Giants Vs. Dodgers: Los Angeles Completes Sweep With 4-0 Win

Well that was ugly. For more on the Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers, Final Score: Los Angeles Completes Sweep With 4-0 Victory

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - When the Giants realized they weren't going to score against Clayton Kershaw, they tried to drill him with a batted ball.

That didn't work, either, and now the Dodgers and Giants are virtually tied atop the NL West.

Kershaw, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, continued his unbelievable dominance at AT&T Park with his second shutout there, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-0 victory and a three-game sweep of archrival San Francisco.

It was the eighth appearance for Kershaw at the Giants' gorgeous stadium on the bay, and once again the home fans were tortured by the Dodgers' best pitcher. Kershaw (8-6) improved to 5-2 in San Francisco, but he's now allowed four earned runs in 54 2/3 innings pitched for an earned run average of 0.66.

In the seventh, Los Angeles fans had a scary moment when Kershaw was drilled by a line drive off his glove hand. The out was recorded, and it took a few minutes for Kershaw to recover and polish off his five-hitter and fifth career shutout.

Luis Cruz provided the bulk of the Dodgers' run support with two hits and two RBI, as Los Angeles finished a 10-game road trip with a 7-3 mark.

Ryan Vogelsong (8-5) was dealt a hard-luck loss for San Francisco, which had beaten Kershaw twice this year before Sunday's setback. It was the second straight shutout loss for the Giants.

Despite being 0-2 against the Giants this year, including 0-1 in San Francisco, Kershaw had allowed only four runs in 14 innings (2.57 ERA), but he was nearly flawless in this outing.

San Francisco never advanced a runner past second base, and its best chance likely came in the second inning, when Angel Pagan reached on an error with one out. He was quickly picked off, though Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt both singled to keep the inning going.

Brandon Crawford grounded out to Kershaw to end the threat.

Los Angeles got all the offense it needed in a two-run fourth, which began with back-to-back singles from Juan Rivera and Matt Kemp. Rivera moved to third on a fly ball and scored when Hanley Ramirez barely beat what would have been an inning-ending double play at first.

Ramirez's hustle to first proved beneficial, as Cruz doubled him home two batters later for a 2-0 lead.

The Dodgers added two runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Cruz and Mark Ellis, though with Kershaw on the mound, it served only as a statistical boost in the box score.

The lefty finished the contest in 116 pitches, striking out seven and walking only one.

Game Notes

The Dodgers lead the season series, 5-4...The Giants are 55-46 and the Dodgers 56-47, meaning the Giants hold the division lead by mere percentage points...San Francisco is now 2-4 on a 10-game homestand that finishes against the Mets...Vogelsong has thrown at least six innings in all 19 starts this season...Kershaw has a 1.32 ERA against the Giants lifetime, which is the lowest for any pitcher in history with at least 75 innings pitched against San Francisco...Cruz extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Giants Closing In On Brandon League?

News came on Sunday afternoon that the Seattle Mariners were looking to trade former closer Brandon League. Despite his very strong numbers last season, League lost since lost his job and is now in an eighth inning role with the M's. He is owed a little more than $2 million this season and is set to make $7 million in 2013.

All of this considered, he could be a great addition to a bullpen somewhere. According to one report from a Giants beat writer, he believes League could be coming to San Francisco.

It should be noted that no other reports are indicating League to the Giants is going to happen, but Schulman is very good at what he does and broke the Marco Scutaro deal earlier in the week.

The Giants cold benefit from the addition of league, especially with Brian Wilson out and Santiago Casilla struggling in recent weeks. It's unclear what the asking price is as of right now, but it's tough to imagine it being too high given the M's struggles and his contract.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Giants Could Deal Brandon Belt To Mariners, According To Report

Trade rumors around Major League Baseball fly left and right this time of year. Whether it be a star hitter, late-inning reliever or veteran starting pitcher to bolster the rotation, you can bet teams are going to be making calls before the July 31 trade deadline hits.

The Giants are known to want a relief pitcher and a hitter, but talk of them trading players already on the big league roster was never really brought up before today. According to one report, the Mariners are very interested in Brandon Belt and are trying to work out a deal. This being said, nothing is imminent.

The Mariners have one of the better farm systems around, but as Cameron suggests, the two clubs might not be a great match. Most of the talent in Seattle's system is with young, lower-level pitchers, who wouldn't exactly help San Francisco in the playoff run.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers, Final Score: Dodgers Wallop Giants 10-0

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Chad Billingsley shut down the first- place Giants and Los Angeles took the middle installment of a three-game set, 10-0.

Billingsley (6-9) won his second straight outing on the heels of a five-game losing streak. The right-hander tossed 7 1/3 innings, limiting the Giants to four hits. He struck out two and did not issue a walk.

Matt Kemp and A.J. Ellis hit home runs for Los Angeles, which has won the first two games of the series and now sits a game back of San Francisco for first place in the National League West. Kemp finished with four hits and four RBI.

"Every series is important until the end of the season," Kemp said. "Second half is always the most exciting part of baseball, you know, people are in the hunt, trying to make the playoffs. The Giants are a good team over there. We just have to keep playing our game and keep going."

"It's the major leagues, you know nothing's easy here," Giants starter Barry Zito (8-7) said. "We're excited to come down to the wire and fight it out for the next two months.

The Dodgers got to the red-hot Zito, who had only allowed three runs in 14 innings in two starts since the All-Star break. Los Angeles tagged the lefty for four runs on seven hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings.

Zito's first-inning struggles continued. Mark Ellis led off with a base hit and, two batters later, Kemp crushed his 15th homer of the year to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. In the first inning this season, Zito has allowed 16 runs -- 14 earned -- in 20 innings.

Luis Cruz extended his hitting streak to 11 games and singled to start the fifth inning. Ellis lined a double into the left-field corner and Billingsley followed with a hard sacrifice fly to left.

The Dodgers picked up another run in the sixth when Jerry Hairston, Jr. doubled home Hanley Ramirez.

Ellis slammed a fastball over the left-field fence to start the seventh. The Dodgers put two more runs on the board in the seventh after Brandon Crawford's two-out error extended the inning. Kemp and Ramirez followed with back-to-back doubles, giving Los Angeles a commanding 7-0 lead.

The Giants chased Billingsley with a pair of singles in the eighth, but Javy Guerra came on to strand the bases loaded and escape the threat.

Kemp picked up his fourth hit and knocked in his fourth run with a double in the ninth inning and Ramirez drove in two more with a single up the middle.

Guerra remained in the game and retired the Giants in order in the ninth.

Game Notes

Billingsley is 8-6 with a 3.17 earned run average in his career against San Francisco (50 earned runs in 142 1/3 innings)...The Giants have lost three straight for the first time since July 3-5 when they were swept by the Nationals...Marco Scutaro, who was acquired in a trade from Colorado Friday night, started at third base in his Giants debut, and went 1-for-3...Prior to the game, the Giants placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the 15-day disabled list, activated infielder Aubrey Huff from the 15-day DL and designated Emmanuel Burriss for assignment...The Dodgers went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded four...The Giants went 1-for-9 with RISP and left five on base.

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Giants Place Pablo Sandoval On DL, Marco Scutaro Activated

The San Francisco Giants have made a series of roster moves on Saturday as they prepare for another key game with the Dodgers. Following the acquisition of Marco Scutaro from the Rockies, the club has activated him and placed Pablo Sandoval on the 15-day disabled list. Sandoval had tweaked his hamstring on Tuesday and had not regularly played since then.

The Giants also announced that Aubrey Huff has been activated and Emmanuel Burriss was designated for assignment. Huff figures to split his time in right field and at first base.

Here is the official news from the Giants twitter feed.

None of these moves come as a real surprise. It'll be interesting to see how Scutaro adjusts when transitioning from Coors Field to AT&T Park. One is a hitter's paradise, the other is where fly balls go to die.

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Giants Acquire Marco Scutaro For 2B Charlie Culberson, Cash

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies have traded infielder Marco Scutaro to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for infielder Charlie Culberson.

The deal took place just minutes after the Rockies lost the Reds, 3-0.

Scutaro, an 11-year veteran, played second base Friday and batted out of the two-hole. He went 1-for-4 and is hitting .271 with four home runs and 30 RBI in 95 games this season.

"I feel really strange right now," Scutaro said after the game. "Baseball is a business, but it's kind of nice because I will have a chance now [to play in the postseason]."

Culberson, 23, played six games for the Giants in May and had just three hits in 22 at-bats. He hit .236 with 10 home runs in 90 games with Triple-A Fresno.

The Giants also received cash in the deal.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers: Barry Zito, Chad Billingsley Square Off

Sports Network) - Chad Billingsley makes his second start since returning from the disabled list on Saturday when the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants continue a three-game series at AT&T Park.

Billingsley had lost five straight starts before a stint on the DL with a sore elbow. He returned on Monday to defeat St. Louis and was impressive in doing so, as he allowed a run and seven hits in six innings.

"Chad was pretty good tonight," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Anything that got started, he pitched well enough to get out of it. He got enough big outs and was throwing enough strikes."

Billingsley lost to San Francisco back on June 27 and is 7-6 lifetime against them with a 3.33 ERA in 36 games (21 starts).

The Giants, meanwhile, will rely on lefty Barry Zito, who is 8-6 with a 3.75 ERA. Zito notched his 11th quality start of the year on Sunday in Philadelphia when he held the Phillies to three runs on five hits in seven innings, but did not get a decision in his team's 4-3 loss.

"My focus was a little off in the first inning," said Zito. "Then I was able to make the adjustment and start throwing strikes."

Since serving up eight runs in only 3 1/3 frames back on June 19, Zito has pitched to a 2.25 ERA in five starts since.

Zito tossed seven scoreless innings to beat the Dodgers the last time he faced them, but is 7-9 in 23 games (22 starts) against them with a 3.79 ERA.

Los Angeles picked up a game in the standings in Friday's opener thanks to their newest acquisition, as Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run, go-ahead homer in the 10th inning to help the Dodgers to a 5-3 win.

San Francisco trailed 3-1 in the eighth when Melky Cabrera singled, Angel Pagan doubled, and Brandon Belt followed with a base hit up the middle to knot the score.

In the 10th, Sergio Romo (3-2) retired to first two batters he faced, then walked Andre Ethier on a close, full-count fastball. Ramirez capitalized by belting an 0-1 slider into the seats in left center for his 15th home run of the season and his first as a member of the Dodgers.

"That ball was crushed," said Los Angeles catcher A.J. Ellis. "You notice in batting practice, watching Hanley hit, it's just a different sound coming off of his bat. That ball was hit and our dugout erupted."

Shawn Tolleson (1-0) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the win and Kenley Jansen worked around a pair of singles in the 10th to notch his 20th save of the season.

The Dodgers halted a three-game losing streak and now trail San Francisco by two games in the National League West.

Despite Friday's loss San Francisco has won four of seven from the Dodgers this season.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers, Final Score: Giants Fall 5-3 In Extras

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Welcome to the Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez.

The petulant infielder, acquired from the Marlins on Wednesday, hit a two-run, go-ahead homer in the 10th inning on Friday, as the Dodgers downed the Giants, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game series.

San Francisco trailed 3-1 in the eighth when Melky Cabrera singled, Angel Pagan doubled, and Brandon Belt followed with a base hit up the middle to knot the score.

In the 10th, Sergio Romo (3-2) retired to first two batters he faced, then walked Andre Ethier on a close, full-count fastball. Ramirez capitalized by belting an 0-1 slider into the seats in left center for his 15th home run of the season and his first as a member of the Dodgers.

"That ball was crushed," said Los Angeles catcher A.J. Ellis. "You notice in batting practice, watching Hanley hit, it's just a different sound coming off of his bat. That ball was hit and our dugout erupted."

Shawn Tolleson (1-0) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the win and Kenley Jansen worked around a pair of singles in the 10th to notch his 20th save of the season.

The Dodgers halted a three-game losing streak and now trail San Francisco by two games in the National League West.

Stephen Fife, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque prior to the game, made his second career start for Los Angeles. He lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

The 25-year-old righty also helped the Dodgers snap a 31-inning scoreless streak against the Giants when he doubled with two down in the fifth and came home on Jerry Hairston's two-bagger.

Mark Ellis followed with an RBI single and James Loney drove in a run an inning later for a 3-1 lead.

Giants starter Matt Cain allowed three runs on nine hits over seven frames. He singled to load the bases in the second inning, setting the stage for Nate Schierholtz's RBI groundout.

San Francisco, which acquired veteran infielder Marco Scutaro from the Rockies on Friday in exchange for Charlie Culberson, was seeking its fourth straight win against the Dodgers.

"It's no secret we're looking for depth and experience," said Giants general manager Brian Sabean. "Hopefully this is the first of a couple moves. We'll see."

Jansen gave up singles to Cabrera and Buster Posey to begin the 10th, but struck out Angel Pagan and Belt, then induced Jaoquin Arias into a game-ending fly out to left field.

Ramirez is now 4-for-11 with a triple in three games since joining the Dodgers via trade. Los Angeles also acquired lefty reliever Randy Choate in that deal and sent pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough to Miami.

Game Notes

Fife made his major league debut on July 17....San Francsico leads the season- series 4-3...Scutaro, an 11-year veteran, is hitting .271 with four home runs and 30 RBI in 95 games this season...The Dodgers placed left-handed pitcher Scott Elbert on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow inflammation on Friday.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers, Series Preview: Battle For 1st Place Comes To AT&T Park

The Giants and Dodgers are ready for another showdown at AT&T Park. For more on the Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles.

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