Dodgers return to National League West, drop Giants, 4-2, on Casey Blake two-run homer
Meanwhile, back in the National League West, all was just rosy.The crushing loss to the Yankees the night before just so much yesterday’s news, the Dodgers returned to their own league Monday, and better yet, their own division.
They beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-2, when Casey Blake hit a two-run, eighth-inning home run off reliever Santiago Casilla.
The Dodgers limped into the Bay Area having lost eight of their last 10. With their loss to the Yankees on Sunday, they had dropped 11 of their last 13 interleague games.
Ah, but in the NL West, bullets bounce off their chests, roses are thrown at their feet.
Monday’s victory leaves the Dodgers 19-5 in their own division. Against everyone else, they’re 21-30.
It didn’t hurt the Dodgers' cause that the Giants are a struggling team right now. They’ve lost five of their last six. And then Monday hit into five double plays. The five double plays tied a Dodger record.
Chad Billingsley got the Dodgers going. Billingsley, making his first start since June 11 after going on the disabled list with a sore groin, pitched about as well as the Dodgers could have hoped.
He held the Giants to two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out three, throwing 98 pitches.
The Giants opened the scoring with one run in the first. Andres Torres walked, stole second and scored on an Aubrey Huff single.
The Dodgers took the lead with a pair of runs off Barry Zito in the third.
Rafael Furcal doubled and was singled to third by Reed Johnson. Andre Ethier’s fly to left was deep enough to sacrifice Furcal home. Manny Ramirez then lined a hit to center that Torres dived awkwardly for and missed, the drive going for a run-scoring double.
Billingsley carried the 2-1 lead into the sixth before pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa doubled down the left-field line and scored on Freddy Sanchez's single.
With Jonathan Broxton unavailable after his 48-pitch outing Sunday, Torre got a scoreless inning each from Jeff Weaver and Ronald Belisario, before Hong-Chin Kuo pitched the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
For Blake, it was his eighth home run of the season.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake is congratulated by teammate A.J. Ellis after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 4-2 victory over the Giants on Monday. Credit: Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images