A Garland of Home Runs Destroys Giants

The Dodgers went the Teddy Roosevelt route, speaking softly and carrying a big stick -- rapping out six extra base hits, four of them home runs, including a first-inning grand slam by Ron Belliard that set the tone of the game. Jon Garland gave up seven hits in eight innings and remained unbeaten in his four starts in Dodger Blue.

The Dodgers, who lost the series opener, remained five games ahead of Colorado in the NL West. The Giants fell 3 1/2 behind the wild card-leading Rockies, who beat Arizona, and 8 1/2 behind the Dodgers. The victory reduced LA's magic number to six for clinching their third postseason berth in four years.

The win came off former teammate Brad Penny, who handled them easily about a week earlier in San Francisco. He left in the third inning having allowed five hits and seven runs, three of them home runs.

Belliard broke a 1-1 tie in the first inning with his grand slam and Matt Kemp and James Loney went deep back to back in the third inning to build a 7-1 lead and give Penny the rest of the hot Sunday afternoon off. When he left the game, the Dodger Stadium sound system played the chorus to the hit country song by Penny's buddy, Toby Keith, "I ain't as good as I once was..."

Garland, on the other hand brought his "A" game to the park, evening his overall record to 11-11 and 3-0 with the Dodgers while reducing his earned run average to 2.33 in four quality starts. The eight-inning performance is the longest of the season for him.

"It's nice to pitch a game and not have to worry," he said. "I'm starting to be part of this team a little more each day. They put in so much work since the beginning of spring training. Then to get new players in September, I've been on the other side of that and it's just a little weird."

"He knew what to do when we gave him a lead. That was vintage stuff when you see a veteran pitcher with a lead and making them hit the ball," manager Joe Torre added. "It was nice to bounce back with a win."

Penny beat the Dodgers in his first start against them since being signed by the Giants on Aug. 31 and he been particularly tough on hitters with runners in scoring position and two outs this season, holding them to a .176 average.

Los Angeles put a dent in that record, scoring five times in the first with two out after the Giants had taken a 1-0 margin in the top of the inning. He spent five years with the Dodgers before being traded to Boston last year.

San Francisco scored in the first when Eugenio Velez's drive glanced off Manny Ramirez's glove in left field to lead off the inning. It was a catchable ball but you don't see many errors on a play like that when he is running toward the wall and attempting an over-the-head catch. A sacrifice and a sacrifice fly drove in the run.

In the bottom of the inning, Rafael Furcal singled and with one out he stole second. Ramirez walked but was forced by Kemp. James Loney singled to score Furcal and Casey Blake walked in a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.

Belliard caught a 1-2 changeup and drove it into the Dodgers' bullpen for his fourth career grand slam for a 5-1 lead. Belliard has eight extra-base hits, including four homers, 12 runs batted in and is hitting .308 since joining the Dodgers on Aug. 30 from Washington.

"Well, I've been lucky four times," said Belliard, who claims he's not a home run hitter. "I was looking for a pitch to hit and he threw me a fastball inside (Penny said it was a change) and I reacted to it."

Either way, his jackpot shot tagged Penny with his first loss in four outings with the Giants. Belliard started for Orlando Hudson and he also started five games at third base while Casey Blake nursed a hamstring. Hudson is hitting .250 in September and Torre suspects that Hudson played so much early in the season that he's tired now.

Kemp and Loney smacked home runs in the third inning, an error and Russ Martin's single scored two more in the fifth, Andre Ethier doubled in the 10th run in the sixth and Blake DeWitt's pinch-hit homer in the eighth put a ribbon on the game. It was the second pinch-hit home run for DeWitt, he hit his first July 7 against the Mets.

Loney went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs as the Dodgers improved to 10-7 against their long-time rivals, with their largest margin of victory this season against them. His 13th home run was his first in Dodger Stadium this season.

Kemp's shot was his 25th homer and 95th RBI—both career highs.

The Giant's Randy Johnson was activated from the 60-day DL and pitched to three Dodgers in the sixth. Furcal and Ethier doubled and Juan Pierre hit a stinging line drive directly to the San Francisco right fielder before he left the game.

Eight Dodgers drove in runs and nine of them had hits.

In the rubber game of the series and the final time the two clubs will meet, at least in the regular season, Randy Wolf will face the Giants ace Tim Lincecum.

Wolf has a 5-0 with a 2.68 ERA over his past eight starts and is coming off a no-decision against Pittsburgh in which he allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings.

Lincecum (14-5, 2.30 ERA) is coming off an 11-strikeout game against the Rockies. He hasn't been quite as tough on the road (5-4, 2.88 ERA) as he has at home (9-1, 1.79) but he has made 24 quality starts in 29 starts and leads the National League with a 2.30 ERA.

 Score by Innings
San Francisco	100 000 000- 1
Los Angeles	502 021 20x-12

 Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  2  2  0  .257
 Castro ph-ss	1  0  1  0  .291
Ethier rf	4  0  1  1  .283
Ramirez lf	1  1  0  0  .303
 Pierre lf	2  0  1  1  .314
Kemp cf	        4  2  1  1  .307
 Repko cf	1  0  0  0  .000
Loney 1b	4  3  3  2  .282
 M'wicz ph 1b   1  0  0  0  .273
Blake 3b	2  1  0  1  .280
 DeWitt ph-1b	2  1  1  1  .162
Belliard 2b	4  1  1  4  .259
Martin c	3  1  1  1  .257
 Ellis c	0  0  0  0  .000
Garland p	4  0  0  0  .088
 Weaver p	0  0  0  0  .231
 Totals	        37 12 12 12
 San Francisco	35  1 10  1
 Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Garland (11-11)	8.0  7  1-0  0  3  4.02
Weaver 	        1.0  3  0-0  0  1  3.79
 T- 3:08. Att- 52,438.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers' magic number to clinch a postseason berth is six, meaning any combination of Dodgers wins and Giants losses totaling six will give Los Angeles its third playoff berth in four seasons. ...With their 10th win of the season against San Francisco, the Dodgers clinched the season series and haven't lost a season set with the Giants since 2005. ...Ronnie Belliard grand slam was his fourth of his career and the second of the season (the other came Aug. 22 with the Nationals), and it was the Dodgers' sixth of 2009. ...Los Angeles' 12 runs and 11-run margin of victory were its largest since defeating Milwaukee 17-4 on August 4. ...Matt Kemp extended his hitting streak to 11 games, batting .304 (14-for-46) with three doubles, two homers, and seven RBI in that span. ...Andre Ethier's 41 doubles are the most for a Dodger since Shawn Green's 49 in 2003. ...Ethier also moved into a tie for 14th place on the Dodgers' single-season doubles list with Billy Herman (1943), Jimmy Johnson (1921), and Zack Wheat (1924). ...The Dodgers have slugged at least one home run in a season-high nine consecutive games…Los Angeles has 16 homers and a 6-3 record during that span.  

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