Buster Posey crushed his third career grand slam on a high, hanging curve ball in the third inning and the Giants never looked back, beating the Dodgers 9-5 to take the first game of the series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. With the win, the Giants have now beat the Dodgers in 8 of 10 games in 2015, and moved to within 1 ½ games of L.A. for first place in the NL West.
“I was really just trying to stay small there and not try to do too much, especially with two strikes, because you can get in trouble if you do think home run,” said Posey. “I was able to see some pitches in that at-bat, and fortunately I got a pitch that stayed up.” The home run was Buster’s tenth of the year and he’s second on the team in RBIs with 40 (Brandon Crawford leads the team with 42).
There were lots of Giants’ fans on hand last night at Chavez Ravine and it was the typical playoff atmosphere we’ve come to expect when these two teams match up. “These games are fun because the fans make it fun for us,” Posey said. “I mean, the Giants-Dodgers games, whether it’s at AT&T Park or here, it’s just an extra electricity and the passion that goes back for generations comes out.”
Giants’ starter Chris Heston (7-5, 3.83) pitched well, but not great in his second start since the no hitter, falling just one out short of a quality start. Heston allowed seven hits and three runs with no walks and one strikeout in 5 ⅔ innings. Giants’ relievers Jeremy Affeldt, George Kontos, Mike Broadway and Santiago Casilla combined over the final 3 ⅓ innings to limit the determined Dodgers to two runs as Casilla picked up his 19th save in 22 chances in preserving the victory for Heston.
The Giants’ offense was dominant for the second consecutive game, going 5 for 13 with runners in scoring position. They’ve put up 16 runs over the past two games, both wins. Nori Aoki went 2 for 5 with a run scored, Posey went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, the grand slam, and four RBIs, Gregor Blanco, in his first game back after sitting out 10 games with a concussion, went 2 for 4, with a run scored and an RBI. Brandon Crawford contributed two RBIs with a walk and double and Matt Duffy singled in two runs in the seventh inning to pad the Giants lead to 8-3. Brandon Belt added a double and run scored, going 1 for 5, but struck out three times.
Tim Hudson (4-6, 4.65) will be on the hill tonight against Dodgers’ starter Carlos Frias (4-4, 4.14). Huddy has not pitched well in Dodger Stadium in ten career outings, going 1-4 with a 4.37 ERA. However, he scattered five hits through 6 1/3 innings against the Dodgers on May 19 in a 2-0 victory at AT&T Park. And the 17-year veteran has allowed only one home run in 34 innings over his last six starts. Frias has struggled as of late, going 1-4 in his last six starts, although he’s allowed just one run in 7 ⅓ innings pitched against the G-men this season. Look for another high-energy, offensive game between these two rivals tonight.
- Chris Heston became the first Giants’ rookie starting pitcher to beat the Dodgers in five years. The last player to do that? MadBum
- Buster Posey became the first Giants’ catcher in 112 years to hit a grand slam and steal a base in the same game. The last player to do that? Hall of Fame catcher Roger Bresnahan in 1903
- When L.A. scored in the second inning, it snapped a string of 32 consecutive scoreless innings by Giants’ pitchers against the Dodgers. It was the longest shutout streak by the Giants against any team since they moved to San Francisco in 1958
- At 20-14, the Giants have the best road record in the National League, and third best in all of baseball