Twice the Dodgers responded, scoring the three runs needed to win.
After the game, a pleased Torre said, "We don't have a lot of home run hitters, so we can't stand around, we need to be aggressive, we need to take chances. You take an extra base like that, you can win a game."
His exhortations payed off in the second game of the season when Rafael Furcal scored from second base in the last of the ninth and the score tied on Delwyn Young's infield single. The 3-2 win boosted the Dodgers to 2-0 for the first time since 2000 when Kevin Brown and Chan Ho Park tagged Montreal with consecutive 10-4 victories.
The game was 0-0 until the seventh when the Giants broke a 15-inning scoreless streak by knocking (literally) Derek Lowe out of the box.
Lowe and the Giants' Matt Cain went head to head through six, with the two teams collecting only two hits each over the first five. The Dodger hits came when Andre Ethier singled in the second and Jeff Kent doubled in the fourth.
San Francisco scored twice in the top of the seventh, both runs credited to Lowe although he wasn't in the game at the time. Ray Durham and Aaron Rowand singled before Jose Castillo drilled a shot off Lowe's calf and forced him out of the game.
Although disappointed in being taken out of the game Lowe was pleased with his effort. "Compared to my other first starts, this is like a complete-game shutout," said Lowe. "Any time I start with an ERA under 10, all in all, I'll take it."
Joe Beimel took over with the bases loaded and walked in the first run of the game. A one-out single knocked him out of the box and tied the game. Rookie Ramon Troncoso won his Major League spurs, working his sinkerball magic to get a Kent-Furcal-Loney double play, ending the inning and and the mess.
"That was the key to the night," Torre said of Troncoso, who came out of nowhere to grab Rudy Seanez's middle relief role.
In the bottom of the same inning, Blake DeWitt singled leading off and pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney singled him to second, Chin-Lung Hu running for him.
The two rookies pulled a double steal, DeWitt just beating the throw to third ("aggressive baserunning") and Furcal drove them both in with a single to right, tying the game.
Jonathan Broxton worked around a walk and a stolen base to record a scoreless eighth and Takashi Saito came in to strike out the side in the ninth, the second straight game Torre had used the remarkable Japanese closer in a non-save situation.
In the bottom of the ninth, Furcal laced a one-out single to right field. Russell Martin walked to move him to second and with two out, Delwyn Young came in to hit for Saito.
Young had a root canal earlier in the day but he transferred the pain to the Giants rookie pitcher Keiichi Yabu when he grounded a shot up the middle that second baseman Ray Durham slowed down. Shortstop Rich Aurilia retrieved the ball and made a frantic throw to the plate -- too late to nail the sliding Furcal.
First base coach Mariano Duncan, coaching third after Larry Bowa had been ejected, waived Furcal in only
"The night turned out better than the day," Young said with a smile after getting his first hit and RBI of the year. "Anytime you get a game-winning hit, it's big."
Young, who struggled during spring training, hitting only .179, said "I had a hole in my bat this spring. Tonight I got just enough of it. What happened in the spring doesn't matter now."
Bowa was ejected in the Los Angeles sixth for arguing with third base umpire Ed Montague after being told to stay within the boundaries of the coaching box.
Major League Baseball announced in late February that starting this year, first- and third-base coaches must not cross the lines toward home plate or the field until batted balls pass them. Only then can they take up other spots to guide runners.
Bowa had been warned by Montague but Bowa said (surprise!), "I'm going to do it the way I've always been doing it."
He did and Montague followed the league directive and gave him the rest of the evening off. Bowa had chaffed during spring training about the rule that coaches had to wear batting helmets while in the coaching box.
"I gave him every chance in the book and he defied it. It's probably one of the dumbest ejections I've had," Montague said after the game.
Giles Signs -- Almost
Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News, says sources told him that free-agent infielder Marcus Giles, who had a really good spring for Colorado but was released because the Rockies didn't have a spot for him, agreed in principle on a minor-league contract.
The plan was that Giles would to go to Las Vegas, play a little third base to get reacquainted with the position, then get called up and share time with Blake DeWitt until Nomar or Abreu comes back.
But while driving to Las Vegas, Giles had second thoughts and called the Dodgers to tell them he wasn't coming.
According to Jackson, the Dodgers had passed on two other players they could have signed because they were convinced they had Giles, and neither of those players is still available. One of them is believed to have been Alex Cintron, a free-agent infielder who signed a minor-league deal with Baltimore.
However, DeWitt has had a big hit and has scored in each of the first two games while playing perfect defense.
Score by innings San Francisco 000 000 200-2 Los Angeles 000 000 201-3 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 5 1 2 2 .556 Martin c 4 0 0 0 .000 Ethier rf-lf 5 0 3 0 .333 Kent 2b 4 0 1 0 .429 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Saito p 0 0 0 0 .000 Young ph 1 0 1 1 .500 Jones cf 2 0 0 0 .500 Loney 1b 3 0 1 0 .500 Pierre lf 2 0 0 0 .000 Kemp ph-rf 2 0 0 0 .167 DeWitt 3 1 1 0 .400 Lowe p 2 0 0 0 .000 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 .000 Sweeney ph 1 0 1 0 1.000 Hu pr-2b 1 1 0 0 .500 Totals 35 3 10 3 Giants 34 2 10 2 Two-base hits- Kent (1), Ethier (1). RBU- Furcal 2 (3), Young (1). SB- Hu (1). DeWitt (1). LOB- Los Angeles 11, San Francisco 7. DP- Furcal and Loney; Kent, Furcal and Loney 2. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Lowe 6.0 9 2-2 0 4 3.00 Beimel 0.1 1 0-0 1 1 0.00 Troncoso 0.2 0 0-0 0 0 0.00 Broxton 1.0 0 0-0 1 1 0.00 Saito (1-0) 1.0 0 0-0 0 3 0.00 T- 3:15. Att- 44,545.Dodger Blue Notes-- Torre, beginning his 27th season as a big-league skipper, has won the first game of the season with each of the five teams he's managed. ...Dodgers 3B Andy LaRoche, who tore a ligament in his right thumb March 7, had the cast and three pins removed Tuesday. "They said it's a lot better than they expected," said LaRoche, who's expected to be sidelined until sometime next month. ...Jeff Kemp accepted Juan Pierre's first start of the season while he sait. "We've got four good outfielders, man," Kemp said. "You can't go wrong with whoever's in the lineup. You have to deal with it." Torre said, "I just don't want anybody to be sitting too long. I want to get everybody some at-bats early. My goal, obviously, is to be able to have everyone contribute."...Tony Abreu will begin rehabbing his right groin injury in extended spring today. Extended spring doesn't count as a minor-league rehab assignment, so the clock isn't ticking yet. ...Andy LaRoche had his cast off removed after only three weeks and may beat Nomar Garciaparra off the disabled list.