Maddux Does it Again in San Francisco

The Dodgers made it easy for Greg Maddux, too easy it seems, because with an early 10-run lead he gave up six runs, four earned, on his way to a 14-7 win over the Giants, taking a 3-0 lead in the first, then blowing the game open with seven runs in a second inning. It was Maddux's career victory No. 329, tying him with Hall of Fame lefty Steve Carlton for 10th place on baseball's all-time list.

So, we've found Maddux weakness, he has trouble pitching with a big lead. Hopefully, opposing teams will attempt to exploit that 'problem.'

He began by retiring the first 10 batters he faced. That ran his streak over his past two starts to 31 consecutive batters set down, all of them Giants.

Then he ran into trouble in the middle innings, allowing four runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth, both unearned.

He retired the final 22 Giants batters in his previous start last Sunday at Dodger Stadium, then 10 straight to start Saturday game before Omar Vizquel blooped a one-out single to shallow right in the fourth. Added together it makes 32 straight outs, Maddux had five more than a 27-out perfect game.

After a couple games in which the Dodger offense seemed to slide back toward post-All-Star Game inefficiency, they awoke to maintain their three-game lead over second-place Arizona in the National League West.

They sent 11 batters to the plate in he second inning and scored seven runs in the decisive victory, much to the disgust of the sellout crowd of 42,833 Saturday night at AT&T Park who booed the home town heros in their disappointment.

Andre Ethier's big bat opened the door in the first inning. He leads all rookies in average (.341), on-base percentage (.385) and slugging percentage (.548). The only time the Giants got him out came only after he missed hitting a home run by a few feet foul.

The Dodgers had 17 hits. They are 27-5 in the games in which Ethier scores a run and 24-7 when he has an RBI.

Rafael Furcal, Kenny Lofton and Nomar Garciaparra began the game with consecutive singles for an early 1-0 lead. Then J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent hit soft fly balls and it looked like a great start would produce only one run.

However, a wild-pitched moved both runners into scoring position and Ethier laced a shot into right-center that rolled to the wall. Ethier wound up with a two-run triple, giving Maddux (11-11 overall and 2-0 with L.A.) a 3-0 margin before he ever threw a pitch.

Maddux opened the second with a ground-rule double and ended it with a sacrifice fly, driving in Andre Ethier for the 10-0 lead.

Maddux's a double, Furcal reached on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild throw past first for an error. Second baseman Durham tried to get Furcal at third but threw wildly for another error that allowed Furcal to score.

Giant fans may have set a club record when they began booing the Giants and starter Brad Hennessey in the second inning.

Kent and Ethier each hit two-run triples and Maddux added a double, a run scored and a sacrifice fly in the Dodgers' seven-run second. Ethier finished 4-for-5 with three RBI, raising his average to .341, and J.D. Drew added a two-run single in the eighth to go with his RBI single in the second.

Brett Tomko took over for Maddux to start the seventh and served up a home run to Eliezer Alfonzo, but Brett Tomko and relievers Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito combined to retire nine of the final 10 Giants batters.

Manager Grady Little removed second baseman Kent in the middle of the second and center fielder Kenny Lofton in the third in order to give both players time to rest before today's afternoon game.

Barry Bonds left the game early with tightness in his back after going 0-for-1. The 42-year-old Bonds is doubtful for today when Derek Lowe matches up with the Giants Matt Morris.
  Score by innings
Los Angeles   370 000 130-14
San Francisco 000 420 100- 7

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      4 3 2 0 .287
Lofton, CF      3 2 2 0 .320
 Repko, CF      2 1 1 0 .257
Garciaparra, 1B 4 3 2 1 .328
Drew, RF        5 1 2 3 .280
Kent, 2B        2 1 1 2 .265
 Lugo, 2B       2 1 1 1 .297
Ethier, LF      5 1 4 3 .341
Betemit, 3B     3 0 1 1 .278
Martin, C       4 0 0 0 .294
Maddux, P       2 1 1 1 .118
 Tomko, P       0 0 0 0 .120
 Saenz, PH      1 0 0 0 .298
 Broxton, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Martinez, PH   1 0 0 0 .292
 Saito, P       0 0 0 0 .000
   Totals      38 14 17 12
   Giants       35 7  8  7

  Error- Garciaparra. 2B- 
Maddux (2), Lofton (10), Repko
(5). 3B- Ethier (6), Kent (2).
RBI- Garciaparra (64), Ethier
3 (51), Drew 3 (70), Kent 2 (55), 
Maddux (5), Betemit (39), Lugo 
(33). S- Furcal. SF- Maddux; 
Betemit; Lugo. LOB- Los Angeles 
4, San Francisco 2.

  Dodgers      in h r-er bb so era
Maddux (11-11) 6.0 6 6 4 0 6 1 4.27
Tomko          1.0 1 1 1 0 1 1 4.71
Broxton        1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.72
Saito          1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.28
  T- 2:30. Att- 42,833.

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