Seems that old chewing gum commercial had it wrong. Why double your pleasure when you can triple your fun?
For those longing for something encouraging from those frustrating Boys in Blue, the Dodgers offered it Friday in an 8-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.
They looked very serious, very focused. Zack Greinke threw seven scoreless innings and the Dodgers collected triples like four-leaf clovers.
The Dodgers had five triples to tie franchise record. They had three triples in a single inning. And Yasiel Puig had three triples by himself, matched only in franchise history by Jimmy Sheckard back in 1901.
It was one of those nice complete games, made all the more special for the Dodgers with the victory pulling them within a half-game of the Giants in the National League West.
The Dodgers hit well, fielded well, ran the bases well and pitched well. And well, now, figured that was more like it.
Manager Don Mattingly showed he was going to be very serious about this showdown series when he set up his rotation coming out of the All-Star break so he could start his big three -- Grenike, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu -- against the Giants.
If that strategy looked fragile when the Dodgers came out of the break 2-4, it looked a whole lot better Friday when Greinke was masterful against the Giants. Greinke (12-6) held the Giants to four hits in his seven innings, or one less triple than the Dodgers managed. He struck out 10 and walked one. He did everything but triple.
Of course, he was supported by a 15-hit attack. The night’s triple brigade started when Puig tripled off the wall with one out against Tim Lincecum in the first. He scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single. All mere warmup.
The Dodgers broke the game open with five runs in the fifth, the inning they collected three of their triples. Greinke started the trouble with a single and scored on a Dee Gordon triple. Triples aren’t anything knew for Gordon, who leads the majors with 10, but they would prove the specialty of Puig on this night; he tripled in Gordon.
Gonzalez singled in Puig again, and Hanley Ramirez singled him to second. The Dodgers' fifth consecutive hit ended the night for Lincecum (9-7), but Matt Kemp's triple off Juan Gutierrez scored two more and it was a rout.
In the sixth, Gordon singled, stole second and scored on Puig's third triple. Puig also had a double, giving him four extra-base hits on a night he made his first start in center this season.
The Dodgers added a final run in the eighth after Andre Ethier walked, Gordon singled and Ramirez added a run-scoring hit.
Puig and Ramirez were both returning to the lineup after sitting out the previous series against in Pittsburgh. In addition to Puig's four hits, Gordon and Kemp had three hits each, and Ramirez and Gonzalez had two apiece.
According to the Dodgers, the short list of players with at least three triples and a double in one major league game (since 1914) include: Les Bell (1926), Herm Winningham (1990) and Puig.
The Dodgers lost their shutout in the ninth when Paul Maholm gave up a run.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times