Dodgers 10, Giants 4
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Luis Gonzalez figures he’s played everywhere in the NL West for so long, by now he ought to be hitting balls out even in pitcher-friendly parks like San Francisco.
Gonzalez hit his first two home runs in Dodger Blue and Randy Wolf gave Los Angeles a third straight standout pitching performance to pull off a three-game sweep of the archrival San Francisco Giants, 10-4 on Sunday.
“It’s one of those situations I’ve played in Dodger Stadium a lot, here, Colorado,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve played in the NL West so many years and put up enough at-bats I’m going to get a lot of hits for extra bases.”
Gonzalez is doing his best not to let playing for a new club affect him— and so far so good it seems. He connected for a solo shot and three-run homer in his 26th career multihomer game and is batting .364.
Wolf (1-1) outpitched $126 million fellow left-hander Barry Zito in the Dodgers’ eighth consecutive victory in San Francisco, and the Dodgers went 4-2 on their season-opening trip.
“Things happened right for us at the right time out there,” manager Grady Little said. “I’m glad to get out of here in the position we’re in.”
Matt Kemp had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice for the well-rounded Dodgers, who have dominated in the Giants’ waterfront ballpark since their last loss in San Francisco on Aug. 18. Jeff Kent scored three runs and has a six-game hitting streak.
Barry Bonds went 1-for-4 with an RBI single. The 42-year-old slugger, whose one homer in the first week gave him 735 to move within 21 of breaking Hank Aaron’s record, singled off the wall in right in the first to score Rich Aurilia, aboard on a one-out double. Pedro Feliz added a two-run homer in the seventh and pinch-hitter Ryan Klesko had an RBI single in the eighth.
The Giants went 1-5 on their season-opening homestand against division foes San Diego and L.A. and now leave on a tough trip to face the two-time defending champion Padres for three games in Southern California before a weekend series at Pittsburgh.
“We could use some breaks,” right fielder Randy Winn said. “No one is worried, but we do need to play like we can and we haven’t done that yet. We keep having shots at the big innings and we haven’t capitalized yet.”
San Francisco has only started 1-5 twice before since the club moved west from New York in 1958, in 1967 and 1980—not the kind of start the franchise wanted for its All-Star season.
Zito (0-2) didn’t have his first 1-2-3 inning until getting two strikeouts and a groundout in the fifth. The left-hander, who went five innings in an opening-day loss to Jake Peavy and the Padres on April 3, threw 100 pitches in six innings Sunday in another sub-par outing.
Zito allowed eight runs and nine hits, struck out four and walked three.
“It’s all new stimulus, but at the end of the day it’s just baseball,” said Zito, whose deal is the richest ever by a pitcher. “I have to stay on my game plan, make a few adjustments and go from there. I’ve seen this for years in Oakland getting off to a slow start. The key is not to panic, to stay together as a team and know we’ll keep plugging away and put a little run together.”
Gonzalez hit a solo shot to right leading off the fourth, before connecting again in the seventh with a three-run homer. Little believes Gonzo’s going to have a big year.
“I’m going to get a lot of opportunities with guys in front of me getting on base a lot,” said Gonzalez, who spent the past eight seasons with Arizona. “For me, it’s a matter of relaxing and getting in a groove. When you come to a new organization, sometimes you try to do too much, even though everyone knows you.”
After loading the bases in the second on a walk to Winn following Todd Linden’s leadoff walk and a single by Feliz, Wolf retired the next 13 batters in order before Ray Durham drew a two-out walk in the sixth.
Wolf gave up three hits and one run, struck out three and walked three in six innings.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was tossed in the ninth for arguing by first-base umpire Mike Winters, who used an expletive when signaling the ejection—Bochy’s 31st lifetime.
Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal, on the 15-day disabled list a left ankle injury, could be activated during the team’s upcoming homestand. “He’s closer than he was yesterday,” Little said. “How close, we’re not sure yet.” … Giants CF and leadoff hitter Dave Roberts got his first day off with Linden making his second straight start in the OF. SS Omar Vizquel returned to the lineup after a day off and batted in Roberts’ spot.