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Dodgers can't hold the lead again, fall 4-3 to Giants

April 13, 2011 | 10:21 pm

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Maybe formulas are best left to chemistry labs or babies or auto racing.

In baseball, it can get so tricky.

The Dodgers’ formula for success is supposed to be to somehow scrape together a few runs and then let their starting pitcher bring the game home.

Ah, but the best-laid formulas of mice and men …

For the second consecutive night, the Dodgers took the lead against the Giants. Tuesday it was Chad Billingsley who couldn’t hold the lead. Wednesday it was Ted Lilly’s turn.

The Dodgers rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, only for Lilly to give up a pair of solo home runs in the bottom half, the Giants holding on for the 4-3 victory.

It brought a frustrating conclusion to the Dodgers’ eight-game road trip, the loss dropping them to 3-5 on the trip.

The Giants were leading 2-0 with left-hander Jonathan Sanchez seemingly in control, when Rod Barajas tied it with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Barajas now has four RBIs on the season, all coming off his team-high three home runs.

The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on a Marcus Thames walk and an Aaron Miles liner that got past the less-than-fleet Pat Burrell in left field and went for a run-scoring double.

And then Lilly could not close the deal. Pablo Sandoval and Mike Fontenot each hit solo homers in the bottom of the sixth inning. For Fontenot, who was only in the game when sore-wristed Mark DeRosa was a late scratch, it was only the second home run off a left-hander in his five-year career.

Brian Wilson, again, came on in the ninth to retire the Dodgers in order and record the save.

The Giants didn’t even help the Dodgers’ cause. In a break with recent tradition, the Giants did not commit an error against Los Angeles.

There has been one fairly reliable aspect to their games -- they’ve been close. Of the Dodgers’ seven games against the Giants this season, four have been decided by one run (2-2).

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly works against the Giants on Wednesday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Credit: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

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