Dodgers take three of four from Giants
A day after getting thumped in a 10-0 loss, the Los Angeles Dodgers demonstrated their resilience, putting runs on the board early and then rallying late.
Marcus Thames tripled in the go-ahead run during a four-run seventh inning and the Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-5 Sunday night, taking three of four from the defending World Series champions for the first time since 2001.
''That's the plan, try to win every series,'' Matt Kemp said. ''I know we can't win every game, but we can try to win every series.''
The Dodgers scored all four runs off reliever Dan Runzler (0-1).
Pinch-hitter Aaron Miles followed Thames' clutch hit with a single to right, scoring pinch-runner Tony Gwynn Jr. Rafael Furcal doubled deep to right center, scoring Miles and making it 6-3. They added another run on Andre Ethier's single.
''I like the way we bounced back,'' first-time Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Hiroki Kuroda (1-0) allowed three runs and six hits - including homers to Pablo Sandoval and Pat Burrell - in seven innings. He struck out five, walked none and retired 14 consecutive batters during one stretch.
''Everybody wanted to get this guy a win. He pitched well, he deserved it,'' Mattingly said.
Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth to earn his third save in as many games and 80th of his career, although he gave up a leadoff homer to pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand.
Kemp hit a two-run homer in the first, when the Dodgers scored three runs off Barry Zito, making his first start four days after hurting his neck and having his car seriously damaged in an accident in West Hollywood on the eve of opening day.
''Considering the severity of the deal, I felt pretty good,'' he said. ''I had pretty good stuff, so I'm definitely encouraged.''
Zito, who has missed just two starts in his career, gave up three runs and three hits in six innings, struck out five and walked two.
The left-hander got off to a rough beginning, with Furcal singling on Zito's first pitch of the game when the mound was in half-sun and half-shade.
''I missed a couple of pitches into Furcal and Kemp, and that's where I got hurt,'' he said. ''But I had a lot of pitches from then on and was able to contain the game and give the team a chance.''
Lacking an overpowering pitch, the 32-year-old former Cy Young winner needed the Giants defense to play well behind him, but Aubrey Huff didn't.
The right fielder tried to make a diving catch of Jamey Carroll's hit only to watch the ball skip under his mitt and roll behind him for a triple, allowing Furcal to score from first.
''It's a good sign to be able to put it behind us (Saturday's loss) and answer back right away with runs,'' Carroll said. ''It's a good sign how this team can put something behind it. Our goal was to come out and be aggressive early.''
After striking out Ethier, Zito gave up the first-pitch homer to Kemp, putting the Dodgers ahead 3-0. He then settled down and retired the next 15 batters.
''We got on him early and after that he started putting pitches where he wanted them,'' Kemp said.
Huff's defensive misadventures extended to the seventh when he furiously backpedaled, twisting and turning in each direction while trying to track Thames' deep shot that hit his glove and bounced to the wall. Miles' single landed well away from Huff in right center, sending him scrambling.
''The first one I was going for it and thought I had a bead on it, but the shadows were kind of tough and I kind of lost it at the last second,'' said Huff, who has moved to right after playing first base. ''The other one went over my head and was slicing, and I didn't know what the hell was happening after that.''
Burrell tied the game 3-all in the seventh with a towering homer into the lower left field seats. Buster Posey had an RBI single in the sixth for the Giants.
NOTES: Giants closer Brian Wilson threw to hitters before the game and could be activated from the DL on Wednesday. The team also could decide he needs to face more hitters. ''He was letting it go and wasn't hesitating on any pitch,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''We don't want to hold him back too long.'' Wilson has been on the DL with a strained muscle in his left side. ... Dodgers 3B Juan Uribe returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a bruised left elbow. ... After a travel day Monday, the Giants continue their season-opening six-game trip at San Diego before opening at home Friday.