Dodgers win 5th in row, stay in NL wild-card race

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 30, 2012
Josh Beckett earned his first victory in his last five starts and the Los Angeles Dodgers backed him with three homers, beating Colorado 7-1 Sunday for the fifth straight win to stay in contention for an NL wild-card spot. Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis each hit two-run homers as the Dodgers remained two games behind St. Louis for the second wild card. The Cardinals beat Washington 10-4. The Dodgers have their first five-game winning streak in more than two months. They end the regular season with a three-game series against the NL West champion San Francisco Giants starting Monday at home. Beckett (2-3) allowed one run and six hits in six innings, struck out five and walked three for his first victory since Sept. 1 against Arizona. The right-hander had received two or fewer runs in five of his previous six starts with the team, which acquired him in a trade with Boston. Andrew Brown's homer leading off the fourth was the Rockies' only run in the three-game series that ended with their ninth consecutive road loss. Until he homered, Colorado had gone 26 innings without scoring. Jorge De La Rosa (0-2) gave up four runs and five hits in four innings, struck out three and walked none in his third start since Tommy John surgery kept him out for nearly 16 months. Shane Victorino opened the fourth with a single before Kemp's 23rd homer and third in two days cleared the wall in right field, putting the Dodgers ahead for good, 2-1. After Adrian Gonzalez singled and Hanley Ramirez flied out, Cruz homered to make it 4-1. Los Angeles loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth against Rob Scahill. Ramirez's RBI single scored Victorino, who had three hits. Kemp was thrown out at the plate trying to score right behind Victorino. Ellis homered in the sixth after Andre Ethier walked with one out, extending the Dodgers' lead to 7-1. NOTES: The Dodgers last won five in a row from July 18-23. ... Los Angeles swept Colorado for the second time this season, with the first coming at home from May 11-13. ... De La Rosa fell to 0-7 in nine career starts against the Dodgers, and Colorado has lost all 13 games in which he's appeared vs. LA. ... The Rockies have not won a season series against the Dodgers since 2007. ... Ellis received the club's Roy Campanella Award before the game from Campanella's daughter Joni. He was chosen by his teammates and coaches as the Dodgers' most inspirational player this season.
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