Reggie Sanders was determined not to be called out on another pitch he thought was outside.
Sanders led off the ninth with his fourth homer off Scott Radinsky (1-2) to tie the game 5-5. Barry Larkin then drew a one-out walk, and scored the winning run on Dmitri Young's double off first baseman Eric Karros' glove.
"My whole approach was to get on base," Sanders said. "(Radinsky) gave me something away. They had been doing that all day."
And with a great deal of success. Sanders had a single in four at-bats before the ninth, and had been called out on strikes three times by plate umpire Jerry Layne.
"I seriously thought they were balls," said Sanders, who homered over the right-field fence on a 1-2 pitch. "(Layne) said they were pitcher's pitches. He had been calling the outside pitch on me all day."
The blown save was the second in three days for Radinsky and his fourth of the season. He gave given up four straight two-out singles in the ninth Friday night to allow the Reds to score twice and tie the game, and they went on to an 8-4, 12-inning victory.
Radinsky, who has 10 saves, remained in the Los Angeles dugout for more than an hour after Sunday's game ended.
"Everybody struggles," he said. "We battled, four runs right out of the chute, and I didn't hold it.
"The sun's going to shine tomorrow, this is California. Sometimes they hit them at people, sometimes they don't. Baseball season is like a roller coaster."
Dodgers manager Bill Russell gave Radinsky a shaky vote of confidence.
"He's our closer," Russell said. "He was the setup guy (last season). ... We lost our closer, (Todd) Worrell, and we looked within. We have (Antonio) Osuna and we have Radinsky. So we'll use them accordingly."
Osuna gave up a two-run homer to Bret Boone in the eighth Boone's second two-run homer of the game to make it 5-4.
Then came the decisive ninth.
Larkin scored easily when Young's liner went off the glove of Karros and into foul territory. Young was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
"Reggie got up there and tied it up, the situation presented itself for me," Young said. "It was an inside fastball, I hit it right at (Karros), it was a tough chance."
Young, from nearby Oxnard, had a lot of family and friends in the crowd of 41,306.
"I know I had about 30-something on the pass list, numerous others," he said. "It's nice to get a game-winning hit, period. It's double satisfaction getting one at home."
Danny Graves (1-0), whretired the Dodgers in order in the eighth, earned the victory. Jeff Shaw pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save.
Boone hit his first two-run homer off starter Ismael Valdes in the second. He hit his second off Osuna after Valdes allowed a leadoff single by Willie Greene in the eighth.
Boone has nine homers this season. He added a single in the third.
The Dodgers took a 4-0 lead in the first when Raul Mondesi hit a 2-0 pitch from Reds starter Mike Remlinger into the left field bullpen for his second career grand slam.
Charles Johnson was credited with a double in the Los Angeles second when second baseman Boone lost his popup in the sun, and later scored on Jose Vizcaino's sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead.
Valdes, one of several Dodgers mentioned in the recent Randy Johnson trade speculation, allowed eight hits and three runs in seven-plus innings. He walked three and struck out six.
Remlinger gave up six hits and five runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Notes: The Dodgers open a three-game series against Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. The Dodger Stadium gates will open a half-hour early before each game to allow fans watch McGwire take batting practice. ... Mondesi's first grand slam came on Aug. 15, 1995 against the Chicago Cubs. He has hit six homers since the Dodgers and Florida Marlins made their seven-player trade on May 15. ... Bobby Bonilla was rested for the first time since the Dodgers-Marlins trade. He was replaced by rookie Paul Konerko, who made his first start at third base in the big leagues. Bonilla grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth. ... Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee, on an eight-game hitting streak and batting .358, was also rested. ... Dodgers executive vice president Fred Claire entered the press box in the first inning, and said he had no news to report on the Randy Johnson trade front. ... Boone was given sunglasses immediately after he lost Johnson's popup in the sun.
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