LOS ANGELES (AP)—Shawn Green emerged from a monthlong slump with two timely hits that had his teammates hopeful he’ll return to form in the second half of the season.
Green homered and doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat San Francisco 5-4 on Thursday night.
The victory pulled them within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Giants in the NL West.
“It felt great, it was a big win,” he said. “I don’t get too excited. I’m just happy with tonight.”
All three times the Giants took the lead, the Dodgers responded in the bottom of the inning against 10-game winner Jason Schmidt to tie it.
“Right from the first inning, I just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t really locating that well,” Schmidt said. “We should have won that game, but I just wasn’t able to hold them.”
Schmidt gave up four runs on six hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked three.
“Running their ace out of the game had a lot to do with the type of at-bats we took all night long—grinding, grueling type of at-bats, where we battled and battled,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “We fouled pitches off, we built his pitch count up. You can’t play any better than we played.”
Felix Rodriguez (2-4) relieved Schmidt to start the eighth and gave up a one-out walk to Milton Bradley before Green drove a 2-1 pitch into the left-center alley just beyond the reach of Marquis Grissom to give the Dodgers their first lead of the game.
“It’s great for him, it’s great for the team,” second baseman Alex Cora said of Green. “Everybody here knows what he can do. For a certain period of time he carried the team. Hopefully this is the beginning of that.”
Guillermo Mota (4-4) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the victory.
Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save, and major league-record 83rd in a row.
Green was coming off a disappointing June, in which he hit .287, with four doubles, one homer and 11 RBIs.
“It bothers him as much as it does anybody,” Tracy said. “To have him step up and have the type of game that he had against the pitcher that he had it against, I’m very hopeful that’s a sign of things to come.”
The Dodgers tied it 1-1 in the third inning on Paul Lo Duca’s fifth homer of the season after Schmidt hit his fourth career home run in the top half.
Barry Bonds, 1-for-2 with two walks, led off the seventh with his 21st homer and 679th of his career. Moments later, Deivi Cruz made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly after a single by A.J. Pierzynski and a ground-rule double by J.T. Snow.
But the Dodgers came back again, a week after being swept in a four-game series at San Francisco.
“Every inning we scored, they scored—three different innings. It was incredible,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said.
Green led off the seventh with his 10th homer, an opposite-field shot to left on the first pitch from Schmidt. Encarnacion followed with a single, was sacrificed to second by Cora and scored on Dave Roberts’ single.
“He looked great,” Roberts said of Green. “He looked like he was swinging the bat with some purpose and confidence.”
The Dodgers held a closed-door meeting before the game.
“Trace said there’s a lot of baseball left. We’re not out of it, so there’s no reason to act like it,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers have won three of four series against the Giants this season.The teams don’t meet again until late September.
Green tied Dusty Baker for eighth on the Dodgers’ career home run list with 144. … It was Gagne’s 127th career save with the Dodgers, tying him with Todd Worrell for second on the club’s list. … Bonds needs four walks to tie Rickey Henderson for the most in major league history with 2,190. … In Schmidt’s previous 14 starts against the Dodgers, he didn’t allow more than four earned runs. The last time he allowed more than four against them was April 30, 1998, when he gave up five over six innings in a no-decision. … Postgame fireworks helped attract 54,717, the Dodgers’ 13th sellout of theseason and the most since they had 27 in 1991.