Joe Gutierrez. 16th April, 2006 - 4:15 am
Odalis Perez went seven strong innings and allowed just a run, as the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to maintain a two-run lead to defeat the San Francisco Giants Saturday night. Perez?s performance was crucial in LA?s win because of the bullpen issue with Yhency Brazoban lost for the year.
The Giants were the first to put a run on the board in the second, when former Dodger, CF Steve Finley singled in 2B Ray Durham. The return of CF Kenny Lofton sparked the Dodgers offense to answer back in the third when the 38 year old veteran tripled to center, passing Finley, as SS Rafael Furcal scored.
Lofton?s presence in the top of the lineup gives the Dodgers offense a quick one-two punch, with he and Furcal. The fourth inning brought C Dioner Navarro to the plate with the bases loaded, while Dodger fans waited anxiously for the young catcher to deliver the go-ahead run. No base hit but a ground out to first base was all they would need, as 2B Jeff Kent scored and gave LA the lead.
A one-run lead in the eighth changed for LA when Navarro added his second RBI of the game, making it 3-1. Navarro hit a bullet to Durham, bouncing over the second baseman?s head for a single. Danys Baez would give up just one hit in the ninth, and that was to LF Barry Bonds, who doubled to left due to 3B Bill Mueller being shifted all the way to shortstop.
Perez was aggressive in tonights win over the Giants, pitching away most of the game, and more importantly keeping the ball low. SP Jason Schmidt tossed a decent game for San Francisco but received not enough run support. He went six innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits.
Final Score: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Los Angeles attempts to win the series as Jae Seo goes up against the Giants' Brad Hennessey