Giants Take Series But Lose Final Game In Pitching Duel

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Pitching Duel? Shocking That The Giants Didn't Win...

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Casey Blake hit a solo homer and drove in another run with a single to back Chad Billingsley's second career shutout, as the Los Angeles Dodgers snuck past the San Francisco Giants, 2-0, in a pitchers' duel.

Billingsley (8-5) gave up five hits, walked two batters and struck out three to record his first shutout since July 30, 2008 against these same Giants.

The Dodgers avoided a three-game sweep and snapped a six-game skid.

"Chad was great tonight. This is pretty much what we needed. Hopefully, this is something that gets us going in the other direction," Dodgers acting manager Don Mattingly said.

Barry Zito (8-5) allowed two runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings to suffer the hard-luck loss for the Giants, who went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven. Zito also fanned four and walked three in his first loss since June 23.

Wednesday's game had a much different feel compared to Tuesday's heated contest, which saw the Giants rally in the ninth for a 7-5 win. Three batters were hit by pitches in that game, leading to three ejections. Prior to Wednesday's game, Major League Baseball suspended Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw along with manager Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer. Kershaw was given a five-game suspension, while Torre and Schaefer got one-game bans.

Blake's homer inside the left foul pole in the second inning proved to be all the runs the Dodgers would need.

"I didn't have it the first three innings. Giving up the homer to Blake was frustrating. I settled down after that," Zito said.

The Giants' inability to score with runners in scoring position started in the third. A pair of walks put runners on first and second with two outs, but Freddy Sanchez grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat.

San Francisco got a leadoff double from Aubrey Huff during its next at-bat. Billingsley, though, retired the next three batters to keep the visitors off the board.

Nate Schierholtz hit a one-out double down the right-field line in the top of the fifth. However, Zito and Andres Torres grounded out to end the frame.

The Giants got a pair of singles in the top of the sixth to put men on first and second with one out. Billingsley, though, settled down once again to work out of the jam.

Zito retired 10 straight batters before giving up a two-out single to Matt Kemp in the bottom of the sixth.

San Francisco didn't advance a runner past first base the rest of the way.

Zito was replaced by Sergio Romo in the eighth after putting runners on first and second with one out. Romo struck out Kemp before Blake hit an RBI single.

The Dodgers lead the season series with the Giants, 6-3...San Francisco has still won 11 of its last 14 games...The Giants haven't swept the Dodgers in LA since April 24-26, 2007...Buster Posey of the Giants extended his hitting streak to 15 games...Torre served his suspension on Wednesday, as hitting coach Mattingly played the role of manager. Kershaw, who is appealing his suspension, intentionally threw at Giants outfielderAaron Rowand in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game...Zito fell to 6-6 in 16 career starts against the Dodgers...Billingsley improved to 5-2 in 17 lifetime games (12 starts) versus the Giants.


Barry Zito Needs To Be Consistent, Looking For Back-To-Back Wins

Sports Network) - The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers won their division after being at least six games back this late in the season was 1983, when the club battled back from a 6 1/2-game deficit to win the NL West.

Los Angeles is currently six games off the pace in the division standings and will try to put the brakes on a season high-tying six-game losing streak Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series versus the rival San Francisco Giants from Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers were swept in four games at St. Louis before returning home to drop the first two portions of this series with San Francisco. It dropped its sixth straight game with last night's 7-5 setback, as the Dodgers blew a 5-1 lead and allowed six unanswered runs over the last four innings. Clayton Kershaw started for LA and allowed four runs -- two earned -- in six innings for the no-decision.

Closer Jonathan Broxton allowed three runs in one-third of an inning to absorb the loss and erase a one-run edge for the Dodgers, who have lost six in a row for the first time since June. Broxton was forced to leave the game after the umpires ruled acting manager Don Mattingly made two trips to the mound when the former Yankeeslegend took one step off the hill before turning back. The Dodgers were then forced to bring in George Sherrilland he immediately surrendered a two-run double by Andres Torres.

"Don thought he was still on the mound when he went back to talk to Broxton. But replays showed he was on the grass when he went back," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

A total of three batters were hit by pitches last night, and many others were almost hit. That led to the ejections of Torre, Kershaw and Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer. Andre Ethier hit a two-run homer and Xavier Paulfinished 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in defeat. Blake DeWitt and Casey Blake each had two hits and an RBI for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles will host the New York Mets for four games after this set.

Chad Billingsley has fallen on hard times since winning four straight starts and will take the mound Wednesday for Torre's club. Billingsley won four starts in a row from May 10-May 26, but is just 1-3 with a 5.91 ERA in his last seven outings.

Billingsley last pitched in Friday's 8-4 loss at St. Louis and suffered the defeat for giving up seven runs and 10 hits in four innings of work. The loss dropped him to 7-5 in 17 starts to go along with a 4.61 ERA.

The right-hander, who is also 3-3 in eight home starts this season, squared off with San Francisco in a 4-2 win by the Bay and did not figure into the decision. Billingsley held the Giants to two runs in six innings and is 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) this season.

San Francisco pulled within three games of the NL West-leading San Diego Padres with Tuesday's win, as Torres sparked a three-run ninth inning with his big hit off Sherrill in the ninth. Pablo Sandoval also knocked in two runs and Buster Posey ended with two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who have won 11 of their last 13 games and haven't swept the Dodgers in LA since April 24-26, 2007.

Tim Lincecum started for the Giants and the two-time defending NL Cy Young Award winner was reached for five runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings for the no-decision. Santiago Casilla got the win with two scoreless innings of relief and Jeremy Affeldt posted his third save with two K's in the ninth.

"I didn't bring my game to the table. I found myself battling every inning," Lincecum said. "A come back win in general was good for us."

Giants starter Barry Zito will take the ball Wednesday and hasn't put together back-to-back wins since opening the 2010 campaign 5-0 in his initial six trips to the hill. He was 0-2 with a 5.79 earned run average in five starts before beating the New York Mets last Thursday in a 1-0 victory. Zito tossed eight shutout innings that day and matched a season high with 10 strikeouts.

It was Zito's stingiest outing since throwing eight scoreless frames in a win over Colorado back on April 30. Zito improved to 8-4 in 19 starts and lowered his ERA from 3.76 to 3.51. The left-hander and 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner, who is 2-3 in nine away starts, will face the Dodgers for a third time this season. He is 0-0 with a 2.03 ERA in those starts, both San Francisco losses.

Zito is 6-5 with a 4.13 ERA in 15 career starts against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles has won five of eight matchups with San Francisco this season. The Dodgers swept the Giants in three games by the Bay from June 28-30 and have won 11 of the past 17 meetings between the ballclubs.


Game Two: Bizarre Ninth Inning Is The Catalyst For Giants Victory

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Andres Torres sparked a three-run top of the ninth with a two-run double, as the San Francisco Giants rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, in a wild game between these NL West rivals.

Holding a 5-4 lead, Jonathan Broxton (3-2) took over on the mound for the Dodgers in the top of the ninth. He loaded the bases with one out to bring acting manager Don Mattingly to the mound for a visit. Following the visit, Mattingly took one step off the hill before turning back. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was all over Mattingly like a hawk and rushed out of the dugout. The umpires gathered and ruled Mattingly made two trips to the mound.

That forced LA to bring a new pitcher into the game. A cold George Sherrill faced off against Torres, who laced a two-run double into the gap in left- center field. Travis Schlichting was called in from the bullpen and issued an RBI single to Buster Posey two batters later. The Dodgers eventually got out of the inning, but not before the Giants took a 7-5 lead.

The bizarre events in the ninth capped off what was a heated game. A total of three batters were hit by pitches, and many others were almost hit. That helped lead to the ejections of Los Angeles manager Joe Torre, starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and bench coach Bob Schaefer.

Pablo Sandoval had two RBI for the Giants, who won 5-2 in the opener of this three-game set and have claimed victory in 11 of their last 13 games.

Tim Lincecum went 4 2/3 innings in the start, allowing five runs on seven hits. Santiago Casilla (3-2) pitched two frames of scoreless relief to pick up the win. Jeremy Affeldt worked around a one-out double in the ninth to record his third save of the season.

Xavier Paul went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Dodgers, who have dropped six in a row. Paul will see plenty of action in left field over the next few weeks as Manny Ramirez (right calf) was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game.

Andre Ethier hit a two-run homer, while Casey Blake and Blake DeWitt each had two hits and an RBI in defeat.

Kershaw gave four runs -- two earned -- on four hits before being ejected with no outs in the seventh. The left-hander also struck out six and walked two.

The Dodgers got to Lincecum in the first inning. Rafael Furcal walked, stole second, and scored on Paul's double. Ethier followed with a two-run homer to right for a 3-0 lead.

The Giants got a run back in the second. Juan Uribe hit a two-out double and eventually crossed the plate on Edgar Renteria's groundout.

LA plated a pair of runs in the third to go ahead 5-1. Paul singled and Ethier walked before Lincecum recorded two straight outs. DeWitt hit an RBI single in front of Blake's run-scoring double.

San Francisco finally got to Kershaw in the sixth to make things interesting. With one out, Freddy Sanchez and Posey singled to put men on the corners. Pat Burrell then hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field. Sandoval followed with a two-run double down the left-field line to cut the gap to 5-4. Uribe grounded out and Renteria flied out to end the frame.

Emotions started to boil over in the top of the seventh. Kershaw started the inning by hitting Aaron Rowand with a pitch. That led to the ejections of Kershaw and Torre. Hong-Chih Kuo took over on the hill and retired the first three batters he faced to keep LA in front.

Los Angeles has won five of the first eight matchups with San Francisco this season...Schaefer was ejected in the sixth inning after Dodgers catcher Russell Martin was almost hit with a pitch...Posey extended his hitting streak to 14 games...The Dodgers activated catcher Brad Ausmus from the 60-day disabled list...Adrian Johnson was the home plate umpire...Each team stranded seven.


Game Two: Lincecum Pitches

(Sports Network) - Los Angeles Dodgers young starter Clayton Kershaw has never reached double digits in wins and will get a chance tonight against the NL West-rival San Francisco Giants in the continuation of a three-game series from Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw has already won a career-best nine games this season (9-5) and was 5-1 in his previous six decisions before losing to St. Louis last Thursday. In the 7-1 setback at Busch Stadium, Kershaw was reached for five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The left-hander slightly raised his earned run average from 2.96 to 3.16 in his 19th start of the year. Kershaw, who is 5-2 in 10 home starts this season, faced San Francisco back on April 18 and did not figure into the decision of a 2-1 win. He hurled seven innings of one-run ball, struck out nine batters and allowed four walks. In three career games (2 starts) against the Giants, Kershaw is 0-0 with a 1.20 earned run average.

Kershaw is an up-and-coming hurler, but if he wants to win 10 or more games on a consistent basis, he'll just have look across the field at Giants ace Tim Lincecum. Lincecum, the two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner, has won two straight and five of his last seven starts and will toe the Dodger Stadium rubber tonight.

The right-hander recorded his first shutout of the season the last time out on Thursday in a 2-0 victory over theNew York Mets. He allowed six hits, struck out five batters and issued just one walk, improving to 10-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 19 starts.

Lincecum, who is 4-1 in nine road starts, defeated Los Angeles back on April 17 this season and tossed six shutout innings in a 9-0 drubbing. Lincecum struck out seven batters and pushed his career mark against the Dodgers to 4-1 to go along with a 2.96 ERA in eight career games (7 starts).

San Francisco kicked off a seven-game road trip against LA and Arizona with Monday's 5-2 win, as Nate Schierholtz belted a two-run homer and Pablo Sandoval ended with two hits and an RBI. Buster Posey andFreddy Sanchez each drove in a run for the Giants, who have won 10 of their last 12 games and sit four games behind San Diego for the NL West lead.

Giants young starter Madison Bumgarner picked up the win by holding the Dodgers to a pair of runs -- one earned -- and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Brian Wilson later worked a busy ninth inning for his 26th save.

"It's fun to pitch here in this rivalry and get the win," Bumgarner said.

Los Angeles starter James McDonald didn't have much fun and was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings. McDonald fanned five batter and issued two walks.

"I thought James had good stuff, but the numbers aren't going to look like that," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We know we're better than we've been lately. We're not tired, just down a little bit."

Rafael Furcal finished 3-for-5 with a home run, Matt Kemp contributed three hits and an RBI and Russell Martin shook off a thumb ailment to post three hits for the Dodgers, who have dropped five in a row and fell six games off the pace in the NL West standings.

Los Angeles has won five of the first seven matchups with San Francisco this season. The Dodgers swept the Giants in three games by the Bay from June 28-30 and have won 11 of the past 16 meetings between the ballclubs.


Recap: Schierholtz Puts Giants Ahead, And They Stay There

What a nail-biter of a game. There were a couple of points where Giants fans on team blog McCovey Chronicles expected the worst, especially when a bad call or two seemed to be made. It was easy to think that the last game against the Mets would repeat itself and that a blown call would lead inevitably to another loss. But it wasn't to be. 

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Nate Schierholtz's two-run homer in the fourth inning proved to be the difference, as the San Francisco Giants held off the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-2, in the opener of a three-game series between these two NL West rivals.

Freddy SanchezPablo Sandoval, and Buster Posey each had an RBI for the Giants, who have won six of seven.

Madison Bumgarner (3-2) lasted 5 2/3 frames, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on six hits to win his third straight start. He also fanned three batters and walked two. Brian Wilson picked up his 26th save of the season.

Rafael Furcal hit a solo homer for the Dodgers, who have dropped five in a row. Matt Kemp drove in the other run.

James McDonald (0-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque prior to the game, gave up four runs on nine hits in a five-inning start. He also struck out five and walked two in his first appearance of the year for Los Angeles. McDonald went 6-1 with a 4.41 earned run average in 12 starts for the Isotopes this season.

The Giants stranded the bases loaded in the second inning, but scored two runs in the third. Andres Torres led off with a double and scored on Posey's two-out single. Sandoval followed with an RBI double to make it 2-0.

Schierholtz's two-run homer to right in the fourth gave San Francisco a 4-0 advantage.

The Dodgers got to Bumgarner in the sixth, as Furcal led off the frame with a homer to left. Jamey Carrollsingled and James Loney walked with two outs. Guillermo Mota replaced Bumgarner on the hill and his errant pickoff throw to second allowed the runners to move up a base. Kemp hit a grounder to third and Sandoval tagged out Loney. However, it was ruled that Carroll crossed the plate before Loney was called out, making it a 4-2 game.

LA left the bases loaded in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Garret Anderson worked a two-out walk, chasing Mota from the contest. Sergio Romo was pulled after giving up a single to Furcal and walking Carroll. Jeremy Affeldtcame on to pitch with the bases loaded, and Andre Ethier grounded out to end the threat.

Sanchez's sacrifice fly in the eighth gave the Giants a 5-2 lead.

Wilson ran into some trouble in the ninth. Russell Martin singled, Furcal singled, and Ethier walked to load the bases with two outs. Casey Blake went down swinging to end the game.

Los Angeles has won five of the first seven matchups with San Francisco this season and was riding a four-game winning streak in the series...Posey extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games...LA was without star outfielder Manny Ramirez (calf)....San Francisco has won 10 of its last 12 games...The Giants recalled infielder/outfielder Eugenio Velez from Triple-A Fresno and optioned pitcher Joe Martinez to Fresno...San Francisco started a seven-game road trip on Monday, while the Dodgers got a seven-game homestand underway...McDonald made his fifth career start...In 45 games (four starts) for LA last season, McDonald went 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA.

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