Giants 5, Dodgers 3

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—There’s no relief when it comes to facing the starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants these days.

Matt Morris was the latest to get the job done, taking a three-hitter into the eighth inning Tuesday night in the Giants’ 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Morris followed a great outing and he gave us one,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after his team’s sixth straight win. “It all starts with your starters. These guys are doing a great job giving us a chance to win.”

Matt Cain pitched a three-hitter Sunday in San Francisco’s 2-1 victory over Arizona, and Barry Zito worked 7 1-3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 triumph over the Diamondbacks a day earlier. The Giants have given up only eight runs in their last five games.

“They’ve got some awfully good pitching,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “Morris kept us off-balance with all his pitches. You just have to tip your hat to him.”

Light-hitting Dave Roberts homered, Bengie Molina had three hits and Randy Winn drove in two runs for the Giants, who snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Dodgers—the fourth-longest skid for either team in the history of the series and longest since 1953, when the Giants beat their rivals 10 straight times.

Morris (3-0) gave up six hits and three runs in 7 1-3 innings. He was lifted after allowing one-out singles to Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre and Nomar Garciaparra in the eighth, making it 5-2. Brad Hennessey gave up an RBI single to Jeff Kent before Jack Taschner relieved and induced Luis Gonzalez to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Armando Benitez worked the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances, giving the Giants their longest winning streak since they had six straight victories late in the 2005 season.

“Just to go out there and keep our string going, that’s what it’s all about, to feed off each other,” Morris said regarding his fellow starters. “I think that lights a little fire when we’re all competing like this.”

Pitching coach Dave Righetti pointed to catcher Molina, who joined the Giants this season, as a key factor in the starters’ success.

“These guys are pretty good,” Righetti said of the starters. “I think Bengie should get a lot of credit. I’m glad he’s here.”

Zito agreed, saying: “There are so many catchers who are just worried about their hitting. I’ve always said I’d rather have a catcher who can work a staff. He can do both. What he’s done for our staff is bring it together.”

Molina shrugged off the praise.

“I told everybody in the spring I couldn’t wait until the season started so we could show what we have,” he said. “These guys are making great pitches. They’re ready to pitch every night. They take the ball—they take pride in that.”

Barry Bonds, who had homered in five of his previous seven games to give him 740, went hitless in two at-bats and walked twice against Derek Lowe (2-3). Bonds, 15 homers behind career leader Henry Aaron, was lifted for a pinch runner in the seventh.

Bonds was booed at every turn by the announced crowd of 44,001, even when a ball was hit his way. Before the game, he called Dodger Stadium one of baseball’s best ballparks, adding he liked all the recent improvements except for the color of the seats.

Bonds has hit 28 homers at Dodger Stadium—more than any other active player who has never played for the Dodgers.

The Giants scored an unearned run in the first when Roberts singled, stole second, took third on catcher Russell Martin’s throwing error and scored on Rich Aurilia’s infield out.

Winn’s RBI double in the second made it 2-0. Lowe had retired nine straight before Roberts hit a one-out homer in the fifth—just his 22nd in 682 lifetime games.

“When you think of Dave Roberts, you don’t think about the home run,” said Lowe, who allowed nine hits and four runs, three earned, in seven innings. “The one place you don’t want to throw to him is down and in, and I did.”

The Giants got another run later in the inning on Ray Durham’s fielder’s choice grounder, making it 4-0. Wilson Betemit hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning for the Dodgers’ first run.

The Giants made it 5-1 in the eighth on Winn’s run-scoring single off Joe Beimel.


When Roberts singled in the first, it was his first hit in four games. He went hitless in 10 at-bats in the previous three. … Lowe struck out four, leaving him two shy of 1,000 in his career. Dodgers LHP Randy Wolf, who pitches Wednesday night against the Giants, has 996 career strikeouts. … Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner, turned 40 Tuesday and became the 17th player 40 or older to play at least one major league game at shortstop. … Garciaparra, who brought a .429 lifetime batting average against Morris into the game, singled with one out in the fourth for the first Los Angeles hit. … Bonds is hitless in eight lifetime at-bats against Lowe.

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