Giants come to life, pound Dodgers
Ted Lilly got more money out of the Los Angeles Dodgers than any of the free agents who signed with them in the offseason. He didn't live up to his perceived value in his first start.
Lilly got roughed up for three runs in the fifth inning, and the Dodgers were routed 10-0 by the San Francisco Giants on Saturday after winning their first two games against the defending World Series champions.
Lilly gave up four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings, struck out three and walked one. The left-hander ate up innings after joining the Dodgers at the trade deadline last season, despite getting the worst run support in the majors.
He was rewarded with a $33 million, three-year contract in October by a team whose finances have been shaky under Frank McCourt, who is battling ex-wife Jamie for ownership of the club.
''I put pressure on myself every day, every time I go out there, to get it done. I'm fortunate to have a great job like this, and I guess the pressure I feel is just the pressure of us trying to win the National League pennant,'' Lilly said.
''My teammates aren't so concerned with who's making what and what not. All we're trying to do is come together as a club and win games, not how many years certain guys have (in their contracts). Once you take the field, I don't think any of that matters - whether it's the rookie that contributes or the veteran - as long as we win the game.''
Lilly called the fifth inning a ''disaster,'' when the Giants stretched their lead to 4-0.
''I was kind of erratic in the zone. I was throwing strikes, but they weren't quality strikes,'' he said. ''I got behind in the count too many times and didn't throw quality pitches when I had to.''
With two outs, Miguel Tejada's RBI single to left field scored Aaron Rowand, who singled and advanced on Lilly's balk. Freddy Sanchez followed with a double down the left field line that scored Tejada.
Aubrey Huff singled home Sanchez to chase Lilly. Buster Posey then singled off Mike MacDougal before Pat Burrell struck out swinging to end the inning.
As much as Lilly struggled, Matt Cain breezed through his season debut.
The right-hander scattered five hits over six innings, helped by Huff and Sanchez driving in three runs each in the Giants' first win.
Cain is 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in his last four starts against Los Angeles, with his first win coming last season.
The right-hander struck out three and walked none, picking up where he left off last season as one of the Giants' most consistent starters and showing no signs of the elbow inflammation that cost him nearly two weeks in the spring.
''Matt Cain was outstanding,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''He had good command of all his pitches. I was confident he would be himself. You could tell he wasn't hesitant on any pitch.''
The Giants had committed five errors in dropping a pair of one-run games to the rival Dodgers. But they backed Cain with ample offense and clean defense to avoid equaling their worst start since moving to San Francisco in 1958.
It was the Giants' largest margin of victory over their rivals since Oct. 3, 2004, when they beat them by the same score.
''It's really special for me,'' said the 36-year-old Tejada, who hit in the leadoff spot with his newest team for the first time since 1999. ''We just need somebody to start and then everybody follow. We're all happy today.''
The Giants batted around in the sixth when they added four runs off Kenley Jansen. Mark DeRosa's double scored rookie Brandon Belt, who walked and stole second. Sanchez's bloop single over first base scored DeRosa before Huff's two-run single to center field made it 8-0.
Sanchez homered on the second pitch from Lance Cormier in the eighth.
Huff made a charging catch on Tony Gwynn Jr. in the seventh to prevent the Dodgers from scoring.
NOTES: Giants LHP Barry Zito is expected to make his scheduled start on Sunday, four days after being in a car accident in West Hollywood. He said it was important not to miss his turn because of the affect it would have on the rest of the rotation. ... Dodgers INF Juan Uribe missed his second straight game with a bruised left elbow. ... Dodgers C Hector Gimenez singled in the seventh for his first major league hit. ... Last season, 115 of the Giants' 162 games were decided by three runs or less, most in the majors ... Dodgers 1B coach Davey Lopes wasn't at the game because of a death in his family. Hitting instructor Dave Hansen replaced him.