Los Angeles dispatched San Francisco on Thursday, placing the final bricks in place as they sealed the stupefied Giants in the crypt of a series sweep. The first-place Dodgers have now won five straight games while the last place Giants have dropped six in a row.
Eric Stults battled his way through five innings to earn the victory while Barry Zito, in a rather uneven performance, took the loss. A crowd of 36,553 witnessed the final game of this first home series of the season on a breezy and cool evening.
Breaking the Seal
Rafael Furcal opened the Dodger half of the first with a home run off a 2-0 up-and-in fastball, curling it just fair inside the left field foul pole about four rows back. It was his only hit of the game.
Right Back At You
The Giants wasted no time in tying the score, playing some little ball in the second to even the game. Fred Lewis lead off with a walk. Two groundballs later he stood on third where he was cashed in on an infield single by Edgar Renteria.
See Your One And Raise You Two
Los Angeles refused to let San Francisco carry momentum by striking for two runs in the bottom of the second. After Andre Ethier was hit by a pitch, Matt Kemp's drive to left skipped untouched by Fred (Jerry) Lewis and was credited as a triple. Lewis is very popular in L.A. with the slapstick style of defense he has displayed so many times, submitting plenty of audition tapes in an obvious attempt to break into comic movies. Casey Blake singled to right to drive home Kemp with the Dodgers third run.
It Don't Come Easy
Overlooked in the spring like Ringo Starr was with The Beatles, Eric Stults earned his second victory in as many tries while filling the rotation slot of the injured Hiroki Kuroda. In five innings, he surrendered two runs and five hits, walking three and striking out two. 54 of his 89 pitches were strikes and Eric's groundout to flyout ratio was 8-to-5.
On the Other Side of the Tracks
The Giants Barry Zito, he of the multimillion dollar contract and of dubious value in the eyes of Giant fans, took his second loss of the season while leveling his ERA at an even 10.00. In five innings of work, Zito surrendered six runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts. 52 of his 94 pitches were strikes and Barry's groundout to flyout ratio was 7-to-4.
Revenge of the Bullpen
Dodger relievers turned in a sterling effort. James McDonald recorded three ground outs while allowing a single to Zito. Ronald Belisario submitted two innings, conceding two singles and recording a strikeout while a double play stymied an eighth-inning rally. Will Ohman finished the game, allowing a walk and single but ending the game with a double play grounder.
Pain in the Bench
The Dodgers sent two pinch hitters to the plate and both delivered. Doug Mientkiewicz delivered a double that drove home two. However, he dove unnecessarily into second and separated his shoulder. He will be placed on the D.L. and his roster replacement is pending. Mark Loretta led off the Dodger eighth with a single to center.
There's Ugly Then There's Horrific
Neither team covered themselves in glory with their opportunities in the clutch. The Dodgers were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight. The Giants were 1-for-11 in their opportunities and stranded 11.
Around the Majors
The Padres kept pace with the Dodgers thanks to a 6-5 victory behind Jake Peavy. The new Yankee Stadium was opened in dubious fashion as the Cleveland Indians scalped the Pinstripes 10-2. In an event that will come as no surprise to Dodger fans, Cubs center fielder Milton Bradley was ejected for getting in umpire Larry Vanover face and jumping around like his pant was on fire while protesting a strikeout. The Cubs fell to the Cards 7-4.
The Dodgers welcome the Colorado Rockies to Dodger Stadium on Friday. Randy Wolf goes to the mound for LA to battle Jorge De La Rosa. Game time is 7:10 PM Pacific and the game will be televised by Prime Ticket.
I wish to thank all those who have supported this article series. Beginning with the upcoming series against the Rockies, game recaps are being discontinued and series reviews will take their place. There will be occasional game recaps as events warrant.