San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Casey Blake hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game set.
Blake finished with two hits, while Manny Ramirez went 3-for-3 with a walk and RBI for the Dodgers, who had lost a series against the Yankees over the weekend.
In Sunday's rubber match, New York made up a four-run deficit in the ninth inning against Jonathan Broxtonand won in the 10th, and Monday, the Dodgers' bullpen was again in trouble late.
Hong-Chih Kuo put the potential tying runs on base with one away in the ninth inning, but retired the next two batters to secure the victory and get his second save.
Santiago Casilla (1-2) gave up Blake's home run to take the loss, the Giants' third in a row.
After Jeff Weaver (5-1) pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh, using one of five Giants double plays as help, Casilla started the eighth on the mound for San Francisco and allowed a one-out single to Ramirez. Two batters later, Casilla left a fastball up in the zone that Blake hammered to left for a 4-2 Dodgers edge.
Ronald Belisario pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth for LA before Guillermo Mota threw a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. Kuo took the mound to close the game and walked Juan Uribe with one out before Aaron Rowandsingled to put runners on the corners.
However, the reliever rebounded to strike out pinch-hitter Buster Posey, then got Edgar Renteria to fly out to end the game.
Neither starter factored into the decision, as the two had similar outings. The Giants' Barry Zito allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in six innings, and struck out six, while Chad Billingsley surrendered two runs on five hits and two walks in six frames for the Dodgers.
San Francisco got to Billingsley for a run in the first, when Andres Torres walked, stole second, and scored on an Aubrey Huff single. However, Uribe grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Dodgers put together a rally in the third, sparked by Rafael Furcal's one- out double. Reed Johnson singled to put runners on the corners for Andre Ethier, whose sacrifice fly plated a run. Ramirez then doubled to center to get Johnson home.
Freddy Sanchez's RBI base hit in the sixth evened the game at 2-2, and the Giants had an opportunity in the seventh to move in front.
Pat Burrell led off with a single and was replaced on the bases by Rowand, who advanced to third on a Pablo Sandoval base hit. Renteria hit a fly out to right that wasn't deep enough for Rowand to tag up and score, and Pablo Sandoval made the play worse for San Francisco when he was caught in a rundown between first and second. Bengie Molina then grounded out to end the threat and keep it a tie game.
Furcal had two hits for the Dodgers, who began a six-game road trip...The Giants fell to 1-3 on their six-game homestand...Burrell and Huff each had two hits for San Francisco...The Dodgers are 19-5 against the NL West this season, including 3-1 against the Giants.