan (2-0) credited with the win and Kenley Jansen his 46th save.

Video: COL@LAD: Jansen closes the door on the Rockies

"It's finally good to not be a full detriment to the team," joked Anderson. "I'll take the positives out of it more than the negatives. Not 100 percent execution-wise, but body- and arm-wise, it was good. I still feel I'm a good pitcher when I can go out there healthy."

This was the Dodgers' 44th comeback win out of 87 total and the 10th when trailing after six innings.

"It's one of those things now, regardless of the score, we feel we're going to find a way to win," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "As the season has moved along from April to now, that belief comes with having done it numerous times."

Weiss was ejected in the top of the eighth inning by plate umpire Alfonso Marquez for arguing a called third strike on Nolan Arenado. At the end of the inning, Arenado was also ejected by Marquez.

Video: COL@LAD: Weiss, Arenado both receive ejections

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No look, no problem:
Second baseman Chase Utley said he was just lucky, but he pulled off a ridiculous magical play to end the fourth inning. After booting pitcher Tyler Chatwood's grounder, Utley retrieved the ball barehanded while falling away from first base and blindly flipped it backward right to the outstretched glove of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

"The first thing he says, 'I can't believe I missed the ball,'" said Roberts. "Instead of acknowledging the greatness of the play." More >

Video: Must C Crafty: Utley recovers with no-look flip

Keeping it going: DJ LeMahieu's first two at-bats were infield groundouts, but don't worry. LeMahieu will find his way on base -- or in this case, around the bases. LeMahieu launched his 11th homer of the season to right-center off Anderson in the fifth for a 4-1 lead to extend his on-base streak to a career-best 38 games.

Video: COL@LAD: LeMahieu pounds a solo homer to left-center

Ethier's back: The winning rally started with a double from pinch-hitter Andre Ethier, his first extra-base hit after missing most of the season with a broken leg. Ethier is trying to make the postseason roster in a crowded outfield.

"That was a big hit for him," Roberts said.

Video: COL@LAD: Gonzalez plates Ethier with a walk

And there goes the rally: After Arenado's disputed third strike, the Rockies were hit with bad luck. Carlos Gonzalez slapped a line drive toward first base, where LeMahieu was after singling to open the inning. The ball caromed off Adrian Gonzalez's glove, but not far, and the Dodgers ended up with an unassisted double play.

QUOTABLE
"It's tough to make calls. He's human, but I'm human, too. I'm just trying to win." -- Arenado on his anger, which led to the ejection in the eighth. More >

"I kept my emotions in check." -- Roberts, who pretty much went crazy when Grandal hit his grand slam

CHATWOOD'S ROAD ACT
Chatwood threw 102 pitches in six innings, and continued his impressive pitching on the road by holding the Dodgers to two runs and five hits, with five strikeouts and four walks. Chatwood lowered his road ERA to 1.88 in 12 starts.

"'Chatty' was real good again -- good fastball, good life to it, good movement," Weiss said. "In the later innings he started mixing the breaking ball."

Video: COL@LAD: Chatwood holds Dodgers to two runs over six

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Rookie right-hander Jon Gray, who set a club record with 16 strikeouts while fashioning his first shutout and first complete game in his last start, will lead the Rockies against the Dodgers on Friday at 8:10 p.m. MT.

Dodgers: Scott Kazmir starts in Friday night's 7:10 p.m. PT game as postseason rotation tryouts continue on Vin Scully Appreciation Night. It will be Kazmir's first Dodgers start since leaving an Aug. 22 game in the third inning with a thoracic neck injury. The club needs to decide on a fourth starter for the postseason. Kazmir is 2-0 against the Rockies and pitched six scoreless innings against them in a July 2 win.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.



This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tyler Chatwood, Yasmani Grandal, Scott Kazmir