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Dodgers sweep Giants; off to best start in 21 years

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Dodgers sweep Giants; off to best start in 21 years

Postby WebHamster » Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:00 am

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Adrian Beltre, Juan Encarnacion and Dave Ross homered in consecutive at-bats during a six-run fifth inning and Los Angeles held on to beat the San Francisco Giants, 7-6, at SBC Park.

Barry Bonds hit a pair of home runs and finished 4-for-4 with five RBI for the Giants, who have lost four straight.

Bonds had four homers in the series. He is 11-for-15 with six homers and 13 RBI through the first six games of San Francisco's current homestand, raising his average to .500 this season. Bonds now has 665 career homers, moving him within 50 of passing Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list.

Dodgers starter Jeff Weaver (1-1) got the win. The righthander was charged with five runs on 10 hits and left the game after allowing four straight hits and a walk in the sixth.

Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth for Los Angeles, which swept the three-game series and has won five in a row. Gagne notched his record 68th straight save since August 28, 2002.

The 9-3 start by the Dodgers after 12 games is the best for Los Angeles since the 1983 campaign.

"As far as any kind of statement, it's three games, but its three very important games," said Dodgers manager Jim Tracy. "They're games within your division and that's somethinig we didn't do an exceptional job of overall with any of the clubs in the division as far as our record was concered in the western division for the season (2003). Hopefully (we can) build on what you've done here because it's pretty special what we've accomplished here over the weekend."

Trailing by a run, the Dodgers scored six times on seven hits in the fifth to take the lead. With a run already in, Giants starter Brett Tomko intentionally walked Shawn Green with two outs to put runners at first and third and Beltre gave Los Angeles a 5-2 lead with an opposite field homer into the first row of seats in right. Encarnacion then hit a 1-1 pitch from Tomko over the wall in left and Ross belted the next offering from the righthander into the same area just over the outstretched glove of Bonds for a 7-2 cushion.

The Giants came back with three runs in the sixth and pulled within one with a run in the seventh. J.T. Snow doubled off Weaver to start the sixth and Marquis Grissom's RBI double cut the Dodgers' lead to 7-3. Bonds followed with his second homer of the game, a blast to dead center field, to pull San Francisco within two, 7-5.

"He's a one-man wrecking machine right now," said Giants manager Felipe Alou about Bonds.

A.J. Pierzynski kept the inning going with a base hit and Weaver walked Edgardo Alfonzo with still no outs in the sixth. Duaner Sanchez took over for Weaver and walked Cody Ransom to load the bases. Sanchez retired Neifi Perez on a shallow fly to center and Pedro Feliz grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Bonds singled in a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Dodgers' lead to 7-6. The Giants had runners on first and third with one out, but reliever Tom Martin got Pierzynski to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to preserve the lead.

"We had many opportunities today to score runs," said Alou. "We hit into a lot of double plays with one out that ended (innings)."

Dodgers outfielder Dave Roberts began the top of the fifth with a one-out single and scored when Cesar Izturis followed with a double to the gap in left-center field to tie the game at 2-2.

Bonds had given the Giants a brief one-run lead in the home fourth with a towering drive over the wall in right field. The 664th homer of his career gave San Francisco a 2-1 edge.

San Francisco got on the board in its first at-bat when Grissom singled with two outs and scored on a double by Bonds for a 1-0 edge.

After the game Bonds was asked about having the burden of providing all the Giants' offense. "No one can carry a team in baseball. It's never been done, never will be," Bonds responded.

Green doubled and scored on a single by Encarnacion in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Tomko (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up seven runs on 11 hits, including the three homers in the sixth, over 4 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers earned their first three-game sweep in San Francisco since April 11-13, 2000, the Giants' first season at previously-named Pac Bell Park.

Gagne recorded his fifth save of the season. Weaver became the 394th pitcher Bonds has homered off in his career.

The last time the Dodgers hit three consecutive homers also was against the Giants. Robin Ventura, Beltre and Jeromy Burnitz did it last September 21.
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