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Dodgers short hops10/10/2004 2:46 AM ET
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers combined a great starting pitching effort from Jose Lima with some clutch hitting by Steve Finley and Shawn Green to breathe some life into their National League Division Series with a 4-0 victory in Game 3 on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Now we'll see if Odalis Perez can shake the blues of his Game 1 implosion to send the series back to St. Louis for a deciding Game 5 on Monday night. Perez didn't make it out of the third inning and allowed three of the Cardinals' record-tying five homers in Tuesday's 8-3 loss. Asked how much rope he would give Perez in Sunday's Game 4, manager Jim Tracy said, "I'm not going to expound on that a whole lot here." Suffice to say, the bullpen is well rested after Lima's complete game and Perez will be yanked faster than you can say "you're out" if he repeats his Game 1 performance. Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 3 of the NLDS. Team stats
Finley may be 1-for-12 in the series, but his big double with the bases loaded and two out in the third got Big Blue started. Frozen moment
With runners on first and second in the third, Lima dropped a bunt down in front of the plate that was fielded on one hop by catcher Mike Matheny, who pegged the ball to second, Brent Mayne beating the throw. Television replays seemed to show that Lima's bunt hopped back off the dirt in front of the plate and ricocheted off his bat, perhaps also hitting his foot. But the umps let the call stand, loading the bases ultimately for Finley. Slick move
Tracy had Eric Gagne warming up for his traditional ninth-inning trot to the mound. But when the Dodgers were retired in their half of the eighth, the bullpen doors never swung up open. Tracy decided to give Lima a shot at finishing what he started. The right-hander didn't blow the chance, retiring Albert Puljos, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds in order to end the game. Green sets one Dodgers homer mark
His two homers Saturday in consecutive at-bats gives him three in an NLDS, eclipsing by one the first-round marks set by Steve Garvey (1981) and Eric Karros (1995). Green ties another
His homers in consecutive at-bats were the first time a Dodger has accomplished the feat in a first-round series since Karros did it in Game 2 of Cincinnati's sweep of the 1995 series. Last word
"Odalis is very capable of pitching against this club. After watching the performance that Lima gave tonight and the way he went about it, one thing I think is very safe to say is that you don't want to be behind [in the count] pitching to this club in too many situations."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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