LOS ANGELES -- Some players called it destiny. Others pointed out that it was the result of Manager Joe Torre pounding into their heads the cliche about playing all 27 outs.
Torre has another word for it: luck.
"That stuff is lucky," Torre said of the line drive by James Loney that was dropped by St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday with two out in the ninth inning in Game 2 of their National League Division Series.
The error sparked a two-run rally for the Dodgers, who erased a one-run deficit to win, 3-2, and went on to sweep a Cardinals team that looked as if it still hadn't recovered from Thursday's collapse.
"But," Torre said, "you make your own luck."
That was what his players said. "We never put our heads down," shortstop Rafael Furcal said.
The Game 2 comeback was one of countless dramatic moments in the late innings this season for the Dodgers, who led the NL and were third in the majors with 12 walk-off victories. They were 20-8 in one-run games at Dodger Stadium during the regular season. They won eight games when trailing after seven innings, five when trailing after eight.
Here's 15 of their most memorable late-game moments:
15. Dodgers 4, Rockies 2, June 29 at Dodger Stadium
Priding themselves on their ability to stop losing streaks, the Dodgers were able to prevent their first three-game skid of the season because of a 13th-inning, two-run walk-off home run by Andre Ethier. The Dodgers finished the season with only four losing streaks of three games or longer.
14. Dodgers 12, Brewers 8, July 10 at Milwaukee
Matt Kemp's walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning earned the Dodgers the win in the opening game of their final series before the All-Star break. Kemp made a basket catch at the center-field wall in the bottom of that inning to preserve the win. Mark Loretta's ninth-inning single off all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman had sent the game into extra innings.
Kemp's 10 extra-innings RBIs were the most in baseball since Juan Gonzalez had 11 in 1991.
13. Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3, July 30 at St. Louis
Outclassed by the Cardinals in the first three games of their series at Busch Stadium, the Dodgers ended what was then a season-high four-game losing streak on a two-run bloop single by Kemp in the 10th.
The Dodgers left St. Louis thinking they would meet the Cardinals in October. "It made us realize what type of team we're going to have to beat in October," Martin said.
12. Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 4, Sept. 8 at Arizona
The Dodgers preserved their 3 1/2-game lead over Colorado by scoring four runs in the eighth inning, the last driven in on an infield hit by August acquisition Ronnie Belliard.
11. Dodgers 5, Pirates 4, Sept. 15 at Dodger Stadium
The Dodgers didn't have much magic down the final stretch of the regular season, this extra-inning victory an exception. Ethier scored the tying run in the ninth inning on a single by Kemp and hit a two-run home run in the 13th to win it. Ethier had six walk-off hits this season, including four home runs.
10. Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1, April 12 at Arizona
The moment didn't take place in the late innings, but was arguably the most bizarre of the season. Alerted by bench coach Bob Schaefer about a little-known "four-out" rule, Torre essentially argued in the tying run in the second inning.
With Ethier at third and Juan Pierre on second, Wolf lined out to pitcher Dan Haren, who threw the ball to Felipe Lopez for the third out. But instead of touching second base, Lopez went to tag Pierre. Bad choice. Pierre, caught between second and third, had stopped in his tracks. In the time it took Lopez to apply the tag, Ethier had crossed the plate, Torre argued. Torre prevailed.
9. Dodgers 3, Rockies 2, Aug. 27 at Colorado
Looking nothing like the All-Star he used to be, Rafael Furcal waited for his big moment. He got it in the final game of a crucial series in Denver, driving in the deciding run with a sixth-inning single. Furcal went on to hit .330 in September and .500 in the NLDS.
8. Dodgers 5, Braves 4, Aug. 6 at Dodger Stadium
The game was mostly a frustrating one, as Manny Ramirez and Kemp struck out with men in scoring position to end the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Ethier made up for it with a three-run, walk-off home run in the ninth.
7. Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5, June 2 at Dodger Stadium
The Dodgers looked like they never had a chance after being held to one run in seven innings by Haren, trailing, 5-1. But the Dodgers pounced on the Diamondbacks bullpen in a five-run eighth inning that was highlighted by a three-run double by James Loney. The deficit was the largest the Dodgers overcame this season.
6. Dodgers 3, Mets 2, May 18 at Dodger Stadium
Holliday's error was far from the first (or worst) mistake the Dodgers took advantage of this season. Angel Pagan of the Mets appeared to score the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th, but Pagan missed third base on his way home and was called out. The Mets then made two defensive errors in the bottom of the inning, the second a wild throw by first baseman Jeremy Reed to let Mark Loretta score the winning run.
5. Dodgers 6, Rockies 5, April 25 at Colorado
This was the day Torre said Ramon Troncoso would never again have to prove that he belonged in the major leagues. With the bullpen taxed, Torre turned to the second-year right-hander, who recorded a four-out save in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
4. Dodgers 5, Giants 4, April 15 at Dodger Stadium
Called "the most unaffected guy I know" by Assistant General Manager Logan White, Loney pushed in the Dodgers' first run of the game with a bases-loaded walk in the first inning. Loney ended the game with another bases-loaded walk in the ninth.
3. Dodgers 7, Padres 6, July 5 at San Diego
Closer Jonathan Broxton blew a five-run lead in the ninth inning, wasting a spectacular effort by Chad Billingsley, who took a two-hitter into the ninth. But Ronald Belisario, Guillermo Mota, Brent Leach and Jeff Weaver combined to pitch four shutout innings to set up a three-run home run by Loney in the 13th to win the game.
2. Dodgers 6, Reds 2, July 22 at Dodger Stadium
The home crowd was never louder this season than it was on this night. Manny Ramirez was out of the lineup on his bobblehead night because he'd been struck in the hand by a fastball the day before. But with the bases loaded and the game tied, 2-2, Ramirez came in as a pinch hitter and blasted the only pitch thrown to him for a grand slam.
1. Dodgers 3, Phillies 2, June 6 at Dodger Stadium
With Ramirez suspended for 50 games, Ethier was called upon by Torre to be the middle-of-the-lineup run producer. He took it upon himself to become a dependable late-inning threat as well. One night after Ethier hit a walk-off double off Phillies closer Brad Lidge, Furcal extended this game by tagging Lidge for a game-tying solo shot in the ninth. Ethier then had his second walk-off hit in as many days, this one a solo homer in the 12th inning. The Dodgers were 4-3 against the Phillies this season.