In a game reminiscent of the second half of 2012, the Dodgers were unable to cash in their breaks on Wednesday night while the Giants capitalized for a 5-3 victory at Dodger Stadium to capture the opening series of 2013.
Tim Lincecum walked a career-high-tying seven batters in his five innings on Wednesday but much like his other seven-walk game, also against the Dodgers last Sept. 7 in San Francisco, the Dodgers were only able to score twice against the one-time ace.
The Dodgers were just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday and were 2-for-27 in those situations in the three-game series. Both runs against Lincecum were unearned, meaning San Francisco starting pitchers in the three-game series pitched 19 innings with no earned runs allowed.
The last time the Dodgers went three consecutive games without scoring an earned run against a starting pitcher was June 25-27 in San Francisco. Sound familiar? The Dodgers didn't score any unearned runs either in that series, either against Giants starters or relievers.
Josh Beckett pitched six innings in his first start of the year and allowed three earned runs, the very minimum definition of a quality start. But, like in each of his final two spring starts, Beckett allowed two home runs on Wednesday. A two-run shot by Pablo Sandoval in the third inning capped a 35-pitch, four-run frame for Beckett, an inning extended by an error by second baseman Skip Schumaker.
Down 5-2, the Dodgers' best chance to get back in the game came in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out. But Matt Kemp grounded into an easy double play to Sandoval at third base. A run scored on the play but the rally was effectively neutered.
Through three games, the Dodgers' only run-scoring hit remains the solo home run by pitcher Clayton Kershaw on Monday.
- Carl Crawford went 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored
- J.P Howell made his Dodgers debut with two perfect innings in relief, with one strikeout
Andre Ethier doubled against Javier Lopez in the seventh inning, his second extra-base hit against a left-handed pitcher in two days.
Home runs: Pablo Sandoval (1), Hunter Pence (1)
WP - Tim Lincecum (1-0): 5 IP, 3 hits, 2 unearned runs, 7 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Josh Beckett (0-1): 6 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Sergio Romo (2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout