It’s never a dull game when the Giants play the boys in blue. Following a loss to the Giants on Opening Day, the Dodgers hoped to get back on track with Clayton Kershaw’s replacement, lefty Paul Maholm on the mound.
San Francisco had other plans. Continuing their offensive streak, the Giants raked and put 11 hits on the board, including home runs from Mike Morse (his first in a Giants uniform), Pablo Sandoval, and Buster Posey to take the 2nd game from the Dodgers 7-2.
It seems like Barry Bonds faithful visit during spring training has certainly had an effect on the players. Since the start of the season, the Giants have emerged as offensive leaders in the National League with nine home runs and driving in 38 runs. Even Hunter Pence, who’s had a quiet start to the season, joined the party today with two loud doubles and an amazing throw to gun down A.J. Ellis at home plate:
Pagan continues with his hot streak and went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, bringing his RBI total to eight – not too bad for a leadoff man.
And in case you missed it, Bruce Bochy put all three Brandons (Belt, Hicks, Crawford) back-to-back-to-back in the line-up today AND next to each other on the infield. Just so you’re not behind on the newest hashtag, feel free to use #UnleashTheBrandons liberally:
Today’s “Keys to the Game” are pretty legit pic.twitter.com/UQteb1OrnZ
— Carmen Kiew (@carmenkiew) April 5, 2014
They didn’t exactly “unleash” but the Brandons had a pretty solid day:
- Crawford: RBI and two walks (against a lefty no less… platoons be gone!)
- Belt: Single in the 2nd inning
- Hicks: Single in the 2nd inning and a mighty fine double play turn:
From the Dodgers offensive camp, there were contributions up and down the line-up, including the usual suspects of Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Juan Uribe. Despite getting several runners on base, they were unable to put together a big rally, were 2-for-12 with RISP, and left seven runners stranded throughout the course of the game. Potentially of note, Puig appeared to jam his wrist sliding head first on his way to first base in the 3rd inning. Although he stayed in the game, it may be something to keep an eye out for in the finale of the series.
Maholm tried his best to keep the Dodgers in the game but seemed to lack control from the beginning. Maholm, who drove his pitch count up early and was charged with the loss, had a disappointing pitching line of 4.1 IP, seven hits, five runs, two walks, and two home runs. As a last-minute replacement to Kershaw who is currently on the 15-Day DL with back issues, Maholm may prove to be an achilles heel for the Dodgers rotation if Kershaw needs to take additional time recovering.
On the other side of the field, Madison Bumgarner was looking to improve on his last outing against the Diamondbacks. Today his pitches were crisper, more concise, and seemed to have more movement. With the offense putting runs on the scoreboard, Bumgarner was able to cash in on a quality start and a win with 6.1 innings pitched, eight hits, two runs, one walk, and ten strikeouts. He also tacked on bragging rights by lacing a line drive to right field for a single.
From San Francisco’s bullpen, Santiago Casilla ran into a bit of trouble in the 8th by walking leadoff hitters Hanley Ramirez and Gonzalez. While Casilla skirted around the strike zone initially, he was eventually able to induce his signature double-play ground ball and strike out Scott Van Slyke to end the inning with a goose egg. Yusmeiro Petit had an opportunity to close out the game with a 1-2-3 inning to finalize the win for the Giants.
The Giants will look to pick up the sweep tomorrow at 5pm with Matt Cain on the bump.