Nothing would be sweeter for San Francisco than to spoil the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home opener.
The surging Giants, who open up a two-game set with the Dodgers, saw their rivals take two-of-three in the season opening series. San Francisco though has found a new offensive approach, sweeping the Colorado Rockies over the weekend.
Jason Schmidt singled twice in San Francisco’s seven-run fifth and gave up only two hits in six sharp innings as the Giants beat the Rockies 11-4 on Sunday.
Mike Matheny hit a two-run double, Marquis Grissom had a two-run single and Lance Niekro drove in a run two days after being called up for San Francisco, which scored 25 runs in the series after being outscored 18-8 by Los Angeles to start the season.
San Francisco got its first run when Jason Ellison led off the first with a bunt single, moved to third on an error and a stolen base, and came home on a groundout to third. The Giants’ second run came after two singles, a steal and a runner coming home on a double play.
“We have to do all that to stay afloat,” manager Felipe Alou said. “We can’t wait for the long ball, even though we’ve won a couple games with the long ball. That’s not us. We have to grind day in and day out.”
San Francisco and Los Angeles are tied atop the NL West, and it seems they could be battling for the division’s top spot all season.
Jeff Weaver takes the mound against the Giants again. He was outstanding in the first series’ finale, giving up five hits in eight innings in a 6-0 win on Thursday.
“San Francisco will come back with a vengeance,” Dodgers center fielder Milton Bradley said. “The second time against Weaver, after eight scoreless innings, they won’t want that to happen again. Every time the teams play, it’s a battle.”
Los Angeles had a chance to sweep a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but lost 5-4 on Sunday.
Two games in the series were decided by one run, the other went to extra innings.
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy was disappointed in his team’s failure to take advantage of some scoring opportunities Sunday, leaving 11 runners on base.
“But I certainly am not disappointed with the fact that we’ve played six games on the road, and we’ve won series in both cities,” Tracy said.