Rewind: Dodgers vs. Giants, Game 1

The Dodgers may not be a home run hitting team, but they were able to get the job done against the Giants with a 4-3 victory. The Dodgers made some crucial plays down the stretch to get the win tonight at the AT&T ballpark in San Francisco making them tied up with San Diego for the NL West, and giving them no less than a tie for the playoffs.

The night started with Omar Vizquel receiving the William Mac award for his inspiration, character and leadership on the field. Celebrity and SF Giants fan Rob Schneider was on the field along with Willie McCovey to congratulate Vizquel on this award.

Vizquel tried to make it an even more memorable day by making great defensive plays as he usually does, and adding two hits to his productive offensive season in order to finish the year batting .300.

Ray Durham got the ball rolling for the Giants by hitting a double down the line to begin the bottom of the second. Moises Alou lined out, but Durham advanced a base. Pedro Feliz struck out swinging with one out, but Eliezer Alfonzo picked him up by smashing a solid base hit to left to bring Durham home, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.

The sixth inning saw a similar situation. Durham led off with a double and moved to third on Alou's flyout, but Feliz struck out again, this time looking. Alfonzo was unable to pick up his teammate this time, and the Giants let another opportunity go by. Feliz struck out all four times he went to bat today.

Noah Lowry was cruising through the game, but it wasn't without help. Vizquel had two great defensive plays, one in the first and one in the third. In the first inning, Kenny Lofton tried to poke a single through the hole at third, but Vizquel ranged far to his right to snatch the grounder and threw out Lofton.

In the third inning, Vizquel made a great over the shoulder catch in the left field after taking off his cap and gently throwing it out of his way. He did this so the bill of the cap wouldn't block the ball. This play just topped the play in the first as the defensive play of the night.

The Giants lengthened their lead by scoring two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, which would be the last inning they scored in. Alfonzo got things started with a single and was moved to second on Lowry's sacrifice bunt. Winn doubled to knock Alfonzo in and scored on Shea Hillenbrand's bloop single.

Lowry had retired nine batters in a row and turned in a good outing compared to his other starts in September, which accumulated a 14 plus ERA before this start. The Dodgers' first base hit was in the fourth inning by Lofton.

Lowry's only mistake was in the seventh inning. Jeff Kent got on with a single and then JD Drew's twentieth homerun sailed over the right field wall and changed the momentum of the ballgame completely. However, Lowry was able to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs.

Kevin Correia came into the game to preserve the lead in the eighth, and he did that beautifully. He retired all three batters he faced, striking two of them out.

Mike Stanton took over in the ninth as the Giants' new closer, but was unable to preserve the lead. Stanton allowed a single to Kent, struck out Drew and a walk to Russell Martin. Olmedo Saenz came into the game to pinch hit and blooped a single to right field, allowing Jason Repko, pinch runner for Kent, to score the tying run.

Stanton got Julio Lugo to only ground into a force out because the GIDP was broken. This prolonged the inning for Stanton and the Giants which allowed Los Angeles to take the lead.

With former Giant Ramon Martinez at the plate, Stanton threw a split-finger pitch in the dirt that skipped past Alfonzo, allowing more than enough time for Martin to score the go-ahead run for Los Angeles. Martinez eventually grounded out, but the damage had already been done.

After that key shift in the seventh, it was difficult for the Giants to make something happen, but they did make it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With closer Takashi Saito on the mound, the Giants were trying to give their best efforts to get the tie or lead.

Alfonzo led off the inning by striking out, but Steve Finley's grounder found a big enough gap up the middle to give him an infield single. Winn followed with a bloop single to advance Finley to third. Vizquel came up to bat, and this was the only time tonight where he did something wrong. Vizquel popped up in foul territory, and Martinez leaned into the crowd to barely snag it.

With two outs, Mark Sweeney pinch hit and was called out on some borderline strikes that were too close to take, ending the game and ensuring the Dodgers' win.



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