Los Angeles overcame both the absence of Green’s bat and a ninth-inning two-run home run by Barry Bonds to hold on for a 3-2 win Friday night. Bonds’ 662nd career homer was not enough to beat Eric Gagne, who converted his 66th straight save despite yielding the blast.
Green, who strained his groin while running the bases Thursday in San Diego, had found his hitting stroke against the Padres, going 7-for-10 in the three-game series. He is batting .333 with two homers and 10 RBIs.
“It’s frustrating to miss a game any time, but the way I’ve been swinging the bat it is really hard to take a day off,” Green said.
With their win Friday, the Dodgers are already off to a better start than last year against their biggest rivals. Los Angeles lost the first five meetings between the teams in 2003 and finished 15 1/2 games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West.
San Francisco’s offense comes into the game slumping, registering just three hits in Friday’s loss. The Giants had only four hits a day earlier against the Milwaukee Brewers, when they absorbed a 3-0 loss.