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Dodgers extend win streak to five

ON THE DODGERS

If only the Dodgers could play the Giants every day.

Wait, wasn’t that the first sentence of the story in Thursday morning’s paper?

Whatever.

The details of Thursday night’s Dodgers game might have differed from Wednesday night’s, but the result was the same.

The Dodgers won, this time by a 7-2 margin, extending their winning streak to five games and completing a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium of their rivals from San Francisco.

The Giants (2-7) again made some crucial mistakes in judgment and execution, which sent them spiraling to their sixth consecutive defeat and sunk them further into last place in the National League West.

The Dodgers’ (7-3) perfect series was marred only by a shoulder injury to pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz, who hit a two-run double in the sixth inning that put the game out of the Giants’ undersized reach.

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That play ended with Mientkiewicz sliding head-first into second base and dislocating his right shoulder. He remained for two more at-bats but had to exit the game with Manny Ramirez at the plate, walking off the field with his limp arm dangling by his side.

By then, the Giants’ fate was sealed, the score 6-2 and their road record about to drop to 0-6.

On Monday, the Giants held a brief team meeting after their series-opening loss.

On Wednesday, Manager Bruce Bochy reshuffled the lineup by moving down in the batting order their prized acquisitions of the last two off-seasons. Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria, who will earn a combined $21 million this season, hit in the seventh and eighth spots, respectively.

No matter.

Emmanuel Burriss doubled in the first inning against Dodgers starter Eric Stults and stole third but made the mistake of immediately bolting for home when Pablo Sandoval hit a grounder to shortstop Rafael Furcal. Burriss was caught in a rundown, Bengie Molina struck out and the threat was over.

Furcal led off the bottom of the inning with a home run to left field, putting the Dodgers ahead, 1-0.

Renteria singled in Fred Lewis in the second inning to level the score at 1-1, but Lewis wasted no time handing the Dodgers back the lead.

Matt Kemp hit a catchable line drive to left field that bounced under Lewis’ glove, turning what at worst would have been a single into a run-scoring triple. Kemp later scored on a single by Casey Blake, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.

With the Giants within striking distance in the sixth inning, starter Barry Zito unraveled. He hit Russell Martin and loaded the bases by issuing consecutive walks to Andre Ethier and Kemp. Bochy yanked Zito at that point, replacing him with Brandon Medders.

Blake drove in Martin with a sacrifice fly, and Ethier and Kemp scored on Mientkiewicz’s double.

Even when the Dodgers scored their final run of the game in the seventh inning, the Giants couldn’t point fingers at anyone but themselves. With one out and men and first and second, Kemp hit a potential double-play ball to Burriss, who flipped the ball to Renteria. The Giants’ shortstop touched second base, but his throw to first went wide of its intended target, allowing Kemp to reach base safely and James Loney to score

Zito (0-2) was charged with six runs and four hits in five innings. He was responsible for four of the six walks issued by Giants pitchers.

Stults (2-0) won his second decision in place of sidelined opening-day starter Hiroki Kuroda, limiting the Giants to two runs and five hits over five innings.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com


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