|L.A. Dodgers «||2||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||4||9||10||0|
LOS ANGELES -- Milton Bradley was right where he wanted to be -- at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of a close game.
So was San Francisco closer Armando Benitez, signed during the offseason for just these kinds of situations.
"If I could go up there every time in a pressure situation, I might hit .400," the switch-hitting Bradley said. `I want to be in that situation."
The Giants led 8-5 entering the ninth, and Benitez (0-1) retired leadoff batter Jason Phillips on a grounder to short to start the inning. But pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee doubled and took third on Cesar Izturis' single. After pinch-hitter Jose Valentin popped to first, J.D. Drew walked to load the bases.
Jeff Kent drew another walk to force in a run, making it 8-6, and Bradley followed by lining a 2-2 pitch to left. The ball got past Ellison and rolled to the wall, allowing Kent to score from first.
"I wanted to take a strike, and I knew that Benitez wouldn't let me pull the ball," Bradley said. "I was looking on the outer half of the plate."
Ellison retrieved the ball after Kent had scored, and spiked it in anger on the warning track. The Dodgers mobbed Bradley on the infield.
The error was the Giants' fourth of the game.
"What we've got here is a team that's going to play nine innings," Kent said. "You don't see many balls like that go by an outfielder."
The win was reminiscent of the Dodgers' division-clinching rally from a 3-0 deficit on the second-to-last day of the season against the Giants last year -- one of the factors that led San Francisco to pursue a proven closer like Benitez in the offseason.
"He's at his best between 93 and 95 (mph)," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "I saw him at 91, 92 and one at 94. He didn't have much command and he got behind almost every hitter. He'll be back in there tomorrow."
Benitez was disappointed in himself.
"Today was not my day," he said. "This isn't the first time I've had a blown save. Nobody's perfect -- tomorrow's a new day. My location was a little bit wild."
Benitez had 47 saves for Florida last season and saves in his first two appearances with the Giants.
Ellison, who entered the game in the eighth, said he was trying to make a play at the plate on the tying run.
"The ball just took a kick on me," he said. "I still have to get the glove on it. I'm going to come back and battle, do what I need to do, come back strong."
Said Alou: "We had him playing shallow. He missed it. Ellie is here to be a defensive guy. He's a very good defender. He'll be OK. He was trying to make a play at the plate, he was trying to do what was right. I'll take that over laying back."
The late heroics took Jeff Weaver off the hook. Weaver, a local product in his second season with the Dodgers, had the honor of starting the home opener, but was roughed up for 11 hits and eight earned runs in three-plus innings.
The Los Angeles bullpen held the Giants scoreless after Pedro Feliz's three-run homer with nobody out in the fourth make it 8-3. Giovanni Carrara (1-0) the fourth Dodgers pitcher, worked two scoreless innings to earn the victory after Buddy Carlyle and D.J. Houlton pitched two scoreless innings each.
Weaver hit Ray Durham to open the game and Omar Vizquel followed with a single. After J.T. Snow flied to deep left, the Giants scored five runs on consecutive RBI singles by Feliz, Edgardo Alfonzo, Marquis Grissom, Michael Tucker and Mike Matheny before Weaver retired the side.
Rookie Jason Repko hit a two-run homer off Kirk Rueter in the bottom half, and the Dodgers scored in the second on an RBI single by Phillips. But Feliz's homer gave the Giants a five-run lead.
Rueter retired 11 straight batters before Repko reached on shortstop Vizquel's error to open the sixth. After Drew singled and Kent walked to load the bases, Scott Eyre relieved Rueter. Bradley hit a sacrifice fly and Olmedo Saenz followed with an RBI double to make it 8-5 before.
San Francisco lost to snap a three-game winning streak despite collecting 16 hits, including four by Alfonzo.
Rueter gave up five hits and five runs -- four earned -- in five-plus innings.
|Dodgers' Milton Bradley celebrates with teammates after hitting a walkoff double. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Ray Durham, 2B||5||1||0||0||0||2||6||.105|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||6||2||2||0||0||1||2||.310|
|J.T. Snow, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.368|
|Pedro Feliz, LF||4||2||2||4||1||0||2||.379|
|Jason Ellison, PR-LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B||5||1||4||1||0||0||0||.519|
|Marquis Grissom, CF||5||1||1||1||0||0||6||.308|
|Michael Tucker, RF||4||0||1||1||1||0||0||.176|
|Mike Matheny, C||5||0||3||1||0||2||1||.364|
|Kirk Rueter, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Scott Eyre, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Jim Brower, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Tony Torcato, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Armando Benitez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Brower in the 9th|
|2B - Mike Matheny (3, Houlton)|
|HR - Pedro Feliz (1, Weaver)|
|SH - Kirk Rueter (1)|
|RBI - Pedro Feliz 4 (8), Edgardo Alfonzo (6), Marquis Grissom (7), Michael Tucker (5), Mike Matheny (5)|
|SB - Omar Vizquel (5, 2nd base off Weaver/Phillips)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|Outfield Assists - Michael Tucker 1|
|DP - Alfonzo-Snow|
|E - Jason Ellison (2, ), Pedro Feliz (1, Misplayed grounder), Michael Tucker (1, ), Omar Vizquel (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Scott Eyre (H,2)||1.1||2||0||0||1||2||0||8.10|
|Jim Brower (H,1)||1.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||10.38|
|Armando Benitez (BS,1; L,0-1)||0.2||3||4||3||2||0||0||13.50|
|HBP - Choi (by Scott Eyre)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kirk Rueter 81-42, Scott Eyre 31-19, Jim Brower 17-8, Armando Benitez 32-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kirk Rueter 8-8, Scott Eyre 1-1, Jim Brower 3-1, Armando Benitez 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kirk Rueter 22, Scott Eyre 8, Jim Brower 4, Armando Benitez 7|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Cesar Izturis, SS||5||2||3||0||0||0||1||.438|
|Jason Repko, LF||4||2||1||2||0||1||2||.227|
|a- Jose Valentin, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.368|
|J.D. Drew, RF||3||2||1||0||2||0||0||.100|
|Jeff Kent, 2B||3||1||0||1||2||0||1||.407|
|Milton Bradley, CF||4||0||1||3||0||0||0||.286|
|Olmedo Saenz, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.417|
|Norihiro Nakamura, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.400|
|Jason Phillips, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.231|
|Jeff Weaver, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|Buddy Carlyle, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jason Grabowski, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Dennis Houlton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Hee Seop Choi, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.067|
|Giovanni Carrara, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Ricky Ledee, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.500|
|a-popped out for Repko in the 9th|
|b-fouled out for Carlyle in the 5th|
|c-hit by pitch for Houlton in the 7th|
|d-doubled for Carrara in the 9th|
|2B - Olmedo Saenz (2, Eyre), Norihiro Nakamura (1, Rueter), Ricky Ledee (3, Benitez)|
|HR - Jason Repko (2, Rueter)|
|SF - Milton Bradley (1)|
|RBI - Jason Repko 2 (4), Jeff Kent (9), Milton Bradley 3 (5), Olmedo Saenz (6), Jason Phillips (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Kent (3), Milton Bradley 2 (2)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Giovanni Carrara (W,1-0)||2||2||0||0||2||2||0||10.13|
|HBP - Durham (by Jeff Weaver), Snow (by Jeff Weaver)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Weaver 75-51, Buddy Carlyle 24-14, Dennis Houlton 33-24, Giovanni Carrara 42-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Weaver 3-5, Dennis Houlton 1-2, Giovanni Carrara 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Weaver 22, Buddy Carlyle 6, Dennis Houlton 9, Giovanni Carrara 10|
|Attendance - 55892|
|Game Time - 3:13|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Ron Kulpa|