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Giants spoil Dodgers' home opener

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- For the San Francisco Giants, eight early runs were enough to withstand a late offensive drought.

Left fielder Michael Morse and pitcher Ryan Vogelsong each drove in two runs during a six-run rally in the first inning and the San Francisco Giants held on for an 8-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday in front of 53.493 at Dodger Stadium.

"It was a clunker-type game," Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis said. "Unfortunately for us, it was the home opener. We all feel bad it was the first look Dodgers fans got of us."

David Huff (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-1), who began the season with a streak of 12 2/3 scoreless innings, took the loss. Javier Lopez posted his first save for the Giants.

"We got after them pretty quick," Vogelsong said. "Obviously, there was a lot of adrenaline. But when you get a big lead like that, it's easy to let your guard down and lose focus a little bit.

"You've got to experience one of these to realize what kind of focus it takes."

San Francisco (3-1) sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning to score six runs on six hits, two walks and an error.

Morse hit a two-run single to open the scoring. Then two batters after first baseman Brandon Belt had a run-scoring single, Vogelsong blooped a single into short center field to bring two more runs home.

"I wouldn't really call it a knock," Vogelsong said of his hit. "it was more like a sand wedge out there."

Second baseman Brandon Hicks had a crucial hit to keep the inning alive. After Belt's single, Hicks hit a pop fly that fell five feet onto the outfield grass after Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez lost the ball in the sun. Hicks hustled to second base for an unusual double.

"I saw the ball go up and I thought it was going in the stands," Gordon said. "When I saw Adrian moving toward me, I saw the ball go into the sun and it never came out."

The Giants added two unearned runs in the second. Hicks' second double of the game scored catcher Buster Posey, who reached base on Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez's throwing error.

Hicks, who last played in the major leagues in 2012, made his first start after joining with the Giants in spring training as a non-roster player.

"I focused on doing a better job of hitting the pitch I want to hit, instead of chasing the pitcher's pitch," said Hicks, who batted .348 in 24 spring-training games. "I think I got myself doing that over the course of my career."

Ryu lasted just two innings, his shortest appearance as a Dodger. The Korean left-hander gave up six earned runs, three walks and eight hits -- three of which were softly hit.

"I don't think he got thumped," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't help him, that's for sure."

But after the Giants' early outburst, four Dodgers relievers combined for seven hitless innings and 10 strikeouts. San Francisco managed to put just one runner on base with a walk in the final seven innings.

With the Giants in check, the Dodgers drew closer.

Gonzalez and right fielder Andre Ethier hit back-to-back home runs for the Dodgers in the fourth. In the fifth, Los Angeles (3-2) put runners in scoring position with one out after scoring two runs. But Huff got third baseman Juan Uribe line out to Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval and then struck out Ellis to end the inning.

"A lot of these hitters, I haven't faced," said Huff, who played in the American League before this year. "Some teams, like the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers, I hadn't faced in spring training. So I don't know what they've got, other than the guys who were in the American League previously."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy issued a video challenge in the seventh. Second-base umpire Marty Foster originally called Ramirez safe on a stolen base, but video showed that Giants shortstop Joaquin Arias tagged Ramirez on the right leg before Ramirez's foot reached second base

NOTES: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong went 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA during spring training, allowing 33 hits in 19 innings. ... San Francisco 2B Brandon Hicks had the second multi-hit game of his major-league career. Hicks went 2-for-3 on July 27, 2012, in Baltimore for the Oakland Athletics. ... Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig was benched by manager Don Mattingly for arriving late. ... Los Angeles OF Matt Kemp made his season debut, starting in center field. Kemp was activated from the disabled list on Friday after off-season ankle surgery. ... Los Angeles RHP Jose Dominguez threw two innings of perfect relief, striking out three, in his first appearance since being recalled from Albuquerque (Pacific Coast League) on Wednesday.
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