Dodgers' Wilson earns win against former team

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Brian Wilson let his pitching do all the talking against his former mates, Adrian Gonzalez came up with another clutch hit, and the Los Angeles Dodgers inched a little closer to the National League West crown with a 3-2, 10-inning win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday at sold-out Dodger Stadium.
Wilson earned the win with a scoreless 10th inning in his first appearance against the Giants since joining the rival Dodgers. However, he declined to talk about it afterward, saying, "I didn't do anything," as he left the clubhouse.
He actually did, though, keeping the score tied to give the Dodgers a chance to win it in the bottom of the 10th.
Carl Crawford singled off Jeremy Affeldt (1-5) to start the inning, then went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Punto to set up Gonzalez's game-winning single to center.
"It's a great feeling when you've won and knowing, I mean, that's why you want to play at home," Gonzalez said. "That's one of the reasons why we want home-field advantage in the playoffs because you get that extra edge ... in an extra-inning game."
The Dodgers increased their lead over the idle Arizona Diamondbacks to 12 1/2 games in the National League West and reduced their magic number to clinch the division to five.
In the process, they overcame a solid start from San Francisco's Matt Cain and a blown save by Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning.
The Giants forced extra innings when Gregor Blanco knocked in pinch runner Juan Perez with a ninth-inning single, tying the game 2-2. The Dodgers didn't help themselves thanks to a wild pitch and a passed ball that put Perez at third base.
Wilson (2-1) threw a scoreless top of the 10th, pitching around a one-out walk. He spent seven seasons with San Francisco before the Giants let him go last winter when he was coming off Tommy John surgery. He signed with the Dodgers in late July and debuted for them Aug. 22.
And while he didn't talk, his former mates were impressed.
"It was fun. You look forward to challenges against good pitchers, and he's one of them," said Giants catcher Buster Posey, who lined out to right against Wilson. "Once that at-bat started, it felt like a normal at-bat. He looked similar. I mean, it's obviously different hitting him instead of catching him, but just looking at the velocity of the cutter and the fastball, it's pretty close to where he always is."
If judged solely by the pitching matchup -- and past history -- this might have been a playoff game, as Dodgers co-ace Zach Greinke faced off against Cain.
Greinke, who has won his past six decisions, was solid over six innings, giving up one run on four hits.
"I haven't made a lot of mistakes, and that's kinda been the key," Greinke said. "Got out of some big jams, no big innings. It's the small stuff like that that helps."
Cain gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings.
The game was tied 1-1 from the second inning until the Dodgers broke through in the seventh.
Yasiel Puig, batting with Dee Gordon at third with two outs, punished a first-pitch fastball by Cain into the left field gap to score Gordon and make it 2-1.
Hunter Pence's home run gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the second inning
The Dodgers answered in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of two hits and an error to tie it up when Greinke singled home Juan Uribe to make it 1-1.
Cain's errant throw to second base, which ended up in center field and allowed Uribe to get to third, was the key to the inning.
"It wasn't an awful throw, but it was bad timing, and sometimes that's part of it. We make that play all the time in spring training, and it's a simple play," Cain said. "But sometimes the timing's off when you're going full speed. It's just a little bit different."
NOTES: Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez left the game in the seventh inning due to tightness in his left hamstring. Punto replaced him. ... Puig is on pace to finish the season with the highest batting average and on-base percentage for a Los Angeles Dodgers rookie, while his slugging percentage would be second-best to Mike Piazza'a .561 mark in 1993. Puig's batting average would be the highest for a rookie since Ichiro Suzuki's .350 mark with Seattle in 2001. ... Affeldt, who missed 50 games with a left groin strain, was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list before the game.

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