Friday night was a game at firsts for the Dodgers, as they snapped a three-game winnings streak with a 5-3 extra-inning win over the Giants at AT&T Park, capturing early bragging rights in their weekend series against their bitter rivals.
Hanley Ramirez hit his first home run as a Dodger, a majestic clout into the seats in left field in the 10th inning, scoring Andre Ethier for a two-run Dodgers lead, continuing his early impact on the middle of the batting order. In three games with the Dodgers, Ramirez is 4-for-11 with a triple, a home runs, three walks, three runs scored, and three RBI. But perhaps more importantly he understands the rivalry the Dodgers have with the Giants.
"It got very quiet (at AT&T Park)," Ramirez said after the game. "I'm proud to be a part of this organization."
The home run for Ramirez made Shawn Tolleson a winner for the first time in his major league career. Tolleson retired all three batters he faced on Friday, part of a resurgent July that has seen the reliever retire 23 of the 29 batters he has faced during the month.
It looked like Stephen Fife would be the one to pick up his first major league win on Friday, as he pitched into the seventh inning and allowed just one run. Fife tiptoed through the minefield with nine baserunners allowed in his 6 1/3 innings, but he used his sinker to get 11 ground ball outs for the second straight start.
Unfortunately Ronald Belisario allowed two eighth inning runs for the second time in two Fife starts, though the ultimate blow came on a shattered bat single by Brandon Belt.
Fife did pick up a pair of firsts though on Friday, as his fifth inning double was his first major league hit. He also scored the first run of the night, the Dodgers' first run of the season at AT&T Park in their 32nd inning. The Dodgers scored two in the fifth and one in the sixth to give Fife a 3-1 lead that held until the eighth.
Those runs also ensured that Matt Cain would not get the win, which reminded me of a very extensive study done earlier on Friday:
The lesson here: score a run off Cain, and he won't get the win. It's science.
Kenley Jansen allowed a pair of hits in the 10th inning, but blew away Angel Pagan and Belt, then got Joaquin Arias to fly out to left field to end the game for his 20th save.
Lilly To Rehab Sunday
Ted Lilly, who has been sidelined since May 24 with left shoulder inflammation, has progressed enough in his throwing that he will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Lilly will pitch two innings on Sunday, then need two to three weeks of rehab starts to build his arm strength up before he is ready to return to the Dodgers.
Chad Billingsley makes his second start since returning from the disabled list on Saturday afternoon in a game that will be televised on Fox. Barry Zito gets the start for the Giants.
Home Runs: Hanley Ramirez (15)
WP - Shawn Tolleson (1-0): 3 up, 3 down
LP - Sergio Romo (3-2): 2/3 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk
Sv - Kenley Jansen (20): 1 IP, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts