Billingsley Shuts Off Giants 9-1

A seventeen-hit attack and the sparkling pitching of Chad Billingsley and the Dodger bullpen, shut down San Francisco 9-1 in the first game of the second "half" of the season. And with San Diego's loss to Arizona, Los Angeles moved right back into the thick of the N.L. West battle, trailing the Padres by a slim, .001 percentage points. Arizona is 2.5 games back in third place.

Billingsley was on cruise control, working six shutout innings, and allowing only four hits. He threw Barry Bonds a changeup and got him to bounce into a double play with two men on to end the first inning and was never threatened again.

Russell Martin went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, and reached base five times to boost his average to .313.

James Loney was 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored, and after making an eighth-inning error that allowed the only Giant run of the game, made a dazzling diving stop of a shot by Bonds and turning it into a 3-6-3 double play.

Andre Ethier went 3-for-4, including a three-run double in the ninth to spark a six-run inning nail down their ninth consecutive win in San Francisco.

Martin was hit on the left forearm by a pitch -- it wouldn't be a Dodger-Giant game without someone getting hit. Martin stayed in the game until the ninth, when he gave way to Lieberthal with an eight-run lead.

The Dodgers jumped into an early three-run lead with three singles, a stolen base by Juan Pierre and a throwing error to score twice in the third, and two singles sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt for another run in the fifth. The six-run ninth was icing on the cake and came on seven consecutive hits.

Billingsley lowered his ERA to 3.26, making 96 pitches in his fifth start of a season in which he spent the first 2 1/2 months in the bullpen.

The Dodgers went 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
 Score by innings
Los Angeles	002 010 006-9
San Francisco	000 000 010-1

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  1  2  0  .275
Pierre cf	4  2  2  1  .284
Martin c	3  1  3  1  .313
 Lieberthal c	0  0  0  0  .222
Kent 2b	        4  0  1  0  .278
 Martinez pr-2b	0  1  0  0  .159
Gonzalez lf	4  0  1  0  .293
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Saenz ph	1  1  1  1  .217
 Seaenz p	0  0  0  0  .000
Garciaparra 3b	5  1  1  1  .275
Loney 1b	5  1  3  0  .398
Ethier rf-lf	4  1  2  2  .290
Billingsley p	2  0  0  0  .333
 Betemit ph	1  0  0  0  .205
 Kemp rf	2  0  0  0  .349
   Totals       40 9 17 8
   Giants	32 1  7 0

 Error- Loney (5). 2B- Loney (5), Martin (21), 
Ethier (16). RBI- Pierre (22), Martin (61),
Kent (42), Saenz (13), Garciaparra (43),
Ethier 3 (37). S- Pierre. SB- Pierre (35). CS-
Loney (1). LOB- Los Angeles 10, San Francisco
8. DP- Kent, Furcal and Loney; Loney, Furcal
and Loney.

 Los Angeles	   in  h  r-er  bb  so  era
Billingsley (6-0) 6.0  4  0-0  3  2  3.26
Beimel	          1.0  1  0-0  0  0  3.86
Broxton	          1.0  1  1-0  0  0  2.74
Saenz	          1.0  1  0-0  0  1  3.05
 HBP- Martin. T- 3:06. Att- 43,230.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers have won nine consecutive games at AT&T Park, just the third time they have had a streak that long in San Francisco. The last time they accomplished that feat was when they won 13 in a row at Candlestick Park from Aug. 1, 1976-Sept. 1, 1977. They also won 10 straight games there from 1971-72 and 1974-75. The last time the Dodgers won eight straight in any visiting ballpark was from 1998-2000 at Wrigley Field. A victory tonight would mark the longest winning streak at any road park since the 13-game stretch at Candlestick in 1976-77. The Dodgers have won 12 of their last 16 meetings against the Giants dating back to July 9, 2006. ...The Dodgers are the only team in the Major Leagues without a winning streak or a losing streak greater than four games. The team's season-high winning streak was four games, which has happened twice and the longest losing streak was also four games, which has happened three times. ...Former Giant MVP Jeff Kent is tied for second on the team with 10 home runs. The last time a Dodger second baseman had 10 homers at the break was Kent in 2005 (15). The club record for first-half homers by an L.A. Dodger second baseman was 20 set by Davey Lopes in 1979.  Only three Dodger second basemen have had double figures in homers at the break since moving to Los Angeles – Kent (2005, 2007), Lopes (1978, 1979) and Charlie Neal (1958, 1959). ...Russell Martin became just the 11th Los Angeles Dodger to drive in 60 runs before the All-Star Break and the first since Jeff Kent, who had 60 RBI at the break in 2005. The eleven L.A. Dodgers have accomplished the feat 16 times – Steve Garvey (3), Ron Cey (2), Mike Piazza (2), Shawn Green (2), Gary Sheffield, Eric Karros, Jimmy Wynn, Wes Parker, Kent, Martin and Tommy Davis, who set the record for RBI at the break since moving to Los Angeles with 90 in 1962. Martin and Piazza are the only two to drive in 60 before the break while playing primarily behind the plate. ...The Dodgers have a .318 batting average (214-for-673) since June 22, the best mark in the Majors. ...Luis Gonzalez has 138 RBI against the Giants in his career, the most of any active player in baseball. Gonzalez is followed by Todd Helton (96) and Gary Sheffield (87). ...Dodger manager Grady Little welcomed his third grandson into the world July 11 as Jace Dalton Little was born. Jace joins Braden and Luke as sons of Little's own son, Eric and his wife, Toni.    

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