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ROCKIES A HIT WITH FANS, NOT AGAINST L.A. PITCHERS

When they last visited Coors Field in early May, the Los Angeles Dodgers ripped Colorado pitching, scoring 35 runs in three games.

They're at it again.Raul Mondesi hit two home runs and drove in a career-high six runs Tuesday night, leading the Dodgers to a 9-6 victory in the opening game of a crucial three-game series.

The Dodgers, unbeaten in four games at Coors Field this season, reduced Colorado's lead in the NL West to 21/2 games.

Mondesi's six RBIs equalled a season-high for the Dodgers, previously achieved by Mike Piazza and Eric Karros.

The Rockies became the first major-league team to reach 2 million in attendance this year. A crowd of 48,071 - their 23rd straight sellout - raised the season total to 2,044,594, an average of 46,468.

Mondesi, who now is hitting .450 (36 for 80) in his career against Colorado, staked the Dodgers to a 4-0 lead with two-run homers in the first and third innings off Mark Thompson (2-2). His two-run single highlighted a four-run sixth inning that made it 8-4.

"The first homer came on a slider," Mondesi said. "The second was a fastball. I give 100 percent all the time - it doesn't matter if it's the Colorado Rockies. They're in first place, and we have to beat them."

Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said "winning the first game was very important. This is the team we've got to gain ground on."

Asked to explain the Dodgers' hitting prowess at Coors Field, Piazza said, "There's no explanation for it. We just come to this park and play well. We came out aggressive, something we have to continue to do against this team, because they are tough at home."

Rockies manager Don Baylor said his team "shut down Piazza and Karros pretty good, but Mondesi was the player of the night. You just can't spot them four runs, come back and tie, and then spot them four more. You run out of innings after a while."

Chad Fonville led off the game with an infield single and scored on Mondesi's 16th homer. In the third, Fonville reached on a walk and Mondesi hit a 420-foot blast to right-center.

Ismael Valdes (8-6) held the Rockies hitless until the fourth, when Colorado hit three solo homers. With one out, Mike Kingery and Dante Bichette hit back-to-back homers. Larry Walker lined out, but Andres Galarraga hit his 22nd homer to make it 4-3.

Colorado tied it in the fifth on singles by Joe Girardi and Walt Weiss, Thompson's sacrifice bunt and Eric Young's bloop single. But Valdes escaped further damage when second baseman Fonville turned Kingery's chopper over the mound into a double play.

"That was a big double play there," Baylor said. "If we get a hit there, Valdes is out of the game and we're off and running. We got only one run, and then they got four."

The Dodgers batted around in the sixth to take an 8-4 lead. Karros and Roberto Kelly singled, and Tim Wallach hit a sacrifice fly. Todd Hollandsworth lined an RBI single, chasing Thompson. With two outs, a walk and an error loaded the bases, and Mondesi hit a two-run single off Steve Reed.

Girardi's two-run homer in the seventh off Pedro Astacio made it 8-6. Fonville closed the scoring with an RBI single in the ninth.

Todd Worrell pitched the ninth for his 19th save.