The San Francisco Giants made a huge stride in their effort to capture the National League West crown this evening with a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The win gave the Giants their ninth victory over Los Angeles in fifteen attempts this year, pushing their lead to in the NL West to 5.5 games (six in the loss column) with just 22 games remaining for San Francisco.
September 9, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcherBuster Posey
(28) looks towards left field after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers ©Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
Dodgers scheduled starter Clayton Kershaw (who was moved up for this series) was scratched due to hip problems, so the originally scheduled starter Joe Blanton was informed he’d be taking the mound and promptly gave up the lead within minutes of his first pitch. A two out, two RBI double from Hunter Pence gave the Giants a 2-0 head start and that was all Barry Zito would need as the former Cy Young winner looked every bit the part, shutting out the Dodgers’ offense in his 6.1 innings of work. Santiago Casilla, Jose Mijares, Guillermo Mota, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo finished off the Dodgers en route to the Giants’ 79th victory of the season.
The victory, paired with Friday nights win puts the Giants in a lofty position going into the seasons final three weeks. It would take a 16-5 finish for Los Angeles to capture the NL West crown if the Giants play .500 ball in their remaining 22 tilts – all of which are against sub .500 teams sans their final three of the year in Los Angeles.
With the win, the Giants’ magic number falls to 17.
The orange and black will now hit the road for a six game road trip to Colorado and Arizona before returning home for their final homestand of the year. The Dodgers, meanwhile, will have a short two game series with Arizona before heading home to face the Cardinals for four games before they head out to face the Nationals and Reds in a rough two city, two timezone road trip.