Dodgers 5, Giants 4
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Jason Phillips had to chuckle when asked what was going through his mind when he looked toward first base umpire Adam Dowdy after trying to check his swing on a 1-2 pitch.
“I wasn’t really thinking at that point, just hoping for the best,” Phillips replied.
He got it.
Dowdy gave the safe sign, indicating no swing, and after taking ball three and fouling a pitch away, Phillips hit an RBI single to cap a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
Phillips seemed to be the only person who believed he held up on his swing.
But he didn’t sound very convincing.
“I checked my swing, that’s what the umpire said,” Phillips replied when asked if he had gone around. “Maybe the worm has turned for the Dodgers. It feels good to win.”
The Dodgers hadn’t done that since July 6, having lost their last four games before the All-Star break and their first two after it. The win was just their eighth in the last 29 games.
“I think we got a break,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said, referring to Dowdy’s decision. “That’s something that hasn’t come our way lately.”
The Dodgers entered the ninth with only one hit since the third, and Tyler Walker (2-2) retired the first two batters before pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz drew a four-pitch walk. Oscar Robles followed with a single to center, and Cesar Izturis grounded an 0-2 pitch off the first base bag and into the right field corner for an RBI double to tie it.
Izturis had only seven hits in his previous 90 at-bats when he came to the plate in the ninth.
Jeff Kent was walked intentionally before Phillips hit a grounder into right field. Phillips thrust his fist into the air in celebration after the ball got past diving second baseman Ray Durham, and his teammates swarmed the field.
The blown save was just the third for Walker in 18 chances.
The Giants were furious with Dowdy, a 30-year-old summer replacement called up from the minors to replace vacationing umpires.
“I saw a swing,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “I didn’t see it on national TV. I was there. All of us were there. We saw it. But we dug our own hole.”
Several San Francisco players surrounded a television monitor in the clubhouse and watched the alleged checked swing over and over.
“If that’s a checked swing, then they should rewrite the ruling in the rule book,” first baseman J.T. Snow said. “I had just as good a look as the first base ump. It should be interesting tomorrow because he’ll be behind the plate. So we’ll see what happens.”
The Giants were informed after the game that the umpires had ejected Alou, his son, Moises, a San Francisco outfielder, catcher Yorvit Torrealba and shortstop Deivi Cruz, meaning a report will be filed.
Rookie Steve Schmoll (2-0) pitched two perfect innings and struck out three to earn the victory. The loss was the third in nine games for the Giants.
San Francisco took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on Michael Tucker’s two-out, RBI single off Odalis Perez. The Giants didn’t have another baserunner after that as Perez, Giovanni Carrara and Schmoll combined to retire the last 10 batters.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the second on doubles by Moises Alou and Cruz and a single by Snow.
The Dodgers got a run back in their half off Brett Tomko on an RBI single by Jason Repko, and took a 3-2 lead in the third on a two-out, run-scoring single by Jayson Werth that snapped an 0-for-21 drought and another RBI single by Repko.
Cruz hit another double to start the fourth, and scored one out later on a single by Jason Ellison to tie it at 3.
Perez, making his third start since coming off the disabled list after missing 46 games because of soreness in his pitching shoulder, allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings. He hasn’t won since April 29.
Tomko gave up six hits and three runs in six innings while walking two, striking out four and making 110 pitches. He didn’t allow a hit in his final 3 1-3 innings.
Giants 3B Edgardo Alfonzo, sidelined since June 13 with a strained left quadriceps, was supposed to begin a rehab assignment Saturday night with Triple-A Fresno, but the team was informed early in the day he had tweaked his neck, delaying the rehab plans temporarily. … Dodgers OF Milton Bradley began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night and grounded out twice while playing five innings. He’s been out since May 30 with a torn ligament in his right ring finger. … The Giants rank eighth in the NL in runs scored despite having the league’s leading batting average with runners in scoring position, second-leading average overall and fewest strikeouts. … Dodgers utilityman Mike Edwards singled in the second to snap an 0-for-16 drought, and singled again and scored in third.