As if the rivalry needed more juice: Giants win a wild one, 7-5, as Dodgers’ losing streak hits six
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
Just when things were almost approaching -- yawn -- ordinary in these little Dodgers-Giants affairs, along came Tuesday night.
There were hit batters and ejections, raised tempers and acting managerial stumbles, not to mention a dramatic 7-5 comeback by the Giants that ultimately extended the Dodgers’ losing streak to six games.
Rivalry renewed, or at least refreshed.
After an almost routine Giants victory the previous night, Tuesday was tense and unexpected, full of history and grudges and pitches with intent and one big comeback.
Unexpected, like the Dodgers chasing Giants ace Tim Lincecum with their five runs in just 4 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers let it be known early this wasn’t going to be a typical Lincecum night. They opened the scoring in the first on an Xavier Paul double and an Andre Ethier two-run homer.
The Dodgers made it a 5-1 game in the third with a single by Blake DeWitt and a double by Casey Blake each driving in a run.
And then things got interesting.
(First some quick background: The two teams met here on April 16, Matt Kemp hitting a home run against Todd Wellemeyer and then getting buzzed with a Wellemeyer fastball at the head in his next at-bat. Vicente Padilla later hit Aaron Rowan with a pitch that broke two of his cheek bones and sent him to the disabled list.)
So with one out in the bottom of the fifth Tuesday, Lincecum throws an inside pitch to Kemp that had him bailing out of the batter’s box. The next pitch hit Kemp in the ribs.
Kemp took a step toward the mound, but home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson wisely stepped to his inside and literally steered him to first base. Johnson then warned both benches, though the Dodgers’ coaches were screaming for him to eject Lincecum.
Lincecum was gone one batter later anyway when DeWitt singled, but in the next inning reliever Denny Bautista twice threw inside at Russell Martin.
Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer was yelling at Johnson to eject Bautista, which only served to earn him the ejection.
It should be noted that Hong-Chih Kuo then started warming up in the bullpen. That’s Kuo, who normally doesn’t appear until the eighth.
Clayton Kershaw took to the mound in a 5-4 game in the seventh … and immediately hit the next Giants batter. Which as it turns out, was Rowand.
The pitch hit him in the hip area, but got Kershaw an immediate ejection. And automatically, by rule, Manager Joe Torre with him.
Kuo worked a scoreless two innings and the Dodgers, now being managed by hitting coach Don Mattingly, went to Jonathan Broxton to close it out. that’s Broxton, whom Torre had said earlier wouldn’t pitch Tuesday after his long outing on Sunday.
Of course, that was before things got all interesting.
Not that things were done.
When last seen, Broxton was blowing his save Sunday in St. Louis. Tuesday he immediately gave up a leadoff single to Juan Uribe and walked Edgar Renteria. After a bunt advanced the runners, pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Which brought a mound visit by Mattingly. Or as it turned out, and was wisely picked up on and pointed out to the umpires by Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, two visits.
Mattingly was leaving the mound, when he turned and went back to mound to answer a question by first baseman James Loney. Iit constituted a second visit and meant Broxton had to leave the game.
At that point, options limited, the Dodgers went to struggling left-hander George Sherrill, who to the surprise of no one promptly gave up a two-run double to Andres Torres. Buster Posey added a run-scoring single against Travis Schlichting and a nice Dodger victory had turned into another awful loss.
-- Steve Dilbeck