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San Francisco (44-63)000000000050
L.A. Dodgers (54-53) «10300000x480

Billingsley tabs first career shutout, Dodgers move above .500

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley gave himself the best possible birthday present, even if it was a day late.

Billingsley pitched a five-hitter and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Wednesday night, moving above .500 for the first time since May 27 with their fourth shutout in five games.

Matt Kemp scored twice, stole two bases and extended his hitting streak to 17 games for the Dodgers, who trail the NL West-leading Diamondbacks by one game entering a four-game series between the teams that will begin Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Billingsley (11-9), pitching a day after his 24th birthday, walked none and struck out eight in the first shutout and second complete game of his career. His 145 strikeouts in 138 2/3 innings rank second in the NL behind Tim Lincecum's 156 strikeouts for San Francisco.

Billingsley, who has won seven of his past nine starts, nearly lost his shutout with two outs in the ninth when Jose Castillo doubled and Randy Winn followed with a single. But left fielder Andre Ethier threw out Castillo at the plate to end the game.

"Yeah, it was good," Billingsley said with a smile when his birthday was mentioned. "First complete-game shutout is always a big one. To go out there and throw a complete-game shutout with no walks, I'm very happy about that."

Billingsley retired his first 12 batters -- six on strikeouts -- before Bengie Molina lined the first pitch of the fifth into center field for a single. Aaron Rowand followed by grounding into a double play.

Rich Aurilia singled to start the sixth before Billingsley retired the next three batters -- two on strikeouts. Winn hit a one-out single in the seventh for the other San Francisco hit.

"Unbelievable," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said about Billingsley's performance. "He's matured so much in a short period of time. He's in total control out there; he throws all of his pitches for strikes.

"That was a great throw by Andre. He threw it on one hop -- perfect."

Giants third base coach Tim Flannery said he made a mistake in sending Castillo.

"I hold guys in those situations. I held him last week when we were down six, seven runs," Flannery said. "I mean, people will start going, 'Well, you're shut out again' and all this and that. But that's how you play the game. You play the game by the scoreboard.

"But tonight, after 14 years, I became a fan instead of a third base coach for one moment. It's just flat-out stupid."

The play extended Los Angeles' scoreless streak to 23 innings. The shutout was the team's 10th of the season -- all at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have won five of six and are 8-4 since the All-Star break.

"This is remarkable, the number of shutouts," said manager Joe Torre, who thinks the Dodgers are playing their best ball of the season.

"We have more consistent focus," he said. "We're more determined at this time. We just seem to be going at it a lot better. We're playing well right now; we obviously have an important series coming up. We're excited about that."

Arizona's Brandon Webb (14-4), shooting for his major league-leading 15th victory, will pitch against Derek Lowe (8-8) in the opener. Lowe blanked Washington on one hit in eight innings in his last outing.

The loss was the fifth in six games for the Giants, who are 4-8 since the break.

Kemp walked and scored against Jonathan Sanchez (8-7) in his first two at-bats, and singled in the fifth to give him the longest hitting streak by a Los Angeles player since Nomar Garciaparra hit in 22 straight a little more than two years ago.

"We won. That's all that matters," Kemp said. "I'm not worried about (the streak). Getting on base, scoring runs, that's all that matters. Trying to have good at-bats, that's the key."

Kemp walked, stole second and scored on a one-out single by Martin in the first. Martin hit another one-out single in the third to drive in Kemp, and the Dodgers added two more runs in the inning on an RBI double by Jeff Kent and a sacrifice fly by James Loney.

Billingsley made sure the four-run lead would stand up.

Sanchez, 0-3 with an 8.57 ERA in his past five starts, allowed five hits, four walks and four runs in four innings.

Notes

  • Sanchez has 126 strikeouts to rank third among big league left-handers, trailing only Milwaukee's CC Sabathia (157) and Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (135).
  • Slumping CF Andruw Jones, making his first start for the Dodgers since Saturday, went hitless in three at-bats with a walk.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley has a milestone night vs. the Giants by posting his first career shutout.  (AP)
Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley has a milestone night vs. the Giants by posting his first career shutout. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Billingsley
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 0
K 8
Los Angeles

R. Martin
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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San Francisco Giants
Dave Roberts, LF4000001 .161
Jose Castillo, 2B4010020 .258
Randy Winn, RF4020021 .280
Bengie Molina, C3010001 .279
Aaron Rowand, CF3000012 .287
John Bowker, 1B3000010 .256
Rich Aurilia, 3B3010000 .279
Omar Vizquel, SS3000011 .182
Jonathan Sanchez, P1000000 .125
    Osiris Matos, P0000000 .000
   a- Fred Lewis, PH1000011 .275
    Geno Espineli, P0000000 .000
    Sergio Romo, P0000000 .000
   b- Eugenio Velez, PH1000000 .207
Totals3005008  
a-struck out for Matos in the 6th
b-grounded out for Romo in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Castillo (28, Billingsley)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Dave Roberts 1
DP - Roberts-Vizquel-Aurilia, Castillo-Bowker
San Francisco Giants
Jonathan Sanchez (L,8-7) 4544410 4.61
Osiris Matos 1200000 1.54
Geno Espineli 1.2100120 6.35
Sergio Romo 1.1000020 2.51
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 84-49, Osiris Matos 13-10, Geno Espineli 31-22, Sergio Romo 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 4-4, Osiris Matos 1-2, Geno Espineli 1-2, Sergio Romo 1-1
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 18, Osiris Matos 5, Geno Espineli 7, Sergio Romo 4
Los Angeles Dodgers
Matt Kemp, RF2210200 .295
Casey Blake, 3B3120110 .295
Russell Martin, C3122102 .297
Jeff Kent, 2B4021012 .255
    Pablo Ozuna, 2B0000000 .279
James Loney, 1B3001003 .298
Andruw Jones, CF3000110 .167
Andre Ethier, LF4000011 .271
Angel Berroa, SS3010000 .204
Chad Billingsley, P3000011 .070
Totals2848455  
Batting
2B - Jeff Kent (18, Sanchez)
SF - James Loney (5)
RBI - Russell Martin 2 (51), Jeff Kent (44), James Loney (60)
SB - Matt Kemp 2 (26, 2nd base off Sanchez/Molina, 2nd base off Matos/Molina)
CS - Russell Martin (5, 2nd base by Sanchez/Molina)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Andre Ethier 1
DP - Blake-Kent-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley (W,11-9) 9500080 3.05
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 118-79
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 12-5
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 30
Game Information
Attendance - 41282
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski