- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2002

MILWAUKEE Shawn Green sure knows how to break out of a slump. Five days after being benched in the midst of an 0-for-18 slide in which he failed to get the ball out of the infield, the Los Angeles Dodgers' slugger yesterday became the 14th player to homer four times in a game.

Green punctuated his record-setting day with a boom, hitting a 450-foot shot in the ninth inning of Los Angeles' 16-3 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers. He was mobbed in the dugout by teammates who had spent most of the year encouraging him as he slumped to a .231 batting average with just three homers coming into the Milwaukee series.

"They were going pretty crazy, which made me feel pretty good," Green said. "When I've gotten pats on the back this season, they've usually been sympathy pats."

The Dodgers' slugger connected four times exactly three weeks after Mike Cameron's four-homer game for the Seattle Mariners against the Chicago White Sox. Two players had never hit four home runs in a game in the same season.

Previously, the shortest span between four-homer games was 690 days, from June 10, 1959, when Cleveland's Rocky Colavito did it, and April 30, 1961, when Willie Mays accomplished the feat for San Francisco.

"My hat goes off to him," Cameron said in Seattle yesterday. "Today would be considered 'Shawn Green Day.' That is very difficult to do. Obviously, someone must have had the same feeling I had that particular day. He was feeling even better, because he went 6-for-6."

Green also scored six runs and had seven RBI and a double.

"As the day went on, all of a sudden [the ball] kept getting bigger and bigger," Green said. "After getting the double and a home run, things just took off from there."

Green's 19 total bases broke the major league record of 18 by Joe Adcock of the Milwaukee Braves on July 31, 1954. Green's six hits were a career high. He had collected four hits eight times.

He also tied a modern major league record for runs scored in a game, becoming the first player to do it since Edgardo Alfonzo of the New York Mets on Aug.30, 1999, against Houston.

"He had a day today that goes down as one of the greatest in the history of the game," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "A month-and-a-half of frustration began to come out today."

Said Brewers manager Jerry Royster: "I've never witnessed anything like it."

After hitting an RBI double his first time up, Green hit a three-run homer off Glendon Rusch (3-4) in the second and solo shots off Brian Mallette in the fourth and fifth innings as the Dodgers took a 10-1 lead.

After lining a single to center in the eighth inning, Green connected for the record-tying homer in the ninth against Jose Cabrera, a shot to the right-field power alley. Green received a standing ovation from 26,728 at Miller Park.

"That's the first time in a road game I've ever gotten an ovation like that. It feels great. I have a lot of good memories here," said Green, whose first major league homer came May 14, 1995, at old County Stadium.

Green conceded he was looking for a pitch to drive out in the ninth.

"I felt that if I got something to hit, I was going to hit it hard and in the air," he said. "Fortunately, I got that last pitch and didn't miss it."

Cameron was glad to welcome Green to the exclusive club.

"He's kind of been in that zone," Cameron said. "He has the kind of swing that can get it up in the air. I wish the best for him. He's now part of the young men who did some damage in one particular day."

Green, 29, came to Los Angeles in a four-player trade following the 1999 season that sent Raul Mondesi to Toronto. Green set Dodgers' records last season with 49 homers and 125 RBI, becoming the fifth player to top 40 homers in both leagues. He has 201 career homers.

Green joined Gil Hodges as the only members of the Dodgers to hit four homers in a game. Hodges did it on Aug.31, 1950, when the team was still in Brooklyn.

Green, who had 31 total bases in the three-game series, has raised his batting average 34 points to .265 and tripled his home run total to nine since Tuesday.

"There's no one in the game that needed it more than I did," he said. "I was getting pretty down."

The Dodgers hit a season-high eight homers on the third open-roof day at Miller Park this season, including three in a row in the ninth. Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer before Green's shot and Dave Hansen followed with his first of the year.

The beneficiary of the power surge was rookie left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii (7-1), who won after allowing two runs, eight hits and six walks in 5⅓ innings.

Rusch allowed eight runs and nine hits in just 1⅔ innings, equaling the shortest start of his career. It could have been worse had left fielder Geoff Jenkins not robbed Marquis Grissom of a three-run homer.

Brian Jordan and Hiram Bocachica also homered for the Dodgers. Alex Ochoa hit a solo shot for Milwaukee.


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