Dodgers beat Giants 2-0, stop six-game skid
LOS ANGELES – Chad Billingsley was working so smoothly on the mound, there was no need for Don Mattingly to pay him a visit.
Billingsley tossed a five-hitter for his first complete game of the season, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 2-0 on Wednesday night to snap a season-worst six-game skid.
A night after Mattingly got caught in a double visit to the mound that forced All-Star closer Jonathan Broxton out of the game in the ninth and helped cost the Dodgers a victory, he stayed in the dugout handling managerial duties in place of Joe Torre.
“I know he felt bad,” Casey Blake said about Mattingly’s mistake. “I love that guy. Just like Joe, you want to play hard for him.”
Torre served his one-game suspension handed down earlier Wednesday by MLB, the result of Clayton Kershaw hitting Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand on Tuesday. Torre spent the game in general manager Ned Colletti’s box, but the win went on his record.
“Chad was great,” Mattingly said. “When you get pitching like that, it’s pretty easy. The innings were going easy and talking to Honey (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt), we felt like it was his game.”
Billingsley (8-5) struck out three, walked two and threw 125 pitches to earn his second career shutout and third complete game. The 25-year-old right-hander shut out the Giants on July 30, 2008.
“It’s always nice to get them against the Giants,” he said. “I just stick with my game and try to stay down in the zone. I got ground balls.”
The Dodgers won for the first time since the All-Star break and avoided being swept by their NL West rivals, who took two of three.
“Those losing streaks are tough,” Blake said. “We ended it and now we can move on.”
The game lacked any of the drama that occurred a night earlier, when the Giants won 7-5, three Dodgers were ejected and batters on both teams got plunked.
“It was kind of boring, really, compared to the first two games,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We couldn’t keep the line moving there. That would have got things going, if we got somebody to come through. But Billingsley was really working. He was throwing hard and was on top of his game. I didn’t see this coming, the way we’ve been swinging the bats, to get shut out. But we did.”
Kershaw is appealing his five-game suspension. Bench coach Bob Schaefer will serve his one-game suspension Thursday. Torre, Kershaw and Schaefer – who all were ejected Tuesday – were fined undisclosed amounts.
Barry Zito (8-5) gave up two runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked three for the Giants, who had won 12 of their previous 15 games. The left-hander remained winless in three starts against the Dodgers this season despite a 2.18 ERA and limiting them to a .222 average.
“You’d like to be on the better side of games like this, but that’s what the game’s going towards a little bit more now. You’re seeing a lot less offense,” Zito said. “I’m frustrated about giving up that bomb to Blake and frustrated with the walk to (Andre) Ethier (in the eighth). So those are things I need to get better at.”
Blake led off the second with his 10th homer, sending a 1-1 pitch into the Mannywood section in left field.
“We didn’t get much,” Blake said about Zito. “He kept us off-balance pretty good.”
Blake singled off Sergio Romo with two outs in the eighth, driving in Rafael Furcal, who led off with a single. Center fielder Andres Torres made a diving attempt on Blake, but came up short.
Giants catcher Buster Posey extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games when he singled in the sixth.
NOTES: It was the Dodgers’ eighth shutout of the season. … Mattingly managed his first regular season game after running the club during spring training while Torre was in Taiwan. … The Dodgers purchased the contract of LHP Jack Taschner from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned C A.J. Ellis to Albuquerque. … The Dodgers have won six of nine against the Giants this season, with a three-game set remaining.
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