SAN FRANCISCO -- Seemingly out of it a week ago, the last-place San Francisco Giants suddenly are on a little roll in the NL West and determined to make things interesting come September.
Omar Vizquel and Shea Hillenbrand each hit two-run homers to help Jason Schmidt win his third straight decision, and the Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
"With these five games I think we opened up some eyes," Hillenbrand said.
Steve Finley added a solo homer in the eighth for the Giants, who looked out of contention a week ago but now are playing well again in their crazy, underachieving division. San Francisco sent Los Angeles to just its third loss in 20 games on a cool summer night in the Bay Area.
Schmidt (10-7), facing Los Angeles in back-to-back outings, struck out five and pitched into the eighth to beat the Dodgers for the first time in seven starts since a victory on July 14, 2005. He received a no-decision against starter Greg Maddux last Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
"We're in the thick of this thing," Schmidt said. "If we keep doing that, we're going to rack up a lot of wins the last month and a half."
Vizquel homered for the first time in nearly three months when he sent the first pitch from Brad Penny (13-6) into the elevated right-field seats in the third after Randy Winn drew a walk to start the inning. Vizquel's fourth homer of the year was all it took to bring on the chants of "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!" from the sellout crowd of 42,862 in San Francisco's waterfront ballpark.
Vizquel went 266 at-bats between home runs since connecting off Braden Looper of the St. Louis Cardinals on May 22. Finley homered for the first time since June 25, a span of 118 at-bats.
With Moises Alou aboard on a leadoff double in the sixth, Hillenbrand connected for his third homer for the Giants with a drive to left. It was the 15th of the year for Hillenbrand, acquired by the Giants on July 21 in a trade with Toronto. He also doubled and singled and Ray Durham added a triple.
Barry Bonds returned to the lineup in left field and hit cleanup after missing Thursday's game at San Diego with inflammation in his left elbow. The slugger went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
The Giants, coming off a four-game sweep at San Diego after three one-run losses to Los Angeles, gave Schmidt enough offense without Bonds' bat.
The All-Star right-hander, likely in his final season with the Giants, received a standing ovation when he gave way to Vinnie Chulk following consecutive one-out walks to pinch-hitter Jason Repko and Kenny Lofton in the eighth.
Garciaparra also walked to load the bases before Drew's sacrifice fly to right. Jeff Kent then lined an RBI single to left and Mike Stanton relieved and got Andre Ethier to fly out.
Schmidt allowed three runs and four hits with three walks in 7 1/3 innings. Armando Benitez pitched a perfect ninth.
"I saw two great pitchers out there, and Schmidt was on top of his game," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "It seemed like he was throwing nothing but strikes. Only four balls were hit hard off Penny, and he paid a price. He got behind the count, but wasn't missing by much."
Penny, who beat the Giants last Saturday, had his three-game winning streak snapped on a night he was trying to match his career high with a 14th victory.
- Alou hurt his hamstring but his manager father, Felipe, expected the RF to play Saturday.
- Penny is 2-2 in 12 career starts against San Francisco.
- The Giants sold out for the 14th time this year.
- The Dodgers activated right-hander Elmer Dessens from the 15-day disabled list before the game and optioned INF James Loney to Triple-A Las Vegas. Dessens gave up Finley's homer.
- San Francisco placed INF Jose Vizcaino on release waivers.
- It was 61 degrees at first pitch.