Wells, Gonzalez lead Dodgers past rival Giants, 6-2
“It wasn’t hip-hop,” Gonzalez said. “It was pretty much rock ‘n’ roll. That’s his style.”
Back from a seven-game suspension, Wells returned ready to work.
The Dodgers remained 2 1/2 games back of the Padres in the NL West and wild-card races after missing a chance to gain ground Friday. San Diego won 3-1 at Colorado.
“It’s nice to go out there and get the win and be a teammate again,” Wells said. “I had a lot of time to think and put things in perspective. … I was going to restaurants, taking it easy, watching games on TV, cruising around.”
Kevin Frandsen’s one-out single to left in the sixth broke up Boomer’s bid. The burly left-hander became the 14th pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game in the regular season on May 17, 1998, a 4-0 victory over Minnesota while with the New York Yankees.
“Those things are tough,” said Wells, who did consider the possibility of pitching another one. “The stars have to be lined up for that to happen.”
After Frandsen’s base hit, the 44-year-old Wells took a deep breath and wiped his brow. Scott McClain then reached on a fielder’s choice in his Giants debut and scored on an error when third baseman Shea Hillenbrand’s wild throw hit McClain as he rounded second on Rajai Davis’ single. Rookie Nate Schierholtz followed with his second triple in as many days, scoring Davis to make it 3-2.
Pedro Feliz doubled off the wall in center to start the seventh, but Wells retired the next three batters in order and clapped his throwing hand into his glove as he headed back to the dugout.
Wells (7-8), who signed with the Dodgers on Aug. 24 after being designated for assignment by the Padres, won for the second time in as many decisions with his new club. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter in seven innings, allowing four hits and two runs. Manager Grady Little came out of his office to congratulate Wells with a hug and pat on the back afterward.
Frandsen realized he might have a chance at the first hit off Wells.
“You want to break it up and get something going there,” he said. “To be able to get a hit off him and get something rolling was huge for the team.”
Wells didn’t get a decision in his last outing Aug. 31, then began serving his suspension the next day.
Wells was suspended for his animated argument with an umpire who ejected him on July 7 against the Atlanta Braves, a scene that ended with the pitcher hurling a ball into the screen as he left the field. Wells was also fined $3,000. On Aug. 1, commissioner Bud Selig hit Wells with another $5,000 fine for criticizing the original punishment.
Barry Zito (9-12) saw his winless stretch reach four starts, but lost for the first time since Aug. 12 against Pittsburgh. Facing Los Angeles for the third time this season, Zito again fell behind early as he has so many times this season.
He gave up his 23rd-25th runs in the frame on Gonzalez’s homer to deep right-center. By comparison, Zito’s next-biggest inning has been the third with 15 runs allowed.
Zito allowed four hits and three runs in six innings, struck out five and walked three. Dan Giese relieved Zito in the seventh to make his major league debut, then pitched two perfect innings.
“These young guys are playing with fire,” Zito said. “They want to be on the field. They show us what baseball is all about. That’s a spark. There’s no place for complacency in any locker room.”
Gonzalez—who hit his 13th homer of the year and the 25th of his career versus the Giants—came into the game batting .500 (6-for-12) against Zito, who signed to a $126 million, seven-year contract last winter.
Juan Pierre’s bunt single in the first gave the Dodgers’ center fielder a 10-game hitting streak. He has hit in 25 of his last 26 contests.
San Francisco snapped an 11-game home losing streak to Los Angeles on Dan Ortmeier’s walkoff homer Friday night, and Ortmeier was back in the lineup Saturday.
“We have a rule here: If you have a walkoff homer, you get to play the next day,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax pitched his perfect game for the Dodgers almost 42 years earlier on Sept. 9, 1965. … Dodgers 1B Nomar Garciaparra was originally going to start Saturday but Little changed his mind to keep James Loney, who hit two home runs on Friday night, in the lineup. Garciaparra came off the DL on Tuesday and made his first start back Friday. … Before the game, the Giants honored their lone Cy Young award winner, LHP Mike McCormick, who earned the 1967 NL honor with a 22-10 record and 2.85 ERA. … Wells made his 655th career appearance. … The Giants drew 42,228 fans for their 39th sellout.