Stults Does it Again; Dodgers Sweep 'Jints

Blue collar left-hander Eric Stults (2-0) allowed five hits and walked three but allowed only two runs in his five-inning start and Rafael Furcal led the game off with a home run as the Dodgers swept the Giants 7-2. The three-game sweep is the first by the Dodgers over the Giants overall since June 13-15, 2007 and the first at Dodger Stadium since Aug. 11-13, 2006.

        Furcal hit the third pitch of the game into the lower boxes just inside the left field foul pole to lead off the game. It was the 12th leadoff home run as a Dodger and the 24th time in his career. The 12 leadoff home runs in Dodger Blue rank second in Dodger franchise history, trailing only Davey Lopes, who blasted 28 homers to start the contest. 

  The five-game winning streak by the Dodgers is their earliest five-game win streak in the season since 2005, when the club won eight straight from April 12-20. The last time the Dodgers started the season with a 7-3 record was in 2007. 

   Stults picked up his second victory in as many starts filling in for the injured Hiroki Kuroda. Stults allowed two runs over 5.0 innings and his ERA on the season is 2.61. James McDonald, Ronald Belisario and Will Ohman shut the Giants down on four hits and no runs over the final four innings.

  Third baseman Casey Blake and pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz had a pair of RBI each and Matt Kemp increased his season-opening hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI triple.

  The Dodgers are now 7-3 and have done it mostly without outfielder Manny Ramirez, who was 0-for-4, struck out twice, hit into a double play and left four men on base.

  "I've always felt it was dangerous to rely on any one person, because what happens if you don't have that person? Does it automatically mean we can't win? That's not the case. You've got to find a way," said manager Joe Torre, whose lineup has produced 46 runs in the last six games, a 7.67 runs per game clip.

  Ramirez began this season needing 10 homers to overtake Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the career list but he hasn't homered in his first 31 at-bats over the first 10 games. He went homer-less over 55 at-bats in 16 games in 2006.

  "Manny's still getting to know pitchers. He's only been in the National League a short time and he really hasn't seen a lot of them," Torre said. While he is hitting only .258, his on-base percentage is a spectacular .477 because of 13 walks. "He's probably helping Orlando Hudson get the pitches he gets, and he knows what to do with them. So it's important for these guys to know that they can do it on their own, because they have that kind of ability."

  The Giants have lost their first six road games for the first time since moving west with the Dodgers after the 1957 season. The last time they dropped their first six on the road was in 1947—the year Jackie Robinson made his big league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  Three-time All-Star Barry Zito (0-2) came into the game with a 3-1 record against the Dodgers but allowed six runs over five-plus innings on four hits and four walks. He also hit two batters and struck out four.

  Zito, in the third year of a huge seven-year, $126 million contract, is 21-32 with a 4.95 ERA in 67 starts for the Giants. Last season, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner gave up 102 walks and lost 17 games -- his worst totals over a full season in the majors.

  Zito left in the sixth trailing 3-2 after hitting Russ Martin with a pitch and walking James Loney and Andre Ethier. Blake's sacrifice fly and Mientkiewicz's two-run double into the right field corner drove all three of them in.

  But Mientkiewicz dislocated his right shoulder sliding headfirst into second. He stayed in the game but took himself out one batter later, walking to the dugout hunched over with his right arm dangling.

  The Dodgers broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the second inning. Ethier was hit by a pitch and Kemp's rocket to left field eluded Fred Lewis for a triple. Blake followed with an RBI single.

However, as Ken Gurnick of wrote, "Ten games into the season and Eric Stults is tied for the Dodgers team lead in victories, Manny Ramirez is tied for last on the team in home runs with none, the Dodgers have a five-game win streak and they are tied for first place."

Pitching matchups for the first game of the Colorado series will be LHP Randy Wolf (1-1, 3.65 ERA) against LHP Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 9.64 ERA) for the Rockies. Wolf pitched into the eighth inning in Sunday's win against the Diamondbacks. Wolf is the only experienced starter in a very young rotation.

?De La Rosa mixed an effective fastball and changeup during the first two-plus innings of his initial start, a home loss to the Phillies on Saturday. But he fell behind in the count with two outs, and wound up giving up five runs and six hits in 4.2 innings during which he threw 99 pitches.

 Score by innings
San Francisco	010 010 000-2
Los Angeles	120 003 10x-7

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  1  1  1  .244
Hudson 2b	3  0  1  0  .366
Ramirez lf	4  0  0  0  .258
Loney 1b	4  1  1  0  .324
Martin c	2  1  0  0  .200
Ethier rf	2  2  0  0  .265
Kemp cf	        3  2  1  1  .371
Blake 3b	3  0  1  2  .200
Stults p	2  0  0  0  .000
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
 M'tkiewicz ph	1  0  1  0  .400
 Pierre pr	0  0  0  0  .333
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	1  0  1  0  .500
 Ohman p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Totals	        30 7 7 6
 Giants	        34 2 9 2

 Two-base hits- Mientkiewicz (1). 3b- Kemp (1).
HR- Furcal (1). RBI- Furcal (4), Kemp (7),
Blake 2 (8), Mientkiewicz 2 (2). SF- Blake.
SB- Kemp 2 (3). LOB- Los Angeles 8, San Francisco
10. DP- Furcal, Hudson and Loney; Hudson, Furcal
and Loney.

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Stults (2-0)	5.0  5  2-2  3  2  2.61	
McDonald	1.0  1  0-0  0  0 13.50
Belisario	2.0  2  0-0  0  1  1.17
Ohman	        1.0  1  0-0  1  0  2.25
 WP- Stults. HBP- Ethier, Martin, by Stults.
T- 3:06. Att- 36.553
Mientkiewicz Separates Shoulder
On an unnecessary head-first slide into second base on a double, utilityman Doug Mientkiewicz suffered a dislocated right shoulder on a two-run pinch-hit double and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

"I've dived a thousand times in my career and never had it pop," Mientkiewicz said. "My slide was way to early. As soon as my hand hit the ground, I felt a crunch. As soon as we popped it back in, it felt fine. But it popped out again when I put my hand on my helmet. I'm hoping it's not as bad as they said it is."

The Dodgers can choose between infielder Blake DeWitt, who had just been sent to Triple-A Albuquerque, and rookie Xavier Paul, who is red-hot, batting .571 at Albuquerque. A decision will be made today.

Both are left-handed batters. Delwyn Young would have been the obvious replacement, but he was traded the first of the week to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two players to be named.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Infielder Travis Denker was claimed off waivers from San Diego by the Boston Red Sox. A former Dodgers' minor league infield, he was traded to San Francisco for pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney in 2008. Denker was later sold to the Padres. ...The Dodgers' five-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. ...The three-game sweep over the Giants was their first in two years and first at Dodger Stadium in three years. ...Furcal's home run Thursday was his 12th leading off a game for the Dodgers and 24th in his career. ...Matt Kemp extended his hitting streak to 10 games Thursday. ...Torre is one win from tying Bucky Harris for sixth place on the career list at 2,159. ...Kuroda had a second MRI today which showed improvement. The hope is that he can play catch by Saturday. Torre confirmed that Kuroda won't come off the DL when he becomes eligible on Wednesday Also again, Joe said both Furcal and Martin probably will sit out Saturday's game with the Rockies because Russ hasn't had much success against Aaron Cook and day games after night games are still when Raffy prefers to take his occasional days off if he has to take them at all. ...Giants ace Tim Lincecum, who began spring training late because of bronchitis, flew back to San Francisco on Thursday morning to see a doctor because he was feeling queasy. He is expected to make his scheduled start against Arizona on Saturday.

This Day in Dodgers History
April 16, 1958 - The Dodgers score their first ever game in San Francisco, topping the Giants 13-1 behind left-hander Johnny Podres as Duke Snider hits two home runs and Dick Gray one. April 16, 1961 - Umpire Jocko Conlan and Dodger coach Leo Durocher engage in a shin-kicking duel at the Los Angeles Coliseum following a dispute foul popup hit by Norm Larker. Durocher gets and early shower and Stan Williams beats the Pirates 13-6 in a 13-hit complete game. April 16, 1973 - Dodgers beat Houston 2-1 on Lee Lacy's hit but they lost hot-hitting Von Joshua who broke a bone in his wrist when hit by a Ken Forsch fastball. April 16, 1980 - With catchers Steve Yeager and Joe Ferguson injured, Derrel Thomas goes behind the plate as Los Angeles beats San Diego 10-4. Thomas thus had played every position but pitcher.

April 16, 1983 - First baseman Steve Garvey, playing in Dodger Stadium for the first time since joining the San Diego Padres, appears in his 1,118th Major League game, breaking Cub Billy Williams's National League record. The 50,800 fans in Dodger Stadium gave Garvey a standing ovation. Despite Garv's two hits, the Dodgers win their sixth straight 8-5.

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