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Greatest moments in Dodger history, No. 13: Dodgers hit four straight homers off Padres

Four straight homers by the Dodgers.

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and the greatest moment countdown continues

I’m assuming everyone knows how this works by now, so I’m going to drop the explanatory introduction to these. If you need a reminder, click on any of the Nos. 20-25 greatest moments below.

Up next is a classic home run, home run, home run, home run moment.

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No. 13: Dodgers hit four straight homers against Padres (82 first-place votes, 7,552 points)

Four straight homers by the Dodgers.
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Watch the Dodgers hit four straight homers here.

As the 2006 season neared its end, the Dodgers and San Diego Padres were neck-and-neck for the NL West lead. The night of Sept. 18, 2006, they were facing each other with the Padres clinging to a half-game lead in the division. Whoever won would be in first place with about 12 games to go in the season.

The Padres had a 9-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. The Padres had Jon Adkins on the mound, but if the Dodgers even hinted at threatening, San Diego could always bring in Trevor Hoffman, one of the best closers in the game.

The Dodger Stadium crowd started to empty out, when Jeff Kent led off the inning with the homer.

Kent: “I was trying to get my mind ready for Hoffman. I was surprised he didn’t come in after my hit.”

Nice, but it was still 9-6. The next batter, J.D. Drew, also homered, making it 9-7.

Drew: “We were still down three runs when I came up, so I was just trying to put a good swing on it. It went out of the park, so I guess I put a good swing on it.”

Suddenly, some of those fans who were leaving rushed back to their seats.

Padres Manager Bruce Bochy made the call everyone was expecting, bringing in Hoffman. No way the Dodgers would score two more runs. Not off Hoffman.

Russell Martin hit Hoffman’s first pitch over the left-field fence. 9-8 Padres.

Martin: “The other day, he threw me a fastball, first pitch, belt-high. I didn’t hit it. I was hoping I would get to see that pitch again. He threw me pretty much the same pitch. I didn’t miss it.”

Up to the plate stepped Marlon Anderson. Acquired at the Aug. 31 trade deadline, Anderson had already homered once in the game. The odds of a player homering twice in one game, and that homer being the fourth consecutive his team had hit in the bottom of the ninth must have been about a gajillion to one. (Gajillion is a technical term, don’t look it up).

Anderson swung at the first pitch. Bang. Home run. 9-9.

Anderson: “What are the chances? Four in a row in a baseball game? It’s definitely the greatest game I’ve ever played in.”

Hoffman retired the next three batters (for the record, Julio Lugo was the man who had the chance to make it five in a row), sending the game into extra innings.

The Dodgers brought in Aaron Sele to pitch the 10th, and he gave up a double, a walk and a single to put the Padres ahead again, 10-9, going into the bottom of the inning.

Well, four in a row was nice, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t win the game.

Rudy Seañez, a former Dodger, pitched the 10th inning for the Padres. He walked Kenny Lofton, then faced Nomar Garciaparra. Bang. Home run. Dodgers win, 11-10, and move into first place.

Garciaparra: “When I was rounding the bases, I couldn’t wait to get home and hug everybody. It was like a group hug, because it was a group effort.”

The crowd was electric, no one wanted to leave, the stadium remain packed 20 minutes after the game and ushers had to plead with people to go home.

Even Vin Scully, who has seen everything, was stunned.

“I walk outside 10 minutes after the game and it seemed like every single driver of every single car was blowing their horn. It sounded like V-J Day.”

Excerpts of his play-by-play during the ninth and 10th innings:

Ninth inning, after home runs by Kent and Drew.

“What is that line? Do not go gentle into that good night. Well the Dodgers have decided they are not gonna go into that good night without howling and kicking, and Bruce Bochy’s going out to the mound to find out what’s going on. So Jon Adkins is banished in a hurry, home runs by Kent and Drew, but of course the Padres still have a two-run lead, and all of a sudden, it is Trevor time....

“He has been absolutely magnificent against everybody, but especially the Dodgers. He is 55 for 57 in his career. He has saved 24 straight, and the last time Trevor Hoffman had a blown save against the Dodgers was in April, five years ago.

“And a drive into left-center by Martin, that ball is carrying, into the seats! Three straight home runs!

“High and out. For Trevor Hoffman, he had allowed only two home runs. Russell Martin’s dad is ecstatic [as a camera shows the Martin’s father dancing in the stands], the Dodgers are still a buck short, on home runs by Kent and Drew and Martin. And now Marlon Anderson and Julio Lugo and the pitcher’s spot. And the folks who hung around to ride it out are in for quite a ride. For the Dodgers, five home runs in the game tonight. First time they’ve done that this year.

“And another drive into high, right-center, at the wall, running and watching it go out, believe it or not! Four consecutive home runs! The Dodgers have tied it up again!”

Scully pauses as the crowd roars.

“They’re coming back in. The people in the parking lot have decided they’d better come back. And for Marlon Anderson, what a night! Two singles, a triple and two home runs, a five-hit game, and we’re 9-9....

The 10th inning, with the Dodgers down by a run, and Kenny Lofton on first.

“Now Garciaparra. And for Bochy, more anxious moments. No lead is big enough. Not four in the first. Not five in the last two innings....

“And now Seañez, wild.... He’s behind three and one, and Bochy is twisting in the wind.

“And a high fly ball to left field, it is a way out and gone! The Dodgers win it, 11 to 10!

“Ohh ... un-be-lievable!

Scully takes a very long pause as the team celebrates at home plate and the fans go crazy.

“I forgot to tell you. The Dodgers are in first place.”

Previous greatest moments

No. 14: Sandy Koufax’s shutout in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series

No. 15: Dodgers win 1981 World Series

No. 16: Roy Campanella Night

No. 17: Rick Monday’s 1981 NLCS home run

No. 18: Rick Monday saves the flag

No. 19: Winning the 1988 World Series

No. 20: Winning the 1959 World Series

No. 21: Sandy Amorós’ catch in 1955 World Series

No. 22: Cody Bellinger’s catch in 2020 NLDS

No. 23: Justin Turner’s walkoff homer in 2017 NLCS

No. 24: Sandy Koufax strikes out 15 in 1963 World Series Game 1

No. 25: Mike Scioscia’s 1988 NLCS homer

And finally

Shawn Green has a monster day at the plate. Watch it here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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