San Francisco, CA – One team needs to keep pace with the San Diego Padres and the other is not used to going home after the season. Both teams fought through five innings with no score providing enough defense to send the game into extra innings.
But instead of the extra innings a wild sixth inning featured a hit batter, two walks and an error on a easy play that led to the Dodgers victory over the Giants 1-0. Clayton Kershaw recored his first career shutout and outshone Giants ace Barry Zito.
Zito was in control of the mound until the sixth frame when Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch. He then gave up back-to-back walks to Rafael Furcal and Andre Ethier. With the bases loaded the Dodgers had the first opportunity to score and they did when Casey Blake singled center off a fielding error by Juan Uribe. Reed scored and Zito was pulled right after that play.
“I walked two guys and that was the problem, Zito said. “The walk to Ethier, that’s the one I want back.” “I felt I pitched good and had been for the past two games.”
Blake’s single up the middle bounced off the mound and was grabbed behind second base by Giants shortstop Uribe. The short stop was in motion to throw to second baseman Freddy Sanchez but dropped the ball from his glove on the exchange in a attempt to tag out the batter. Due to the error Johnson advanced home to score the only run of the game.
“I tried to catch it but it just didn’t happen,” Uribe said. “I thought I had it, it was an easy ground ball, it gave me a good bounce and I was able to catch it.” “But when I tried to put the ball in my hand I lost it.”
The Giants tried to rally bottom of the sixth frame when Cody Ross doubled but did not capitalize off the opportunity when Sanchez flew out to center field to end the inning.
The 22-year old held San Francisco to four hits and struck out four while walking zero. He had come into the game with only one win since July 25. This was the first time the Dodgers won a game with only one hit since 1965 when Sandy Koufax threw a 1-0 perfect game against the Chicago Cubs.
“The game was a lot of fun,” said Kershaw. “They’re an aggressive team and I kept my pitch count down.” “They were swinging at a lot of pitches and I was able to get quick outs.
The Giants now sit two games behind the Padres after they beat Colorado 7-6 tonight. The race for the post season is still the focus despite the loss tonight. As for the Dodgers it was a sign of life! Already deemed as not making the post season Los Angeles hasn’t lost hope that they can still make it.
“We need to win every single game,” Blake said. “It’s a sense of urgency, we do pretty well in this ball park so we’re not too worried.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino