Gonzalez singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and Juan Pierre had a season-high three RBIs, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
Gonzalez signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles in December and may not be back next season.
“Everybody’s goal is to get to a World Series, and I really would have liked to have been a part of that here in Los Angeles,” said Gonzalez, an 18-year veteran. “These guys will re-evaluate the team in the offseason, and a lot of us will move on and continue playing somewhere else. You’ll have those people who’ll say you can’t play anymore, and others who will say ‘He’s going to help a team out.”’
But Andy LaRoche beat out an infield hit to shortstop leading off the 10th against Dan Giese (0-2), who was relieved by Jack Taschner after Chin-Lung Hu bunted LaRoche into scoring position. Gonzalez then lined a 2-2 pitch to left-center to end it.
“I just missed the pitch before, but he left another one down and over the heart of the plate,” Gonzalez said. “I knew I hit it decent enough, and the outfielders were playing in because they had to try to cut the runner off coming to the plate. So when it left the bat I figured it was going to go in the gap.”
Takashi Saito (2-1) pitched two hitless innings for the win and Juan Pierre had a season-high three RBIs.
Giants starter Travis Blackley allowed five runs and seven hits over 3 2-3 innings in his second start of the season after getting staked to a 4-0 lead.
“I’m not happy with that performance tonight, obviously,” he said. “Pretty much that whole lineup saw me all year in Triple-A, so they knew what I had. After getting my feet wet last week, I really came in here with nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Any experience in the big leagues is going to be huge, good or bad.”
The Dodgers began their rally in the third with Pierre’s RBI groundout and Matt Kemp’s run-scoring double. They went ahead 5-4 in the fourth, as Martin led off with his 19th homer and Pierre added a two-run single that chased Blackley.
Chad Billingsley lasted just 1 1-3 innings for Los Angeles, allowing four runs, six hits and three walks. He finished the season with a 12-5 record and a 3.31 ERA.
“It’s not exactly how I wanted to finish the season, but overall I’m pleased,” Billingsley said.
Billingsley threw 34 of his 54 pitches in the first inning and retired only four of the 13 batters he faced overall. Randy Winn drove in two runs with a double and Ortmeier added a sacrifice fly in the first. Ray Durham chased Billingsley with an RBI single in the second.
The Giants and Dodgers open the 2008 season with a three-game series in Los Angeles. … Pierre, whose consecutive game streak of 433 is the longest among active players, is poised to become only the fourth Dodger to appear in every game of a season since Steve Garvey’s NL-record streak of 1,207 games ended in 1983. The list includes Eddie Murray (1989) Eric Karros (1997) and Shawn Green (2000). … Pierre also stole his 64th base, one shy of his career high in 2003—the year he helped lead the Florida Marlins to a World Series title.