Giants use long ball to take down Dodgers
LOS ANGELES – Eugenio Velez and Pablo Sandoval homered, pinch-hitter Fred Lewis doubled home the go-ahead run and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 Friday night.
The Giants’ 80th victory – their most since winning 91 in 2004 – moved them 2 1/2 games behind Colorado in the NL wild card race. The Rockies lost 7-5 at Arizona and still trail the first-place Dodgers by five games in the NL West.
Lewis doubled over left fielder Manny Ramirez’s head with two outs in the sixth, scoring Travis Ishikawa, who doubled to right center and took third on a strikeout and fielder’s choice when Aaron Rowand was thrown out at first by catcher Russell Martin.
Velez doubled home Lewis as the ball again went over Ramirez’s head, giving the Giants a 6-4 lead. Velez homered to lead off the game.
San Francisco extended its lead to 4-1 in the third on Sandoval’s three-run homer off the first pitch from Vicente Padilla after singles by Velez and Freddy Sanchez.
Bob Howry (2-6) got two outs to finish the fifth inning.
Ramirez homered and drove in three runs as the Dodgers’ three-game winning streak ended.
Ramon Troncoso (4-4) allowed two runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning, striking out one and walking none.
Chad Billingsley made his first relief appearance of the season for the Dodgers after being sent to the bullpen. He gave up a homer to Rowand with two outs in the eighth and an RBI single to Juan Uribe in the ninth.
Ramirez’s RBI double made it 1-1 in the first and his two-run homer in the fourth landed in the “Mannywood” seating section in left, with the Dodgers trailing 4-3. Rafael Furcal homered off the first pitch he faced in the fifth to tie the game.
Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez allowed four runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings, struck out three and walked two.
Padilla gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings, struck out three and walked one. It was his second no-decision to go with three wins in five starts since signing with the team on Aug. 19.
NOTES: LHP Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated game Friday as he makes his way back from a separated shoulder. “He looked good, we’ll see how he feels Saturday,” manager Joe Torre said. “He had good command and it looked pretty comfortable for him.” Kershaw will work one inning out of the bullpen early next week in Washington. … Before the game, Ramirez met “Handy Manny,” the bilingual Hispanic handyman character from the Disney Channel show of the same name. They posed for pictures together.
Athletics 2, Indians 1
OAKLAND – Brett Anderson felt his slider was dominant Friday night against but it was the Oakland right-hander’s slow curve that did most of the damage against Cleveland.
Anderson pitched six shutout innings and had a career-high 10 strikeouts, moving him within three of the most-ever by an Athletics rookie, as Oakland stayed hot with a 2-1 win over the slumping Indians.
“Brett just keeps getting better in the second half,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “Now he really has no real weakness as a pitcher. He can do whatever he wants with a baseball. Brett’s been very consistent the last month or two.”
Anderson (10-10) allowed only two singles and a pair of doubles and didn’t allow a runner past second base while winning his third straight start. The right-hander only ran into trouble once, in the sixth when he gave up a one-out double Michael Brantley and walked Shin-Soo Choo with two outs but Anderson got Jhonny Peralta to strike out looking to end the threat.
That was his 10th strikeout, surpassing his previous career-high of nine set on July 6 at Boston.
“Getting comfortable and sticking to one side of the rubber and telling myself I’m going to at least show that I’m going to throw to both sides of the plate, that’s probably been the biggest thing,” Anderson said. “Just showing that I’m going to throw fastballs away and changeups, just change their eyesights a little bit. That’s been the biggest factor lately.”
Brantley and Kelly Shoppach had two hits apiece for Cleveland, which fell to 0-5 on its current seven-game road trip and has lost six straight and 15 of 18 overall.
“Obviously we’re struggling offensively right now, so that comes into play,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Anderson. He threw the ball well and their bullpen did a good job. Offensively we struggled. We need to take advantage of whenever we do create opportunities.”
Anderson recorded eight of his 10 strikeouts with his slider and now has 139 on the season, second-most ever by an A’s rookie. He needs just three more to pass Rick Langford’s record of 141 set in 1977.
With at least two more starts, that shouldn’t be a problem for Anderson, especially if his curveball is working as well as it was against the Indians.
“I was kind of using it as a change-up factor early in the count,” Anderson said. “I got some outs on it and I think it helped set up my slider and fastballs. Anytime I feel like I can flip it in there early in the count, and tonight was one of those nights.”
Nomar Garciaparra added two hits and an RBI and Rajai Davis added a pair of singles and reached 40 steals for Oakland, which won its fifth straight and 10th in the last 12.
Jeff Gray and Craig Breslow pitched one scoreless inning apiece and Brad Ziegler worked the ninth to complete the six-hitter and record his seventh save in 10 chances.
Anderson’s outing extended a solid stretch by Oakland’s starting pitchers, who are now 8-1 with a 3.03 ERA over the last 11 games. They needed the strong start because after scoring 24 runs in the previous four games, the A’s managed just two off Indians starter David Huff, both coming in the third.
Davis singled and Kurt Suzuki walked against Huff (10-8). One out later, Garciaparra doubled to right-center to drive in Davis and Mark Ellis added an RBI single to score Suzuki.
Anderson and the A’s bullpen made it stand up.
Notes: The A’s placed RHP Vin Mazzaro on the 60-day disabled list due to shoulder tendinitis in a move that is retroactive to Sept. 8. Mazzaro was 4-9 with a 5.32 ERA in 17 starts. Oakland called up OF Matt Carson to take Mazzaro’s spot on the 40-man roster. Carson started in right field and batted eighth, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. … The A’s didn’t commit an error for the seventh straight game, matching their longest streak of the season. … Garciaparra now has a career batting average of .374 (96 for 257) against the Indians.
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El Dorado County deputies arrested two people on suspicion of grand theft and possession of burglary tools after reportedly finding items linked to catalytic converter thefts in a vehicle during a traffic stop Jan. 13.