Dodgers 6 9 1
Giants 2 8 0
WP- Greinke (6-1)
LP- Affeldt (0-1)
HR- Kemp (5)
A late offensive surge put the Dodgers on the winning side of the third game of four between the bitter rival Dodgers and Giants on Saturday afternoon. What seemed like a typical low scoring game quickly turned into what could be deemed an offensive explosion for the Dodgers as they put up two runs each in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
Greinke struggled over his first couple of innings, and he wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning by striking out the free swinging Pablo Sandoval with a 96-mph fastball. Dee Gordon was stealin’ the hearts of Los Angeles again at Dodger Stadium, and the speedster stole second and third base in the bottom of the first inning after singling to lead-off. The Dodgers had a chance to strike, but Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez struck out before Matt Kemp lined out to right field to end the inning and strand Dee at third.
The Giants got on the board in the top of the second as Greinke continued to toil early. After a Brandon Crawford lead-off single and a walk to Brandon Hicks, Matt Cain moves the runners to second and third on a successful sacrifice bunt. Crawford scores on a Hunter Pence sacrifice fly, and Buster Posey singles in the second run of the inning.
After allowing the two runs to the Giants in the second inning, Greinke went on to pitch five shutout innings thereafter. The ace continued his streak of allowing two runs or fewer, and he is 10-1 against National League West foes since becoming a Dodger. Greinke struck out 8 while walking 3 and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits over 7 innings and 112 pitches. Quirky yet intelligent, Zack Greinke has really been an incredible addition to the Dodger legacy.
Although Greinke was once again fantastic and picked up his sixth victory of the season, the Dodger offense began the game in nonexistent form for the first five innings against Matt Cain. Cain, who had been disabled after cutting his finger with a knife while making a sandwich in the clubhouse, shut down the Dodgers until the sixth inning. Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits with 4 strikeouts and 4 walks on 92 pitches but wasn’t involved in the decision.
Dee Gordon fueled the sixth inning by leading off with a walk and proceeds to steal his third base of the game and Major League leading 24th overall.
Puig singles, and Gordon advances to third. Hanley Ramirez draws a walk to load the bases and send Cain to the showers. Bruce Bochy decides to go to his pen, and Jeremy Affeldt is asked to pitch with the bases loaded and nobody out. The Dodgers score on a double play ball by Adrian Gonzalez as Dee comes home on the play. Matt Kemp, who had two big hits on the day, singles in a second run to tie the game at two apiece.
The Dodgers put another two notches on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh as Drew Butera doubles with one out, and Dee Gordon’s RBI double brings in the catcher to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Surprisingly Drew Butera has been contributing somewhat with the bat, and once A.J. Ellis is activated from the D.L. the Dodgers will have to decide between Butera and Olivo for the backup catcher job. A.J. is scheduled to play in a AAA rehab assignment on Sunday. The Dodgers add the second run after Puig also doubles on a line drive to left field scoring Gordon.
In the top of the eighth, Brian Wilson comes in and continues to pitch sketchily. The Panda leads off with a single, Crawford strikes out, Hicks singles, Tyler Colvin strikes out, and Angel Pagan walks to load the bases. Wilson’s inconsistency is worrisome. He will allow a walk or hit then return with a strikeout, and then follow with another walk or base hit for a frighteningly strange pattern in recent outings. Thankfully The Beard induces an inning ending pop-up from Pence which Butera takes care of behind the plate.
The Dodgers add yet another two runs in the bottom of the eighth on a big Bison Blast, an opposite field solo homerun for Matt Kemp! Perhaps the old Matt Kemp is still in there? I can see The Bison slowly working his way back, and I’m loving it. Carl Crawford singles, and Butera’s sacrifice fly brings in the Dodgers’ sixth run of the game!
With a four-run lead, Don Mattingly will bring in Chris Perez to finish off the Giants in the top of the ninth. Perez pitches a very nice 1-2-3 inning, retiring Posey, Morse, and Sanchez to give the Dodgers the much needed win which snaps their three-game losing streak.
Dee Gordon has been absolutely brilliant thus far for the Dodgers, and the second baseman has truly shaped into a game-changing lead-off guy. Gordon is on record pace with 24 stolen bases, and he is one of only four players to reach 24 steals in the first 35 games of a season. The other base stealers who also accomplished this were Scotty Podsednik, Kenny Lofton, and Vince Coleman. Gordon is fifth in the league with a .336 batting average.