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Bichette's Bat Blasts Dodgers

After a season-long slump, the Colorado hitters are beginning to regain their Blake Street Bomber stature.

Dante Bichette homered and drove in five runs, and the Rockies twice sent 10 batters to the plate in an 11-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

"We were in our element today," Bichette said. "We got big hits from everybody, and any time you get big innings it usually adds up to a win."

After being shut out in the series opener and scoring three runs in a second-game loss, Colorado has scored seven and 11 runs in a pair of wins. Ironically, both wins have come after their most dangerous hitter, Larry Walker, went on the disabled list.

"We're a much better offensive club without him," Bichette said with a big laugh. "Larry's a great player, but nobody wants to hear that we can't win without him. Everybody else has to step up. That's how winning seasons are made."

The Rockies used five- and six-run innings to split the four-game series and overcome another big game by Eric Karros. He homered twice and drove in four runs; for the series he went 7-for-17 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Despite his problems with Karros, Bobby Jones (2-2) pitched the fourth complete game for Colorado this season. He gave up 10 hits, four of them in a two-run ninth when he developed bleeding beside the nail of the middle finger of his pitching hand.

"No way was I coming out of the game," Jones said. "I was one out away. I said, `I don't care if I throw right-handed."'

It was the 11th complete game by a Rockies pitcher in Coors Field history but the first by a left-hander.

Bichette's two-run single capped a five-run second inning off Chan Ho Park (5-5). His three-run homer off Greg McMichael accounted for the final runs in a six-run sixth.

Mike Lansing and Neifi Perez each drove in two runs for Colorado.

"Eric Karros had just a huge series here," Rockies manager Don Baylor said, "but our offense finally got untracked. That's the way it normally is for us here."

Dodgers manager Bill Russell said Park "had two bad innings and it cost us. He had excellent stuff. The problem was where he threw it. We spotted him a three-run lead, but three runs is nothing here. You let them get started and you see the kind of firepower they have. They put runs up in a hurry. Except for Karros, we didn't get anything going."

Karros, who won the first two games of the series with homers and had a three-run double in the third game Saturday night, put the Dodgers ahead 3-0 in the first. Roger Cedeno led off with a double, Gary Sheffield walked and Karros hit a 423-foot homer off the top of the center-field wall.

Colorado took the lead in the second, highlighted by Bichette's bloop ingle. Ellis Burks added an RBI double off the wall in left-center.

Karros homered again leading off the fourth, a 431-foot wind-aided shot to center. It was Karros' eighth homer this season

half of them coming in this series.

In the sixth, Lansing had an RBI double and Perez an RBI single, chasing Park. Jeff Barry hit a sacrifice fly off McMichael, and Bichette launched a 446-foot homer to left.

Dodgers shortstop Jose Vizcaino injured his right ankle attempting to steal second base in the third inning. X-rays at Denver's Rose Medical Center revealed a sprain, and he will be sidelined 3-to-5 days.

Notes: Barry, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday when outfielder Larry Walker went on the disabled list, made the first start of his major-league career. He had 15 at-bats in a brief stay with the New York Mets in 1995. ... Dodgers catcher Charles Johnson returned to the lineup after missing the last two games while attending the funeral of his grandmother in Florida. ... Los Angeles second baseman Eric Young missed his fifth straight game because of a strained right quadriceps. ... Despite two straight wins, the Rockies still have the worst home record in the NL (13-22). ... Park entered the game with the highest run support in the NL (6.27 runs in 15 starts). ... Los Angeles' Paul LoDuca had an RBI single in the ninth for his first major league hit.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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