Burrell's two-run homer in eighth lifts GiantsAug 1, 2010 - 12:15 AM
SAN FRANCISCO(AP) -- Thanks to additions like Pat Burrell to San Francisco's suddenly productive offense, the Giants brass focused its efforts on bolstering the bullpen at the trading deadline.
Two new relievers are coming to town for the playoff push.
Burrell lined a go-ahead two-run homer into the left-field seats with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Giants rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Saturday.
The Giants won for the eighth time in 10 games. They began the day 2 1/2 back of the first-place San Diego Padres, who had a night game with Florida, and increased their lead on the Dodgers to 5 1/2 games.
"We're in a real good situation," said Burrell, who has made quite an impact since joining the Giants on June 4. "You have to be fortunate to be in position to make the playoffs. We've got to approach every game as if it is crunch time, because in reality it is."
Chad Billingsley extended his scoreless innings streak to 21 2-3 spanning three starts, but the bullpen couldn't hold a one-run lead for short-handed Los Angeles. Casey Blake had put the Dodgers ahead with a solo homer in the seventh.
Billingsley - who pitched on three days' rest after making the offer to manager Joe Torre - struck out five and allowed two hits in 6 2-3 innings in a pitching duel with Barry Zito. Neither earned a decision.
"I kept the same mentality as I've been. We didn't have anybody slotted in there so I told Joe, 'I'm ready,"' Billingsley said. 'Barry was throwing a good game and I had to match him. We just fell short today."
It was a busy day for Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, who pulled off two more trades for pitchers to upgrade the roster. The Dodgers had only 22 players available because of their trades and other circumstances.
Buster Posey was plunked on the upper left arm by Hong-Chih Kuo with two outs in the eighth and both benches were warned by plate umpire Rob Drake. Jonathan Broxton (3-3) relieved and blew his fourth save when he gave up Burrell's sixth homer of the year.
"It's hard to get a bigger hit than that," manager Bruce Bochy said.
It was Burrell's first homer since June 29 against the Dodgers and his third go-ahead drive with the Giants trailing.
Guillermo Mota (1-3) recorded the final five outs for the win against his former club. It's his first win since June 16, 2009, for the Dodgers against Oakland. Mota filled in for All-Star closer Brian Wilson, who was unavailable for the second straight game because of back spasms.
"I don't make decisions," Wilson said while leaving the clubhouse. Bochy said he could be ready for Sunday night's series finale.
Los Angeles acquired left-handed starter Ted Lilly from the Chicago Cubs and reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pittsburgh Pirates before Saturday's trade deadline. Colletti pulled off both of his priorities to upgrade the roster by getting a starter and bullpen boost, three days after trading for center fielder Scott Podsednik in a deal with Kansas City.
"It's definitely going to improve us," Billingsley said of Lilly. "He's had a successful career and any little thing helps now. We've still got two months to go. We just have to get the ball rolling."
Billingsley had another impressive performance against the Giants. The right-hander tossed a five-hitter against them on July 21 for his second career shutout and third complete game.
Zito hasn't beaten the Dodgers in four matchups dating to a victory on May 8, 2009.
Aside from the homer by Blake, Rafael Furcal and Billingsley had the only other hits off Zito. The lefty owns a 1.95 ERA in four starts against Los Angeles this season.
Posey doubled in the fourth for his 43rd hit in July, the most ever by a San Francisco rookie. Jim Ray Hart had 42 in July 1964. Posey got a day off from his regular catching duties and started in his backup spot at first base.
The Giants also made a few moves Saturday, acquiring Javier Lopez from the Pirates and the left-handed reliever they wanted for the stretch run. San Francisco also got righty reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox for pitching prospect Daniel Turpen.
Lopez was expected to be available to pitch for the Giants on Sunday, with Ramirez likely to join the team Tuesday in Colorado.
The Giants sent right-hander Joe Martinez and outfielder John Bowker to the Pirates.
Notes: Dodgers LF Andre Ethier left the club to return to Los Angeles for the birth of his second child, a boy. He isn't expected to return for Sunday's game. ... The Giants honored former INF Rich Aurilia and LHP Shawn Estes in a ceremony that added both players to the club's Wall of Fame outside the ballpark. The wall is a tribute to the organization's top players who are retired and have spent a minimum of nine seasons with the Giants or five seasons with at least one All-Star selection. ... Eight of Blake's 11 homers in 2010 are solo drives. ... The Giants sold out for the 16th time this year (42,882).
- Giants 2, Dodgers 1 - FINAL
LA DODGERS ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
S Podsednik lf 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .182
R Furcal ss 4 0 1 0 0 2 3 .320
M Kemp cf 3 0 0 0 1 2 3 .262
C Blake 3b 4 1 1 1 0 1 2 .246
J Loney 1b 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .289
R Martin c 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .245
Jul 31 6:53 PM
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
LA DODGERS 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 1
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 5 0 (TOP 9)
CURRENT PITCHERS: LOS - JONATHAN BROXTON
SFO - GUILLERMO MOTA
DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: C BLAKE (.247, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)
J LONEY (.290, 0-FOR-3)
R MARTIN (.246, 0-FOR-3)
Dodgers 1, Giants 2 Top 9, 0 OutsJul 31 6:42 PM
AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY BLAKE (11) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
7TH OFF BARRY ZITO.
CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1, SAN FRANCISCO 0
DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J LONEY (.291, 0-FOR-2)
Dodgers 1, Giants 0 Top 7, 0 OutsJul 31 5:53 PM
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