San Francisco Giants' Guillermo Quiroz celebrates as he rounds the… (Ben Margot / Associated…)
SAN FRANCISCO – There was no anger or frustration in the voice of Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly. His team had just lost again –- on a walkoff hit, against the rival San Francisco Giants, for the second consecutive night –- and Mattingly sounded surprisingly chirpy.
“In a sense, it’s encouraging, as much as you can be encouraged from a loss,” Mattingly said. “It’s as good as you can feel about a loss.”
Guillermo Quiroz hit a walk-off home run off Dodgers closer Brandon League in the 10th inning on Saturday, lifting the Giants to a 10-9 victory over the Dodgers.
BOX SCORE: San Francisco 10, Dodgers 9
The Dodgers had won their last 61 games in which they had scored at least eight runs against the Giants. The streak dated to 1988, the last year the Dodgers won the World Series.
The Giants last won the World Series last year. The Dodgers are 1-4 against the defending World Series champions this year, 13-16 overall. They have five starting pitchers hurt, and three-fourths of their starting infield.
The Dodgers scored as many runs in one inning on Saturday -- seven -- as they had in any previous game this season. They lost.
Mattingly was heartened by an offense that entered the game with fewer runs scored than any team besides the Miami Marlins. The Dodgers held a hitters-only meeting, then set season highs in runs and hits.
But the state of the team appeared best represented by utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr., who started at first base in place of the injured Adrian Gonzalez.
Hairston suffered what he called a minor groin injury in the fifth inning, after getting hit by a pitch on his arm in the third inning and getting stitches to close a gash on his forehead on Saturday morning.
“It’s been a rough 24 hours,” he said.
Hairston said he awoke in his hotel room in the middle of the night, tripped on a bag, and hit his head against the side of the desk.
“I wish I had a really good story,” he said. “Maybe I saved some dogs or something, or saved the day like Batman.”
League, the Dodgers’ closer, did not enter the game in a save situation. He preserved a 9-9 tie in the ninth inning, then went out for another inning and gave up the game-winning home run to Qurioz on a split-finger fastball that stayed up.
“Was it a perfect split? No,” League said. “Was it a decent split? Yeah.”
League threw the same pitch on an 0-2 count as he did on an 0-1 count, when Quiroz swung and missed, by a lot.
“Of course I’m going to try to throw it again,” League said.
Mattingly said he hoped Gonzalez, who sat out the first two games of this series because of neck stiffness, would be able to play in Sunday’s nationally televised finale.
The Dodgers finished the game with an infield of Luis Cruz at first, Skip Schumaker at second, Dee Gordon at shortstop and Nick Punto at third.
Cruz never had played first base in the major leagues. In 1,223 games in the minors, he played the position three times.
The Dodgers rallied from a 6-1 deficit by scoring seven times in the fifth inning. Punto appeared twice as a pinch-hitter in the inning. He walked and doubled.
Gordon, recalled Saturday to replace injured shortstop Hanley Ramirez, tripled home two runs in the inning. Gordon also singled, walked, stole two bases and scored two runs.
“It’s one game,” Mattingly said. “I don’t want to get carried away with how good Dee looks. He had a nice game.
“When he gets on base, he’s just a force. You can do so many things with him. He puts the defense at such a disadvantage.”
The Dodgers bullpen covered all but the first 1 1/3 innings. Rookie Matt Magill, so impressive in his major league debut last week, was anything but that on Saturday. He needed 43 pitches to finish the first inning and did not survive the second.
Magill walked two of the first three batters, assisting the Giants in a four-run first inning. In all, Magill faced 14 batters, giving up six hits, five runs and four walks while getting four outs.