|L.A. Dodgers (73-66)||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||6||1|
|San Francisco (78-60) «||0||0||1||0||0||1||2||1||x||5||10||0|
He sure is generating his share of them these days.
Scutaro hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the seventh inning that broke his bat, and the San Francisco Giants beat the rival Dodgers 5-2 on Friday night to extend their NL West lead to 5 1/2 games over Los Angeles.
"I didn't really make good contact," he said. "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good."
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After Angel Pagan drew an intentional walk from Josh Beckett (1-2) to load the bases, Scutaro followed with a bloop single to shallow right. He came through yet again for his new team - and in a key series opener in early September this time.
"I pretty much know what my game is. I'm not a power hitter, I'm not an RBI guy," he said. "My game is to try to get on base. I stay with my plan. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."
San Francisco (78-60) won its fourth straight against Los Angeles after a sweep at Dodger Stadium from Aug. 20-22. The Giants lead the division by 5 1/2 games for the first time since ending the 2003 season with a 15 1/2-game cushion. They have two more chances with a sellout home crowd this weekend to create further distance from the Dodgers.
Santiago Casilla (7-5) relieved Lincecum and recorded the final two outs of the seventh for the win.
The Giants answered after Adam Kennedy hit a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the sixth to make it 2-1.
Hunter Pence, another recent addition for the playoff push, tied it on an infield single down the third-base line in the bottom half. Kennedy tried to barehand the high bouncer, which got under his glove and allowed Pagan to score.
Hector Sanchez singled to start the seventh and Gregor Blanco entered to pinch-run, then stole second. Brandon Crawford walked and pinch-hitter Emmanuel Burriss sacrificed. Pagan was intentionally walked to load the bases for Scutaro, who delivered another clutch hit in a career full of them. It was his second one this homestand after a game-winning single in the 10th inning of Monday's 9-8 win against Arizona.
Since Scutaro was acquired from the Colorado Rockies on July 27, he is batting .331 (53 for 160) with 26 RBIs.
"We needed somebody to come through for us and he has done that since he came over here, and really his whole career," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Beckett, facing the Giants for the first time since 2005 while with the Marlins, outlasted Lincecum in the right-hander's third start since being acquired from the Red Sox on Aug. 25.
He was in control until the seventh. Last time out, Beckett had matched his season high with nine strikeouts against Arizona, snapping a three-start skid and seven-start winless stretch in which he was 0-5.
The Dodgers failed to capitalize in the top of the seventh. Mark Ellis hit a leadoff single and Adrian Gonzalez walked one out later to chase Lincecum, who walked a career-high seven and missed a chance to win back-to-back starts for just the third time this year. Casilla entered and got Matt Kemp on a groundout to put runners on second and third before striking out Hanley Ramirez looking.
"Ultimately we want to win the division but sometimes it is necessary to look outside the bubble," Los Angeles left fielder Shane Victorino said. "The goal? It's about getting there. The first is to win the division."
Lincecum walked a batter in each of his six-plus innings but got through with minimal damage.
He retired Kemp on a 90 mph called third strike to end the fifth with the go-ahead run on second. Lincecum then struck out Ramirez looking to start the sixth and got Andre Ethier swinging. Kennedy fell behind in the count 0-2 before hitting a drive into the elevated right-field arcade for his second home run of the year and first of his career in San Francisco.
"Right now, we just want to win games any way we can," Lincecum said. "It's not about who gets the decision or how it happens. We're just pulling that string to win."
The Giants have the momentum of late since Los Angeles took all three at AT&T Park from July 27-29. But from June 25-27 in the Dodgers' first trip, San Francisco swept without allowing a single run - 8-0, 2-0, 3-0.
The rivalry returns to Chavez Ravine for the season's final three games from Oct. 1-3.
"We don't want to go back to their house the final three games and cut it close," Scutaro said.
Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson showed up for the weekend "to watch some playoff baseball" in what should be a great atmosphere the rest of the weekend.
"This is probably the rowdiest place on the West Coast," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It's a fun place and there's a lot of energy here. I like this series a lot. This is a place you want to play."
|The Giants defeat the Dodgers for the fourth consecutive time and extend their lead in the NL West to 5 ½ games. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||4||1||2||0||1||2||2||.271|
|Shane Victorino, LF||3||0||0||0||2||1||2||.258|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||0||0||0||1||0||1||.294|
|Matt Kemp, CF||5||0||0||1||0||1||2||.315|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.254|
|Andre Ethier, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.290|
|Adam Kennedy, 3B||2||1||1||1||1||1||0||.262|
|Luis Cruz, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.304|
|A.J. Ellis, C||2||0||2||0||2||0||0||.281|
|Josh Beckett, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||4||.083|
|Brandon League, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Juan Rivera, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.241|
|Alex Castellanos, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.136|
|Randy Choate, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jamey Wright, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for League in the 8th|
|HR - Adam Kennedy (2, Lincecum)|
|RBI - Matt Kemp (56), Adam Kennedy (16)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Kennedy (4)|
|SB - Shane Victorino (33, 2nd base off Lincecum/H. Sanchez)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|E - Andre Ethier (3, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Josh Beckett (L,6-13)||6.1||7||4||4||3||3||0||5.05|
|IBB - Pagan by Josh Beckett, Sandoval by Brandon League|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 91-53, Brandon League 10-4, Randy Choate 10-6, Jamey Wright 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 8-8, Brandon League 1-0, Randy Choate 2-0, Jamey Wright 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 29, Brandon League 3, Randy Choate 3, Jamey Wright 3|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Angel Pagan, CF||4||1||3||1||1||0||0||.288|
|Marco Scutaro, 2B||5||0||2||2||0||0||3||.289|
|Pablo Sandoval, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.284|
|Sergio Romo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Buster Posey, 1B-C||3||0||0||0||1||2||3||.323|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.261|
|Brandon Belt, LF-1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.275|
|Hector Sanchez, C||3||0||1||0||0||2||0||.267|
|Gregor Blanco, PR-LF||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.234|
|Brandon Crawford, SS||3||2||1||0||1||0||1||.249|
|Tim Lincecum, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.100|
|Santiago Casilla, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Emmanuel Burriss, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.220|
|Jeremy Affeldt, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joaquin Arias, 3B||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.279|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Casilla in the 7th|
|SH - Gregor Blanco (5), Tim Lincecum (8), Emmanuel Burriss (2)|
|RBI - Angel Pagan (53), Marco Scutaro 2 (56), Hunter Pence (85), Joaquin Arias (31)|
|2-OUT RBI - Angel Pagan (19), Hunter Pence (30), Joaquin Arias (14)|
|SB - Angel Pagan (24, 2nd base off Beckett/Ellis), Gregor Blanco (21, 2nd base off Beckett/Ellis)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Santiago Casilla (W,7-5)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.79|
|Jeremy Affeldt (H,11)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.70|
|Sergio Romo (S,10)||1.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1.76|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Lincecum 119-71, Santiago Casilla 9-7, Jeremy Affeldt 6-4, Sergio Romo 18-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Lincecum 8-4, Santiago Casilla 1-0, Jeremy Affeldt 2-0, Sergio Romo 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Tim Lincecum 30, Santiago Casilla 2, Jeremy Affeldt 3, Sergio Romo 5|
|Attendance - 41666|
|Game Time - 3:05|
|Temperature - 59|
|Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Chad Fairchild|