On a night they took an 11-1 lead after five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers played another unbelievable game Tuesday.
Because they blew that lead and lost the game.
In the biggest ninth-inning rally by the Philadelphia Phillies in 72 years, the Dodgers gave up nine runs in the ninth and suffered a 12-11 defeat before 39,682 at Dodger Stadium.
With the Dodgers poised to move six games above .500 for the first time this season, John Kruk hit a three-run homer against Dodger reliever Tim Crews to tie the score, then Carmelo Martinez hit an RBI double off Jay Howell to eventually win it.
But Crews and Howell and even reliever Dave Walsh, who started the inning, were not solely to blame. Rookie shortstop Jose Offerman committed two errors in the inning that caused eight of the runs to be unearned.
"I'm in shock," Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said. "First time, first time I've ever seen anything like that in the ninth inning. Eleven to one. Eleven to one. I don't believe it."
The Reds' 8-1 victory over Chicago pushed the second-place Dodgers to 6 1/2 games behind in the National League West.
"I thought I had it sewn up, I thought the team had it sewn up, this is kind of unbelievable," said Dodger starter Mike Hartley, who gave up one run in six innings.
"I'm sure it's not the first time it's happened," he said. "It's not going to be the last time it's happened. But man, it's tough to let that one slip away. I was kind of celebrating the win."
Said Phillie Manager Nick Leyva: "I've never seen anything like it. I don't think I've even heard of anything like it. They kept making bad pitches, and we took advantage of it."
The Dodgers, who scored eight runs in the fifth, began to blow their 11-1 lead in the eighth when the Phillies scored twice against relief pitcher Don Aase, making his first appearance since June 30 after missing more than a month because of a sore shoulder.
It was still 11-3 when rookie Dave Walsh took the mound to start the ninth. Walsh walked Rod Booker before Offerman botched a grounder by Martinez.
Dickie Thon singled to score one run. Dave Hollins singled to score another. One out later, Tom Nieto walked, then Offerman booted a grounder by Von Hayes to score another run.
In came Crews, who allowed a two-run double to Dale Murphy. Then, on a 2-and-0 fastball, pinch-hitter Kruk tied the score with his home run into the right-field seats, only his third homer of the year and first since May 1.
Booker singled before Howell replaced Crews. Booker stole second on his first pitch, and scored when Martinez doubled into the left-center-field gap.
The Dodgers went down in the bottom of the ninth with a substitute lineup that entered the game earlier, when they still led by 10 runs. Against reliever Don Carman, Jose Gonzalez flied out, Stan Javier singled, Mickey Hatcher flied out and Chris Gwynn grounded out to end the game.
"In a game like this, you go from feeling like fighting everybody to feeling like hugging everybody," Leyva said.
Said Crews: "I screwed up the game. What can I say?"
The Dodgers fell to 3-2 on this home stand, and have one game remaining against the Phillies before a four-game weekend series against the New York Mets.
While the Phillies equaled a club record for ninth-inning runs, previous set in 1918, the Dodgers had earlier hit for their second-biggest inning of the season.
Holding a 3-1 lead after four innings, the uprising began against reliever Bruce Ruffin, who had already replaced Jason Grimsley, who gave up three runs in three innings in his his third major league start.
It began on a swinging third strike by Kirk Gibson. Catcher Darren Daulton was charged with a passed ball, and Gibson was safe on first base.
The Dodgers would score seven runs before the Phillies could make another out.
Kal Daniels singled. Eddie Murray walked. Hubie Brooks hit a slow roller that was mishandled by third baseman Charlie Hayes for an error, scoring one run.
Mike Scioscia, who had a bases-loaded, two-run single in the third, lined a double to left-center in the fifth to score two runs.
Against Darrel Akerfelds, Mike Sharperson followed with a grounder that shortstop Thon threw late to the plate in an attempt to get Brooks. All runners were safe, and it simply got worse.
The bases were loaded on a fielding error by Akerfelds on a bunt by Hartley. Lenny Harris then drove in two runs with a single, and, two batters later, a grounder by Javier scored the final run. The inning amounted to eight Dodger runs, five unearned, on five hits and two errors.
Juan Samuel didn't start for a third consecutive game. The second baseman has three hits in his last 22 at-bats. . . . Alfredo Griffin returned to the starting lineup after sitting for two games while rookie shortstop Jose Offerman played in his first two major league games. Offerman could still end up starting at least as many games as Griffin in the final six weeks of the season.