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Giants give, and the Dodgers gladly take another win, 7-5

Two misplays by San Francisco right fielder Aubrey Huff open door and Dodgers charge through, scoring three runs in first inning and four in the seventh. Matt Kemp homers, Jonathan Broxton logs another shaky save, and L.A. takes three of four in opening series.

April 03, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers left fielder Marcus Thames is greeted by teammates after hitting a one-run triple and being replaced for a pinch runner in the seventh inning Sunday evening at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers left fielder Marcus Thames is greeted by teammates after hitting… (Katie Falkenberg / For The…)

The results were something a new manager dreams of, starting the season by taking three of four games from the defending World Series champions.

The details make you wonder whether the Dodgers can continue to win games by playing like this, but we'll get to that later.

"It was a big game tonight," Manager Don Mattingly said of his team's 7-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.

"They're the defending champs," said Matt Kemp, who hit his first home run of the season.

"We got three wins, that's the big thing," said closer Jonathan Broxton, who recorded his third save despite serving up his second home run.

Dodgers-Giants box score

With smiles on their faces and music blasting in the clubhouse, the Dodgers went into their off day on Monday with a 3-1 record that put them on top of the National League West. They will start a two-game series in Colorado on Tuesday and are scheduled to face Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel but not Ubaldo Jimenez or Jorge De La Rosa.

Mattingly said he was proud of two particular elements of Sunday's win: how the Dodgers recovered from a 10-0 beating the previous day and how they took advantage of mistakes the Giants made.

Those miscues were huge.

The Giants, who made five errors that contributed to the light-hitting Dodgers' first two victories in the series, made two more major defensive gaffes Sunday.

T.J. Simers: Dodgers can't ignore safety issue

The first got the Dodgers on the board. The second ended a streak of five-plus scoreless innings during which Giants starter Barry Zito retired 15 consecutive batters at one point.

The culprit on both occasions was Aubrey Huff, who forced his way into the national consciousness last fall by wearing a red thong on the Giants' World Series run.

Huff's clumsy and mistimed dive in the first inning turned a potential line out by Jamey Carroll into a triple that allowed Rafael Furcal to score. Two batters later, Kemp homered against Zito to increase the Dodgers' lead to 3-0.

The Giants got single runs in the second and sixth, and tied it in the seventh inning on a solo home run by Pat Burrell. But the Dodgers were able to respond immediately with more help from Huff.

This time, the source of Huff's problems was a ball hit over his head by Marcus Thames. Huff looked over his left shoulder. He looked over his right.

"I didn't know what the hell was happening after that," said Huff, who slid head-first across the warning track in his futile attempt to catch the ball.

James Loney scored. Thames was on third.

The Dodgers scored three more runs that inning, on Aaron Miles' pinch-hit RBI single, Rafael Furcal's double and Andre Ethier's basehit. They were up, 7-3.

"When you face guys like that, it basically comes down to making a mistake," Jamey Carroll said. "We were able to capitalize on some mistakes in this series. We're going to take whatever we can get."

The Giants were punished by the very thing they made fun of before the game.

Huff made some clumsy movements in the outfield the previous night, which led to Burrell and reliever Dan Runzler taking the field early Sunday. With Runzler on the ground face down, Burrell outlined his body with white tape, simulating a chalk outline.

Care to guess who was on the mound when Thames hit that ball over Huff's head?

That's right — Runzler.

The comfortable lead made the home run Broxton gave up to Aaron Rowand in the ninth inning a footnote.

Broxton didn't seem concerned.

"I had a three-run lead," he said with a shrug.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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