Andre Ethier hit another walk-off home run -- this one in the 13th inning -- to lift the Dodgers past the Colorado Rockies, 4-2, Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Ethier’s blast off Colorado reliever Joel Peralta on a 1-2 pitch came after Casey Blake singled to open the inning.
Reliever James McDonald got the win for the Dodgers, who enjoyed their ninth walk-off victory of the season, tops in the big leagues.
The 4-hour 10-minute victory came after Juan Pierre -- who replaced Manny Ramirez in left field after the Dodgers slugger was suspended May 7 -- singled, stole bases and represented the winning run in both the 10th and 12th innings, only to be stranded by his teammates’ ineffective hitting.
Although he’s hitting .329, Pierre is scheduled to return to the bench when Ramirez returns Friday in San Diego.
The Dodgers had yet another chance to win the game in the ninth inning, when Ethier opened with a double against Colorado reliever Randy Flores. But Ethier also couldn’t score, as Matt Kemp failed to advance him, grounding out to shortstop, and Russell Martin and pinch-hitter Brad Ausmus struck out.
Although it’s only June, the series was seen as a key matchup for both clubs.
Colorado has been the major leagues’ hottest team and hoped to maintain its momentum against the first-place Dodgers, who now are 8 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Rockies in the National League West.
The San Francisco Giants, seven games back in second place, won earlier in the day.
The Dodgers, in turn, hoped to keep Colorado at bay despite struggling to score runs in the two previous games but with the knowledge Ramirez plans to rejoin the team this week.
The Dodgers managed to halt a minor slide. They had lost four of five games and consecutive series -- against the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners -- for the first time since last August.
Dodgers starting pitcher Randy Wolf (3-3), who worked six innings, added to his list of no decisions this season but kept the Dodgers in the game Monday night in front of 41,288.
The veteran shut out the Rockies through four innings, but in the fifth Brad Hawpe singled and Santa Barbara native Ryan Spilborghs homered into the left-field pavilion.
In the Dodgers’ half of the fifth, with two out and Kemp on second, Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez (6-7) intentionally walked Martin to get Wolf in the batter’s box. Jimenez then balked, enabling the runners to advance to second and third, and Wolf singled to right field to drive them home and tie the score, 2-2.
The Dodgers threatened to take the lead in the seventh inning when James Loney reached on an infield hit and Martin singled him to third. But with two out, pinch-hitter Mark Loretta grounded out.
It was the first meeting of the teams since Colorado’s resurgence began May 29, when the Rockies, then 14 games behind the Dodgers, fired manager Clint Hurdle and replaced him with former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy.
The Rockies then went on a 22-7 tear, and had won 20 of 23 entering Monday’s game.
The “old” Rockies also had lost seven of eight games to the Dodgers before Monday, and the Dodgers had especially feasted on Jimenez, saddling him with an 0-3 record and 10.20 earned-run average.
But this time Jimenez held the Dodgers to two runs and five hits in seven innings.