And on the 144th game, the Dodgers reached .500; beat Giants 3-0
The Dodgers got to a place Saturday they hadn’t visited since the second day of May. Hadn’t really even sniffed it in more than four months.
An even .500.
The Dodgers continued their recent strong play, dropping the Giants, 3-0, behind journeyman left-hander Dana Eveland.
The victory was their 15th in their last 18 games and it left them 72-72. It’s the first time they’ve been at .500 since May 2 (15-15). And considering everything they’ve been through on the field and with ownership, no minor accomplishment.
The win over the shrinking-so-small-you-can-barely-see-them Giants assures the Dodgers their sixth consecutive series victory. It’s the first time they’ve managed that in three years. Suddenly they're good, if late, these days.
Saturday the Dodgers used a pair of triples and a bunch of balls that never made it out of the infield to make a loser of right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (10-7).
Eveland, who spent all season at triple-A Albuquerque until being called up last week to start against the Pirates, was once again just shy of brilliant.
Not bad for a 27-year-old on his sixth different team in seven seasons.
Of course, the defending champion Giants look remarkably like a team that’s packed it in. They’re so down after falling hopelessly behind the Diamondbacks in the National League West, they can’t even get up to play the rival Dodgers.
It probably didn’t hurt Eveland’s cause the Giants didn’t have a single player in their lineup Saturday who started for them in the World Series last fall.
It wasn’t like the Dodgers knocked Vogelsong around. It was, as Vin Scully noted, like they slowly bled him to death.
The Dodgers opened the scoring after James Loney tripled to right-center field. With the infield in, Vogelsong broke the bat of rookie Jerry Sands, which only served to slow his grounder to second baseman Jeff Keppinger and enable Loney to score.
The Dodgers added two more in the fourth after Matt Kemp lofted a fly in the right-field corner that dead-man-walking Carlos Beltran strolled over to while Kemp hustled for a triple.
Juan Rivera scored Kemp with an infield hit off the glove of first baseman Brett Pill. Loney and Sands then each were safe on infield singles to shortstop Orlando Cabrera to load the bases.
Vogelsong was then called for a balk that was near invisible to most eyes, but enough to send Rivera home.
The Dodgers had their 3-0 lead and .500 in their sights.
Eveland was lifted after allowing a leadoff walk in the eighth inning. Lights-out reliever Kenley Jansen held the Giants scoreless in the eighth, and Javy Guerra closed it in the ninth to pick up his 18th save in 19 opportunities.
The Dodgers were 72-72, and only two games back of the Giants in the loss column.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dana Eveland. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire