Dodgers get a lift from the arm and bat of Chad Billingsley in 4-2 victory over Giants
Buried as they may be in the standings, mathematically they live. And much to the Giants’ chagrin, they had enough life and enough Chad Billingsley on Friday night to pull out a 4-2 victory.
Billingsley not only pitched eight tough innings, he singled in the final two runs.
The Giants are primed for a September stretch run, coming into the game trailing the Padres in the National League West by three games and the Phillies for the wild card by two.
What would a little Dodgers-Giants rivalry be without the other trying to muck up the others’ playoff hopes?
The Dodgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Barry Zito in the second inning. Casey Blake singled, and after Zito then got consecutive strikeouts, Rod Barajas continued his amazing little run as a Dodger, hammering a two-run homer to left.
In just his eighth game with the Dodgers since being claimed off waivers from the Mets, Barajas has now hit four home runs and driven in eight.
The Giants, however, got the runs back in the fourth. Billingsley had not allowed a hit through the opening three innings. But after an error by shortstop Rafael Furcal, just activated off the disabled list before the game, Aubrey Huff’s sharp bouncer went off Ronnie Belliard’s glove at first for an infield hit.
Billingsley retired the next two Giants before phenom Buster Posey lined a single over Furcal’s outstretched glove for a two-run single.
The Dodgers struck back in the bottom of the inning, via the unlikely bat of Billingsley.
After a pair of Zito walks and a sacrifice bunt, Reed Johnson popped up. The Giants then logically intentionally walked Barajas to get to Billingsley.
Billingsley had driven in one run all season, but the .125 hitter sent a soft, sinking liner to right that Jose Guillen charged but had go off his glove.
The single scored two and gave the Dodgers their 4-2 lead.
Billingsley (11-8) gave up only two hits in his eight innings. But runs were unearned. He walked two and struck out seven.
Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a perfect ninth to record his eighth save.
Zito (8-11) lasted only four innings for the Giants.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley delivers a two-run single in the fourth inning against the Giants on Friday night. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire