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Brad Penny gets ripped all around

Ex-Dodger gives up five runs in the first inning and Jon Garland takes it from there.

September 20, 2009|JIM PELTZ

As he strolled to the bullpen for his pregame warmup, Brad Penny, who left the Dodgers on poor terms after last season, was roundly booed by the fans who arrived early at Dodger Stadium.

But that was nothing compared with the ugly reception that awaited the San Francisco Giants pitcher once the game began Saturday.

Ronnie Belliard tagged Penny for a grand slam in the first inning, and Matt Kemp and James Loney later added solo home runs against the right-hander on consecutive pitches as the Dodgers routed the Giants, 12-1.

At the same time, Dodgers starter Jon Garland (11-11) -- another late-season acquisition -- held the Giants to one unearned run and seven hits in eight innings of work.

"It's a breath of fresh air when they go out and put up five in the first," Garland said.

"We got Jon a lead and he knew what to do with it," Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said. "That was a great game for us and our bullpen."

The Dodgers lowered their magic number to nine against the Colorado Rockies for the National League West title, but it is down to six against the Giants for a playoff spot.

Saturday's win in front of 52,438 gave the Dodgers a split of the first two games of their three-game series. San Francisco fell 3 1/2 games behind the Rockies for the NL wild-card spot.

Garland said that although he enjoyed an early lead, "you can't change your approach. I didn't change it, I went out there and continued to attack."

So did the Dodgers' batters starting with Belliard, who hit a 1-2 pitch from Penny into the Dodgers' left-field bullpen for his grand slam, the fourth slam of his career.

"I was looking for a pitch to hit, I guess he threw a fastball inside and I reacted to it," said Belliard, a veteran infielder acquired from the Washington Nationals.

Actually, Penny (3-1) said afterward that "it was a change-up that I left way up and in. I got beat on bad pitches. I beat myself."

Penny had won his first three starts with the Giants after arriving from the Boston Red Sox. He played with the Dodgers in 2004-08, and he was booed again when he walked off the diamond after surviving only 2 2/3 innings.

"You can't get down seven runs in a situation like this in September," said Penny, who had beaten the Dodgers a week earlier in San Francisco.

Belliard's blast quickly erased any effects of Manny Ramirez's blunder in the first inning, when Giants leadoff hitter Eugenio Velez hit a fly ball that the left fielder should have caught but that bounced off his glove. Velez later scored on a sacrifice fly by Randy Winn.

The Dodgers' scoring in the first inning began with Loney's single to drive in Rafael Furcal and tie the score, 1-1. Casey Blake then walked to load the bases and Belliard hit his grand slam.

In the third inning, Kemp hit his 25th home run of the season and, on the next pitch, Loney hit his 13th homer of the season, but his first at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers added two runs in the fifth inning, one in the sixth and two in the seventh, including a pinch-hit solo home run by Blake DeWitt, who recently was called up from triple-A Albuquerque.


Times staff writer Kevin Baxter contributed to this report.




When: 1 p.m.

Where: Dodger Stadium.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 790, 930.

Pitchers: Randy Wolf vs. Tim Lincecum.

Update: The Dodgers close their three-game series with the Giants with the veteran Wolf, who is 5-0 in his last seven starts with a 2.34 earned-run average. The left-hander is 7-4 lifetime against the Giants with a 3.24 ERA. San Francisco counters with their ace, right-hander Tim Lincecum, who is 3-0 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 2.56 ERA.

-- Jim Peltz

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