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Josh Beckett is sharp as Dodgers close in on Giants
Josh Beckett is sharp as Dodgers close in on Giants

The Dodgers completed the first half of their season Thursday night with a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, leaving them with 81 games to make up two games against the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West. Manager Don Mattingly will take that, considering his team trailed the Giants by 9 1/2 games less than three weeks ago. "I think that gives you energy," Mattingly said. "We were playing better, but the fact we picked up ground helps you feel better. At this point, we can see the Giants and it's a lot better situation." But if the pace at which the Dodgers have reduced their deficit has been surprising, the performance of...

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