MONTREAL -- Both Steve Garvey and the Los Angeles Dodgers played true to form Saturday, producing when it counted the most.
The Dodgers, reinforcing their reputation as the 1981 comeback team, used a tie-breaking, two-run homer by Garvey and a three RBI performance by Dusty Baker to defeat the Montreal Expos, 7-1, and set up a showdown game Sunday for the National League pennant.
Garvey followed an eighth inning single by Baker with a line shot over the left field fence off loser Bill Gullickson to snap a 1-1 tie to square the best-of-five series at two games apiece.
The victory gives rookie southpaw Fernando Valenzuela, who led the NL in four major pitching departments, a chance to give the Dodgers their second dramatic comeback in as many series. Valenzuela will oppose Ray Burris, who outpiched the Mexican in game two, in Sunday's finale.
'The momentum has switched to us, especially the way we scored runs in the ninth inning,' said Garvey. 'We are a team that has to fight adversity through the playoffs. We were down in the Houston series and we were down against Montreal. We were looking for the big hit but couldn't get it.
'We needed something to swing the momentum over to us. The home run was important, but the last inning was very important, too.'
Garvey's home run, his first of the NL playoffs and his third in post-season competiton this year, lifted Burt Hooton to his second victory of the series. Hooton, 11-7 lifetime against Montreal, allowed one run and three hits over the first seven innings but left with one out in the eighth after allowing two hits.
He was relieved by Bob Welch, who worked out of the jam by striking out Larry Parrish and retiring Jerry White on a fly to center.
'I had good stuff today, much better than in the last few games I pitched,' said Hooton. 'The position I took before the game was that we had to win to give Fernando a shot. We all know what he's capable of doing and I feel real fortunate to have given him a shot.'
Montreal manager Jim Fanning insisted that the Expos can rebound to capture the series.
'I'm not sure what momentum is but when you talk about adversity, it's situations like this where our team has never been better,' said Fanning. 'Hooton pitched a very strong game. He seems to pitch good games against the Montreal Expos. You can't pitch much better than that.'
Baker was reminded that he appeared confident before the game.
'I had a lot of faith and I wasn't ready to go home,' said Baker. 'Win or lose, I was going to stay here for a day or two on vacation and then go home.'
Dodger manager Tom Lasorda, who was snappish following his team's loss in game three, predictably was in a better humor with the series squared.
'I was depressed after losing Friday night's game,' Lasorda said. 'But my wife said to me 'nothing comes easy. Whatever you need you have to go out and earn it. You have to work for what you get.''
Lasorda also praised Garvey.
'Garvey is the kind of guy who doesn't hit for a while,' said Lasorda. 'But when he gets hot, look out. He's the big gun for us.'
Garvey followed an eighth inning single by Dusty Baker with a line shot over the left field fence off Bill Gullickson to snap a 1-1 tie and square the best-of-five series at two games apiece.
The victory now gives rookie pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela, who led the NL in four major pitching departments, a chance to give the Dodgers their second dramatic comeback in as many series. Valenzuela will oppose Ray Burris, who outpitched the Mexican left-hander in game two, in Sunday's finale.
Garvey's home run, his first of the NL playoffs and his third in post-season competition this year, lifted Burt Hooton to his second victory of the series. Hooton, who is 11-7 lifetime against Montreal, allowed one run and three hits over the first seven innings but left with one out in the eighth after allowing two hits. He was relieved by Bob Welch, who worked out of the jam by striking out Larry Parrish and retiring Jerry White on a fly to center.
Baker, who doubled in the first Dodger run in the third, also singled home two runs in the ninth to trigger a four-run uprising.
Warren Cromartie singled home Montreal's run in the fourth.
Gullickson and Hooton, who faced each other in game one, were locked in a tight duel until the eighth inning, when the Dodgers, who had squandered chances for almost three full games, finally capitalized. With a crowd of 54,499 fully expecting the opportunity to celebrate the Expos' first pennant, Baker grounded a single between third and short and when Gullickson hung a pitch to Garvey, the durable first baseman sent the ball on a line to almost the same spot where White's game-winning homer for Montreal had landed Friday night.
After Welch shut off the Expos' threat in the eighth, the Dodgers added three insurance runs in the ninth off reliever Woodie Fryman. Steve Yeager hit for Mike Scioscia and singled and Derrel Thomas beat out a bunt. After Davey Lopes sacrificed and Bill Russell was walked intentionally to fill the bases, Baker grounded a single up the middle. Ron Cey and pinch hitter Reggie Smith singled home the final runs of the inning as the Dodgers broke out of their batting slump with 12 hits against four pitchers.
By extending the series, the Dodgers are in a position to score their second straight dramatic comeback in post-season competiton. In the divisional playoffs against Houston, the Dodgers became the first team ever to win a best-of-five series after losing the first two games.
The Dodgers now have a chance to become only the third team since the start of the league championship playoffs in 1969 to rebound from a 2-1 deficit on the road and capture the pennant. The 1977 New York Yankees beat the Royals in Kansas City and the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies did the same thing against Houston.
Just as they did in game three, the Dodgers scored a run in the early innings, but squandered a chance for more.
With two out in the third, third baseman Larry Parrish bobbled Bill Russell's grounder and then threw in the dirt to first, where Warren Cromarite was unable to come up with the ball. Dusty Baker made the Expos pay for the mistake by lining an RBI double into the left field corner for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead.
But the Dodgers hit into double plays in the second and fourth innings and also failed to score a man from third with less than two out out in the firstand the sixth.
The Expos tied the score 1-1 in the fourth, using an error by third baseman Cey as the trigger. With out and Hooton in clear command, Gary Carter sent a bouncer to third that Cey bobbled. After Parrish fouled out, Jerry White walked and Cromartie, hitting just .182 over the first two games, sliced a single to left, with White taking third and Cromartie second on the throw to the plate. Chris Speier received an intentional pass to load the bases but Gullickson looked at a third strike to end the inning.