Ryan Vogelsong had a chance to join Los Angeles this winter, but he didn't want to be a Dodger. Can you blame him? A four-run sixth inning by the Giants put the Dodgers away tonight, 5-0 losers in the opening game of a three-game set at AT&T Park in San Francisco. It was the third straight loss for the Dodgers.
Billingsley gave up a towering home run to Pablo Sandoval in the bottom of the fourth inning, a ball up around Sandoval's eyes that he crushed to right center field to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. The score was the same entering the bottom of the sixth inning, when Billingsley's night went south in a hurry. Three successive singles added a run to the Giants' ledger, then after a strikeout of Aubrey Huff, a double by Cody Ross and a single by Brandon Crawford added three more.
Vogelsong pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings for the win, and now that he has enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, he leads the National League with a 2.02 mark.
Reason To Still Watch
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Matt Kemp made, according to Vin Scully, "a catch Willie Mays would be proud of." Andres Torres hit the ball to just about the deepest part of the ballpark in center field, and Kemp somehow ran it down, catching the ball over is shoulder just before running into the padded wall. After seeing the replay and the crowd's stunned reaction to the play, Scully said of Kemp, "He has just become a giant, while still a Dodger."
- Buster Posey was injured on May 25. Since then, his replacements at catcher for San Francisco have hit a collective .218/.309/.327 in 180 plate appearances. During that same span, Dodgers catchers have hit .197/.263/.280 in 176 PA.
- Juan Uribe had two singles, his first multi-hit game in three weeks.
- Rafael Furcal had a walk tonight, but went hitless in his three at-bats. Furcal is 0 for his last 18, and has three hits in his last 39 at-bats.
- Relief pitcher Merkin Valdez opted out of his minor league contract today, and will be a free agent, per Chris Jackson of the Albuquerque Examiner. The 29-year old Valdez was 4-2 with a 3.58 ERA and four saves with Albuquerque this season, with 24 walks and 43 strikeouts in the hitter-happy Pacific Coast League.
- The Dodgers won four of their first five games against the Giants this season, but have lost their last five encounters.
- Rubby De La Rosa and Madison Bumgarner will do battle Tuesday night in the battle of Armenia.
WP - Ryan Vogelsong (7-1): 6 2/3 IP, 7 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP - Chad Billingsley (8-8): 5 1/3 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 4 strikeouts