SAN FRANCISCO -- Sustaining lively offense for a second straight game Monday night, the San Francisco Giants relied on a four-run fourth inning to cruise past the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4.Four consecutive Giants hit safely to begin the fourth-inning uprising, which crested with Eduardo Nunez's two-run single off Dodgers starter
SAN FRANCISCO -- Sustaining lively offense for a second straight game Monday night, the San Francisco Giants relied on a four-run fourth inning to cruise past the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4.
Four consecutive Giants hit safely to begin the fourth-inning uprising, which crested with Eduardo Nunez's two-run single off Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy (3-1). Nunez added a run-scoring double in the seventh, hiking his season-high RBI total to three. McCarthy yielded six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, inflating his ERA from 3.10 to 4.15.
This marked the first time the Giants, who lengthened their winning streak to four games, scored at least six runs for the second game in a row since the second and third games of the season at Arizona.
"We're not going to get giddy here. We've dug ourselves a hole," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Every day we have to try to play our best game and these guys are doing that right now. You had to believe that the worm was going to turn and at this point it has. But we have our hands full the next couple of days."
The beneficiary was Player Page for Matt Cain (3-1), who limited Los Angeles to one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"He did a lot of what he did against us the first time," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Cain, who shut out the Dodgers over six innings in an April 24 win. "He pitched backward. We hit some balls hard, but didn't have anything to show for it. He went out there and competed. We're a pretty good fastball hitting team and his velocity isn't what it used to be. He really didn't do anything special, but he was able to land the secondary [pitches] and when pitchers do that it keeps our hitters off balance."
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Los Angeles made the score a little less lopsided in the ninth by scoring three runs and forcing the Giants to use three relievers. The last of them, Derek Law, retired the only two batters he faced to end the game.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
McCarthy's mistake: The Giants scored an extra run on Nunez's fourth-inning single fielded by shortstop Corey Seager, courtesy of McCarthy's brief confusion. After Nunez's hit scored Buster Posey easily from third base, Brandon Crawford, who had been on second base, rounded third. McCarthy cut off the throw home and paid no attention to Crawford and was instead focusing on Nunez, who took a big turn around first base. Crawford capitalized by charging home while McCarthy made a late throw to second base in a fruitless attempt to retire Nunez.
"They didn't know [Crawford] was going home and Noonie got their attention at second base," Bochy said.
Mac's back: Freshly recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, Mac Williamson replaced sidelined right fielder Hunter Pence and contributed handsomely to San Francisco's offense. Williamson demonstrated why he began the season as a leading candidate for the left-field vacancy by singling and scoring the Giants' first run in the second inning, then singling home Christian Arroyo in the sixth inning.
"He looked comfortable," Bochy said. "I thought he threw out some nice at-bats and got some good swings off."
"I know we're a better club than we've shown against these guys. They rise to play us. Regardless, we have to find ways to play better and beat those guys." -- Roberts on the Giants, who are are 5-3 against the Dodgers this year and 11-21 against everyone else.
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Posey has been known to chuckle at modern statistical measures, but his seventh-inning home run off Dodgers reliever Grant Dayton was no joke. According to Statcast™, Posey's drive traveled at 93 mph after being struck at a 37-degree launch angle. Only 2 percent of similar batted balls have gone for home runs this season. Most end up as harmless flies.
"I'm just getting ready early and trying to get a good pitch to hit," said Posey, who has six home runs this month and shares the National League lead in that category with Philadelphia's Aaron Altherr and Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt.
Dodgers:Rich Hill comes off the disabled list to make Tuesday night's 7:15 p.m. PT start for the Dodgers, only his third start of a season plagued by chronic blister issues. He is coming off a five-inning no-hitter rehab start.
Giants: Left-hander Ty Blach, who's scheduled to start Tuesday's 7:15 p.m. PT rematch at AT&T Park for San Francisco, hopes to extend his success against the Dodgers. He owns a 1.13 ERA against them and a 4.71 ERA against all other opponents.
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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.