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Chad Billingsley throws shutout, Casey Blake drives in the runs as Dodgers end six-game skid, 2-0

July 21, 2010 |  9:44 pm
So calm, so routine, so very much unlike the game 24 hours earlier.

Also for the Dodgers, a very different ending. The foreign kind they hadn’t seen in more than a week.

Chad Billingsley, coming off his worst outing of the season, pitched his first shutout in two years and Casey Blake provided all the offense as the Dodgers slipped by the Giants, 2-0, Wednesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.

This time there were no bean balls, no ejections, not a single faux pas from manager or umpire. Not a whiff of controversy.

Billingsley’s last complete game was his last shutout, the only other one of his career, coming June 30, 2008. It was the Dodgers’ first complete game since Eric Stults threw one May 9, 2009.

With a depleted bullpen, Billingsley’s five-hit shutout was not only impressive, but badly needed.

With Don Mattingly acting as the Dodgers manager after Joe Torre was suspended for the game for Tuesday’s ejection, things went quickly and without incident.

The Giants had won 11 of their last 13 games to surge into second in the National League West. And they had Barry Zito keeping the Dodgers in check all night, save for a solo home run by Blake.

Blake drilled his 10th home run of the season into the left-field seats between the foul pole and the Dodgers bullpen in the second inning.

After all the histrionics in Tuesday’s wild affair, it hardly seemed to have the makings of a decisive hit.

But from then on, Billingsley and Zito were locked in.

Billingsley (8-5) was coming off a horrendous start Friday in St. Louis, allowing seven runs and 10 hits in just four-plus innings without a strikeout.

Wednesday, however, he was in complete command. He allowed only five hits and two walks. He struck out three.

The Giants had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but each time Billingsley came up with a big pitch to protect his narrow lead.

The Dodgers scraped together a second run off Zito in the eighth. Rafael Furcal singled and was sacrificed to second by Jamey Carroll. After walking Andre Ethier,Zito was relieved by Sergio Romo.

Romo gave up a run-scoring single to Blake.

Zito (8-5) had thrown eight shut-out innings in his last start against the Mets. Wednesday he went 7 1/3 innings, allowing the two runs on six hits and three walks, with four strikeouts.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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