The San Francisco Giants defeated the LA Dodgers 5 -4 on April 26, 2007 to complete a three game sweep in their long time rivalry in front of the biggest Thursday night crowd in 40 yrs (56,000 total). Dodger starter Brad Penny looked strong as the Dodgers took a 3-0 lead over Russ Ortiz (the Giant’s Starter who got the nod over Barry Zito who was scheduled to pitch when the series began). The Giants had an off day the Monday before the series started and went with their original rotation even though Zito on four days rest. Ortiz hung in there as the Giants battled back to tie the game. Barry Bonds, pictured below had one hit but helped figure in the scoring when he was intentionally walked and ended up scoring on Ray Durham’s hit. Bonds is off to a hot start batting in the mid .300’s while slugging 8 HR’s this year and pulling within 13 of Hank Aaron’s record 755 total.
The battle between the two teams went to the eighth inning and the Giants started a rally getting the first two guys on base for Bonds vs. left hander Joe Beimel. The Giants were looking to blow the game open when Bonds hit a shot down third but Wilson Betemit made a great play while holding the runner at third he started a double play. With two outs now and a runner at third Durham (also pictured below) came up big again hitting a line drive to deep center just out of reach of Juan Pierre to bring home Omar Vizquel, who led off the inning with a walk. Bengie Molina followed with a single to right to score Durham to give the Giants a 5-3 lead. Andre Ethier homered off Giants reliever Brad Hennessey to make it a one run game, but closer Armando Benitez shut down the Dodgers in the ninth to close out the game for his 7th save in 7 chances this season. Kevin Correia got the win by pitching 1 & 1/3third innings of scoreless relief.
The Dodgers have a bright outlook this year starting the season strong with a rotation that includes Penny, Derrick Lowe, free agents Randy Wolf & Jason Schmidt (currently on the DL) and a bullpen consisting of Beimel, set-up man Johnathan Broxton and closer Takashi Saito. New acquisition Pierre adds speed to the line up as he bats behind solid Rafael Fracall.the Dodgers are counting on middle of the line-up to be a key for the season consisting of Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, free agent Louis Gonzalez and steady catcher Russell Martin. Manager Grady Little whose contract was extended has high hopes for the team this season. Next up for the Dodgers is a 3 game trip in San Diego before returning home vs. Arizona.
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