Sports

Giants dodge big comeback from rivals

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin shows his glove before home plate umpire Angel Campos calls John Bowker safe at home on a single by Giants pitcher Kevin Correla.
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin shows his glove before home plate umpire Angel Campos calls John Bowker safe at home on a single by Giants pitcher Kevin Correla. AP

LOS ANGELES -- Some nights, it takes all 25 guys in the dugout to win.

Or 26, in this case.

A fan jumped a fence and landed in the San Francisco Giants' dugout during a pitching change in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium, sending players scurrying for cover and the security detail into action.

The man was apprehended and handcuffed within seconds. The Giants bullpen was similarly effective, as Tyler Walker, Jack Taschner and Brian Wilson retired nine hitters in order to wrap up a 7-6 victory Monday night over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants committed three errors behind Kevin Correia and nearly blew a 7-0 advantage, but Sergio Romo stranded two runners to escape the sixth inning with a one-run lead intact.

Still, six outs separated the game from Wilson, and the Giants' setup team had been a demolition crew in recent days.

This time, there would be no wreckage. Walker, demoted from the eighth inning, gave up a 395-foot flyout to Jeff Kent but retired all three batters he faced. So did Taschner, who struck out two in the eighth.

Wilson also struck out two for his National League-leading 28th save. He has converted 19 chances in a row, dating to a May 2 game at Philadelphia. It's the longest streak by a Giant since Robb Nen saved 28 in a row in 2000.

Correia won for the first time in 11 starts, though he couldn't pitch out of trouble. His night began with his best four-inning stint of the season, as he retired the first 10 batters and 12 of 13. Matt Kemp's infield single was the only blemish.

But it wouldn't be a Kevin Correia outing without a black cloud of frustration hanging over his head, and a drizzle turned into a flash flood in the fifth.

With the Giants ahead 7-0, the inning began with Andre Ethier's chopper that second baseman Jose Castillo bobbled and then threw away for an error. Then came three consecutive singles, the last by Angel Berroa after he began his at-bat with one of the ugliest swings a major leaguer can take.

Mark Sweeney, who has a .118 average as a pinch hitter this season, followed with a two-run double that rattled around in the left-field corner. It was Sweeney's 170th pinch hit, which ranks behind only Lenny Harris (212) in major-league history.

It got worse.

Juan Pierre put down a bunt, and even though it was directly in front of the plate, first baseman John Bowker inexplicably charged it. Catcher Bengie Molina fielded it, and knowing he had to be quick with Pierre running, threw to first base. He had no reason to believe nobody would be there to receive his throw.

Ironically, the Giants took infield practice before the game.

It's a ritual that teams phased out in the 1980s but manager Bruce Bochy has vowed to conduct it at least once a series.

They might receive a double ration here.

Molina was charged with an error and Sweeney scored to make it 7-5. The Dodgers got within one in the sixth, after Casey Blake's double drove Correia from the game and Andruw Jones hit a run-scoring single against Romo.

Like Sweeney, Jones hadn't been riding a hot streak.

Statistically, he entered the at-bat ranked as the worst hitter in the National League with two outs and runners in scoring position: 1 for 23 with 17 strikeouts.

In the early going, the Giants' offense appeared to be in for a long night against Hiroki Kuroda, whom they were facing for the first time. But their swinging singles brigade accounted for nine hits -- none for extra bases -- over the third and fourth innings to take a 7-0 lead.

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