For the second consecutive game at Dodger Stadium, the Giants out-pitched and out-hit the best team money can’t buy, beating the Dodgers 6-2 for their third consecutive win. With the victory, the Giants have now beaten the Dodgers in five straight games, and nine times out of eleven this season, and trail the Dodgers by just a half game for best in the NL West. With a win tonight, the G-men will SWEEP the Dodgers for the THIRD time this season and move into sole possession of first place.
On a sunny, 83 degree day, Tim Hudson (5-6, 4.52) gave the Giants a quality start, going 6 ⅓ innings, allowing just two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out three. The key to Hudson’s success was keeping the ball down and coaxing 12 ground ball outs. Despite the fact that Huddy turns 40 next month and came into the game with tough career results at Dodger Stadium (1-4, 4.37 over 10 starts), he turned back the clock and came up big in winning for the fifth time this season. Hudson even hit 90 on the radar gun on at least one pitch. But it was the curveball that was his greatest weapon in this one. “He’s amazing, at his age and on this hot day, to give us that kind of work,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
After the Giants jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning on a pair of sacrifice flies by Angel Pagan and Buster Posey, the Dodgers got right back in it with back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the inning by Joc Pederson and Justin Turner. But Huddy would settle down, and allow no additional runs and just four hits the rest of the way as the Giants built their lead.
In the fifth inning with two outs, Hudson helped his own cause singling to center field to keep the inning alive, bringing Justin Maxwell to the plate. Maxwell entered the game in the bottom of the first inning when Nori Aoki had to leave the game due to a right ankle contusion when he was beaned in his first at bat. No structural damage was found in Aoki’s right leg, and Bochy called him “day to day.” Maxwell crushed a hanging curveball on an 0-2 count for his sixth homer of the season to put the Giants ahead 4-2. “I tried to choke up a little bit, see the ball as early as I could and just put the ball in play,” Maxwell said.
In the sixth inning, with starting pitcher Carlos Frias still on the mound, Brandon Belt followed a Buster Posey walk with a home run to right field that hit the top of the fence and bounced into the stands. The home run was Belt’s ninth of the season and put the Giants ahead 6-2. “It shows that I’m staying back, keeping my line-drive approach,” Belt said.
Once again the Giants’ relief core would do the job, as Hunter Strickland and Sergio Romo would allow just one hit over the final 2 ⅔ innings to secure the victory. Strickland was especially impressive, permitting no runs and no hits, while striking out three batters in his 1 ⅔ innings. Strickland hit 98 on the radar gun on several pitches as the Dodgers seemed overmatched.
Next up is Tim Lincecum (7-3, 3.31), who will will start today’s series finale. Lincecum relishes pitching against the Dodgers, especially at Dodger Stadium where he’s 5-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 14 appearances. Timmy hasn’t had it easy however at Chavez Ravine, as he’s lasted past the sixth inning just once in his last six outings here. The Dodgers will counter with Brett Anderson. Anderson (2-4, 3.43 ERA) doesn’t have a win since May 8 and is winless in six career starts against San Francisco.
- Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford each knocked two hits, with Panik doubling twice to raise his average to .307 as he continues to make his bid for an All Star spot. Crawford (along with Buster Posey) hopes to have a spot on the team locked up, at least as a reserve, as he continues to lead the team in RBIs and has picked up a lot of fans around the league with his amazing glove work
- The G-men continue to lead the National League in winning on the road, with a 21-10 record