The More Things Change ...

The first game of baseball played between the Dodgers and Giants was sometime before written history but the story passed down by the Oldpeople tell that it was between just two players and they threw rocks at each other until one of them was unable to stand, then the other was declared the winner.

Flash forward an unknown number of centuries to Sunday, April 16 and find each team of nine dressed in classy uniforms and played in a wondrous stadium on a well-manicured field of grass.

But the uniting theme between the two ancient rivals playing in different eras, is the fact that the best hitter on each club -- Jeff Kent of the Dodgers and Barry Bonds of the Giants -- was hit by a pitch.

In the seventh inning, Kent was nailed on the head, on the side of the helmet, and it dropped him in the batters box for several minutes before he was taken from the field to a local hospital for a CT scan.

Reliever Tim Hamulak drilled Bonds on his well-padded right arm leading off the eighth inning.

The umpire, invoking the "second hit" rule (He who hits first loses the argument; he who hits second is ejected from the game).

Both managers, Grady Little of the Dodgers and Felipe Alou of the Giants, said pretty much the same as managers have down the years; "my man didn't mean to hit him. We have had great relations with the other team. I'm certain it wasn't intentional."

Over time, only Leo Durocher, who managed both the Dodgers and Giants, would admit that "damn right, I was throwing at him and I'll do it again I feel its necessary."

As for the game itself, each team has been as effective as the John P. Willowby School of the Blind as far as hitting goes in the three-game series. San Francisco took two of three games by the score of 5-4 -- not any one game, 5-4 total. They won 2-1 and 2-0 in the series bookends and lost to the Dodgers 3-1 in the middle contest. The two clubs went 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position.

The Giants scored their runs in the sixth inning when starter Jae Seo balked by turning to throw to first and then saw that James Loney was playing behind the runner and not on the bag. Soe claimed he misread a fastball sign for a pickoff sign.

He hesitated, when Loney was nowhere near the bag, then threw him a soft, three bouncer well wide of first base. The hesitation done him in and the balk allowed the runner from third to score. A following single made it 2-0, game over.

The Dodgers came right back on a pinch-single by Cody Ross and a walk to Rafael Furcal with one out. Speedy Kenny Lofton bounced to second where Furcal was forced but shortstop Omar Visquel fired the ball to third instead of first and nailed Ross rounding the bag too far.

It was a Gold Glove shortstop taking advantage of a rookie baserunner.

Los Angeles left the bases loaded in the seventh and two on in the eighth and finished the game with three hits and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

The Dodgers (6-7) remained on their rhythmic win one, lose one schedule and remain well back in the West Division pack.
  Score by innings
San Francisco  000 002 000-2
LA Dodgers     000 000 000-0
  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      2 0 0 0 .229
Lofton, CF      4 0 0 0 .125
Drew, RF        2 0 1 0 .310
Kent, 2B        2 0 0 0 .250
 Martinez,PR-2B 1 0 0 0 .294
Cruz, LF        3 0 0 0 .319
Mueller, 3B     3 0 0 0 .356
Loney, 1B       2 0 0 0 .182
 Ledee, PH      1 0 0 0 .214
Saenz, 1B       1 0 0 0 .417
Navarro, C      3 0 0 0 .242
Kuo, P          0 0 0 0 .000
Seo, P          1 0 1 0 .400
 Ross, PH       1 0 1 0 .500
Carter, P       0 0 0 0 .000
Hamulack, P     0 0 0 0 .000
Alomar, C       1 0 0 0 .450
  Totals       27 0 3 0 
  SFrancisco   27 2 9 1 

  Errors- none. LOB- San Francisco 9, 
Los Angeles 7. SB: San Francisco 1, 
Drew (1). DP- San Francisco 2, Los 
Angeles 1 (Mueller-Martinez-Saenz).

Dodgers        in h r-er bb so era
Seo (L, 0-1)  6.0 6 2-2  1  3 6.43
Carter        0.2 2 0-0  0  1 4.70
Hamulack      0.1 0 0-0  0  1 0.00
Kuo           2.0 1 0-0  1  1 5.19
 Balk: Seo. HBP: Kent, Bonds. T- 2:54. 
Att- 47,024
Saturday, April 15-- Perez gives Dodgers 3-1 win-- Odalis Perez, who claimed he was in he best share of his life, may have been right. The 28-year-old left-hander worked seven strong innings and the Dodgers dumped the Giants 3-1 Saturday night before a Jackie Robinson Day crowd of 55,132 - the eighth-largest regular-season crowd in Dodger Stadium history.

Perez (2-0) allowed only three hits -- all in the first three innings -- before leaving. Perez walked three, struck out two and threw 94 pitches. Takashi Saito pitched a scoreless eighth, and Danys Baez worked the ninth for his third save in as many chances.

Kenny Lofton drilled an RBI triple into the right-center field gap for his first hit in a Los Angeles uniform, and Dioner Navarro drove in the Dodgers' second and third runs.

Former Dodger Steve Finley hit a run-scoring single in the second to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Lofton's two-out triple off Jason Schmidt (0-2) in the third drove in the tying run, and the Dodgers scored the go-ahead run in the fourth on Navarro's RBI grounder.

Navarro hit an RBI singlein the bottom of the eighth to provide the Dodgers with an insurance run that loomed larger when Bonds opened the ninth by hitting an opposite-field double. Baez then retired the next three batters to end the game.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Jeff Kent hit the 476th double of his career in the fourth, tying him with former Dodger Hall of Famer Zack Wheat for 61st on baseball's all-time list. ... The Dodgers are the 10th team that Loftons played for in a career that began in 1991.