Dodgers 9, Giants 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Barry Bonds’ bat came off his shoulder three times all game. The two at-bats when he got to swing, he grounded into double plays.
Chad Billingsley pitched six scoreless innings, Andre Ethier hit a three-run double in a six-run ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers got their ninth straight victory in San Francisco, 9-1 on Friday night.
“Chad was outstanding,” manager Grady Little said. “He was especially impressive when he got into jams and was able to pitch out of them.”
Bonds stayed stuck at 751 home runs, four shy of Hank Aaron’s home run record. He did add to his walks total, drawing two more free passes to put him at 93. Bonds last homered in the first inning July 3 at Cincinnati off Aaron Harang, the slugger’s 17th of the season.
Billingsley (6-0) allowed four hits, struck out two and walked three to remain unbeaten and helped the Dodgers move within percentage points of the first-place San Diego Padres, who lost 8-3 at Arizona. San Francisco scored an unearned run in the eighth to avoid being shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since June 9-10 against the Oakland Athletics.
Los Angeles has its longest winning streak in any road ballpark since a 13-game run at in the Giants’ former stadium of Candlestick Park in 1976-77.
The Dodgers led by two going into the ninth, before stringing together seven straight hits, capped by Ethier’s bases-clearing double. The Giants fans who stuck around until the end gave the team a standing ovation when they finally ended the Dodgers’ half of the ninth.
Bonds stepped in to chants of “Barry! Barry!” and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the first, then walked on five pitches with the bases empty and one out in the fourth. Boos immediately rained down on Billingsley, who walked Bonds on four pitches in the sixth again with nobody on base. Bonds grounded into a run-scoring double play in the eighth.
That first double play on a changeup set the tone for Billingsley.
“I made a big pitch to him and it was able to go my way,” the pitcher said. “It was a bid play. I ended up getting him to hit a groundball, which I needed.”
Bonds was given the day off Thursday, when his teammates went through a spring training-like workout at the ballpark following three days off for the All-Star break. Bonds—who turns 43 on July 24—started in Tuesday night’s All-Star game, his 14th selection and first in three years.
“Whew! Aren’t you still tired from that whole thing?” Bonds asked while walking through the clubhouse before Friday’s game. “I’m still tired.”
Yet not so exhausted that manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t plan to use his star all weekend against the archrivals as long as Bonds is OK to do so.
Bochy said after the game he would check with Bonds on Saturday morning before writing his lineup for the afternoon contest.
“I’ll check on him tomorrow,” Bochy said. “It’s a close ballgame (tonight). You can’t take him out there. The last inning got out of hand.”
The Dodgers won their fifth straight game playing on Friday the 13th, and the weather was appropriately spooky on this foggy Bay Area night. Swirling mist hovered over the outfield for much of the game. There were few signs that the All-Star game was held in the waterfront ballpark only three nights earlier.
Matt Cain (3-10), the Giants’ hard-luck pitcher, again was hurt by no run support. He had ended an eight-start winless stretch and six-game losing streak in his last start July 4 at Cincinnati.
His frustration level showed when he was taken out after the top of the fifth.
“It’s definitely high,” Cain said. “We just didn’t do very well today. Obviously if we don’t score runs, you’re not going to win. But I didn’t put guys away when I should.”
After San Francisco leadoff man Dave Roberts reached second in the first, Billingsley didn’t allow another Giants baserunner past first until Omar Vizquel advanced on a sharp single by pinch-hitter Fred Lewis in the fifth.
The right-hander, making his fifth start of the year after getting four relief wins, had given up one homer to Bonds.
Juan Pierre had an RBI single in the third to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. After going to second when center field Dave Roberts threw out Rafael Furcal at third, Pierre stole third. He scored when catcher Bengie Molina’s wild throw to third caromed off Rich Aurilia’s ankle and toward the Giants’ dugout.
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin was hit by a pitch on his right forearm in the seventh but it didn’t require an X-ray.
Los Angeles changed its pitching rotation for the weekend, swapping right-hander Derek Lowe on Saturday for All-Star Brad Penny, who is nursing a blister and is set to start Monday instead. … Pierre stole his 35th base. … Bonds hit two homers on the last Friday the 13th—in April. That’s his only multihomer game of the season. … Cain has never beaten the Dodgers in four tries. … The Giants drew 43,230 fans for their 19th sellout of the season. … The Dodgers had 17 hits, one off their season high.