Late Giants Rally Dumps Dodgers

The loud thump you heard was the Dodgers falling out of first place, although they still lead San Francisco by a game in the lost column. They fell behind the Giants 5-2 early, heaved themselves up long enough to tie the game 5-all, then gave up successive three-spots to lose and slip into second place. LA fans are hoping that history doesn't repeat itself. They lost to the San Francisco Giants almost exactly a year ago -- June 23 -- fell out of a tie for first place and never surfaced again.

The Giants, who lost five of six to the Dodgers in April, have discovered backup support to Barry Bonds and in contrast, a struggling Shawn Green in the cleanup slot for Los Angeles. Green went 0-for-3 with one strikeout and a walk following an 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Monday night. He has stranded nine runners in the two losses without hitting a ball out of the infield. Paul Lo Duca and Adrian Beltré were also hitless, leaving a gaping wound in the middle of the lineup, although Beltré had a sacrifice fly.

Milton Bradley had three hits, and with Dave Roberts and Cesar Izturis, the trio collected six of the team's seven hits. From Green through the pitcher there was only one other, Juan Encarnacion's two-run homer, his 11th.

Kazuhisa Ishii who threw a shutout the last time he saw the Giants, struggled most of his five innings on the mound, and was charged with five runs on nine hits.

The Dodgers erased a 2-0 deficit on Encarnacion's homer, then erased a 5-2 hole only to see the Giants rally for the win.

Although the Dodgers scored a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings with Milton Bradley singling in runs in each inning, the Dodgers first 11 batters were retired in order.

In the top of the sixth Dave Roberts beat out a bunt and Cesar Izturis singled him to third. Bradley followed with an RBI single Green walked. Adrian Beltré pulled the Dodgers to within a run with a sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers tied it in the seventh when Roberts was hit by a pitch, went to third on another Izturis single and scored when Bradley dropped a perfect bunt single down the first-base line.

Wilson Alvarez (2-3), who had pitched only one inning over the previous eight days, took the loss, giving up a double to Barry Bonds with the score tied in the seventh. Edgardo Alfonzo, who had six RBI, banged a tie-breaking two-run single off Darren Dreifort.

"That pitch to Bonds was a ball. I wasn't trying to throw strikes. I was trying to pitch around him. That was like a foot off the plate, and if I walked him, I walked him. Right now, he's one of the best in the league. I tip my hat to him. If that pitch was over the plate, I would say it was a mistake. But I threw it outside, and he just got it."--Wilson Alvarez.

With their fourth victory in a row, the Giants (39-32), have overcome an eight-game deficit and is 24-9 in its last 33 games. The Dodgers (37-31), who have lost the first two games of the four-game series and now stand just two games ahead of third-place San Diego in what is as a three-team race.