The hours leading up to Tuesday’s game were bittersweet for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as Clayton Kershaw completed another successful bullpen session, but Chad Billingsley did not, and Brian Wilson was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, at the expense of Paco Rodriguez. Nonetheless, the Dodgers took the field to face their bitter rival, San Francisco Giants, on Jackie Robison Day looking for their fourth consecutive win.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum got Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford to groundout and Adrian Gonzalez to line-out after a two-out single by Hanley Ramirez. Josh Beckett made his second start of the season and made quick work of the Giants in the bottom of the first, striking out Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt before getting Pablo Sandoval to ground out.
After Lincecum continued to cruise in the second, former Giant Juan Uribe hit a solo home run with two outs off the right hander. The home run was the first of Uribe’s career against Lincecum. Beckett similarly ran into trouble after recording the first two outs in his second inning of work. The 33-year-old right hander hit Giants left fielder Michael Morse with a pitch and then allowed Morse to reach third on a failed pick-off attempt that saw the ball get by Adrian Gonzalez. Beckett got out of the inning by striking out Brandon Crawford.
Both pitchers had easy third innings and continuing to match each other tit for tat, Beckett and Lincecum then worked themselves out of fourth inning trouble. The Dodgers threatened to score, loading the bases on a trio of one-out singles from Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier. Uribe was unable to duplicate his home run from the second inning, striking out, and Tim Federowicz’s struggles at the plate continued as he also struck out. The Giants then loaded the bases with one, but were also unable to score. Beckett struck out Morse looking and got Crawford to groundout to third to end the inning and kept the Dodgers ahead, 1-0, going to the fifth.
Beckett faced trouble again, this time in the fifth, as he issued three walks in the inning to load the bases for the second consecutive inning. With two outs, Buster Posey stepped in to bat, but in another display of resilience, Beckett got out of the jam by getting the catcher to fly out. David Huff replaced Lincecum at the start of the sixth and retired the Dodgers in order. Beckett’s night was also done after five innings, as he was gave way to Chris Withrow.
The hard-throwing right hander managed to avoid being sent down the minors with Brian Wilson coming off the disabled list, but Withrow wasn’t as sharp as he’s been. Hunter Pence led off the inning with a single and was safe at second on a Morse fielder’s choice. Pence then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Crawford sacrifice fly. Federowicz caught Juan Perez stealing, who pinch-ran for Morse and after walking Brandon Hicks, Withrow ended the inning by striking out Ehire Adrianza to end the inning.
Jean Machi came on to pitch for the Giants in the seventh with the game tied. Uribe hit a leadoff double and was moved over to third on a Federowicz sacrifice bunt. Matt Kemp pinch-hit for Withrow and drew a four-pitch walk. With left-handers Gordon and Crawford due up, Giants manager Bruce Bochy called on lefty Javier Lopez. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly countered by pinch-hitting Justin Turner for Gordon. Turner singled to center, driving in Uribe and giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Juan Gutierrez relieved Machi to get a Hanley Ramirez groundout that ended the threat.
J.P. Howell, the lone reliever in the Dodgers’ bullpen with Paco Rodriguez having been optioned to Triple-A, was on the mound to start the bottom of the seventh. Pagan struck out for the second time in the game and after allowing a Belt single, Howell got Sandoval to foul out. Mattingly then lifted the left-hander in favor of Chris Perez. The former Cleveland Indians closer ended the inning by getting Posey to hit into a fielder’s choice.
Puig hit a one-out triple in the eighth, but the Dodgers couldn’t cash in as Ethier struck out and Uribe hit back to the box to end the top half of the eighth. Perez stayed on in the eighth and found himself in trouble after a Pence leadoff single, who then stole second, and walking pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco. With two on and no outs, Crawford struck out swinging, and Perez then got Hicks to hit into the inning-ending double-play.
There was nothing doing for the Dodgers in the ninth other than a Kemp single and stolen base. Kenley Jansen entered the game looking to close out a 2-1 win. Jansen got Hector Sanchez swinging for the first out, who pinch-hit for Gutierrez. Pagan reached on an infield single that hit off Jansen. The Dodgers’ closer’s troubles continued as Belt doubled in Pagan to tie the game with one out. Jansen struck out Sandoval and intentionally walked Posey to face Pence, who flew out to right to end the inning.
With the heart of the Dodgers’ order due up in the 10th, Bochy gave Sergio Romo the task of keeping the game tied. Romo retired Ramirez and Gonzalez in order, and got Ethier to pop up after a Puig two-out walk. Jamey Wright took over for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 10th. Blanco reached on a leadoff infield single that was originally ruled an out, but was overturned after review of the play. The situation then got worse for the Dodgers as Turner was late to cover first base on a sacrifice bunt turned bunt single by Crawford. Hicks laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved runners to second and third with one out. Sanchez walked to load the bases and Pagan stepped in with one away. Wright got out of the jam by getting Pagan to pop up and Belt to fly out.
Santiago Casilla took the mound for the Giants in the 11th inning. Uribe hit a leadoff single but it was wiped away on a Federowicz bunt attempt that resulted in a double-play. Kemp’s two-out double was to no avail as Turner was unable to drive in the would be go-ahead run. Wright allowed a one-out single and then got Pence to hit into a double-play to end the inning.
The Giants used their eighth pitcher of the game and final eligible reliver, Yusmeiro Petit in the 12th. Ramirez hit a one-out double down the left field line but the Dodgers again squandered the opportunity to take the lead. Crawford hit a single off Brandon League and reached second on a ball hit to Uribe that should’ve been a double-play. Crawford then moved to third on a pitch in the dirt and scored on a Sanchez base hit that went off the glove of a diving Turner to give the Giants the 3-2 win.
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