Giants 6, Dodgers 4

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito allowed one earned run over five innings in what is expected to be his final start for the San Francisco Giants, pitching the dethroned National League West champions to a 6-4 victory Wednesday night over the 2013 division champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tony Abreu drove in a career-high four runs, three with a second-inning triple, and Pablo Sandoval socked a two-run home run as the Giants helped Zito improve his career record when handed at least five runs of support to 120-1.
San Francisco scored a total of six runs in its previous five games.
In clinching their fourth consecutive season-series win over their rivals, the Giants lit up Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco (13-11) for eight hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings. Nolasco, who was undefeated with a 1.47 ERA in five previous starts at AT&T Park, struck out seven and walked one.
The loss dropped the Dodgers 2 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and two back of the Atlanta Braves in the race for home-field advantage in the upcoming NL playoffs. Los Angeles has four games remaining in the regular season.
Despite getting demoted from the rotation because of eight consecutive losses and a skid that saw him earn one win in his previous 20 starts, Zito (5-11) lobbied manager Bruce Bochy for one final home start before his Giants contract probably will be terminated this offseason.
The 35-year-old signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Giants in December 2006 after winning a Cy Young Award and making three All-Star Game appearances for the Oakland A's. San Francisco has a club option on an eighth season in 2014, but it's expected to exercise a $7 million buyout.
Zito went 63-80 in 197 starts with San Francisco -- exactly $2 million per win.
Facing a Dodgers lineup employing backups at every infield position, Zito gave up four hits and two runs (one earned). He struck out one and didn't walk a batter.
Presuming he doesn't pitch again this week, Zito will have finished the season having allowed opponents to hit .319 against him, which not only is the highest among all pitchers this year but also ranks as the highest in Giants history.
George Kontos, Jean Machi, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo followed Zito with one inning of relief apiece. Romo recorded his 37th save in a scoreless ninth.
Matt Kemp had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs for the Dodgers. Carl Crawford added a double and a single, scoring after each hit.
Los Angeles second baseman Mark Ellis and third baseman Juan Uribe were rested in advance of the start of the playoffs next week. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez and shortstop Hanley Ramirez also did not start before both appeared as pinch hitters with two outs in the ninth.
Gonzalez kept Dodgers; hopes alive with a double to the base of the fence in right field, but Romo ended the game by getting Ramirez to ground out to third base on a full-count pitch.
Buster Posey had two hits and scored two runs for San Francisco.
NOTES: Zito earned his 10th career win over the Dodgers. He has more victories against just three other teams -- the Texas Rangers (18), Seattle Mariners (12) and Los Angeles Angels (12). ... Zito started in place of LHP Madison Bumgarner, whom the Giants announced won't pitch again this season. Currently, his 2.77 ERA is fifth best in the NL, and his .203 batting average against ranks behind only Miami's RHP Jose Fernandez and the Dodgers' LHP Clayton Kershaw. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro, who Tuesday was told to take the rest of the season off, will undergo surgery Friday on his injured left pinky finger.

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