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Hudson, HRs put Giants half-game behind LA

LOS ANGELES -- Justin Maxwell and Brandon Belt hit two-run homers in back-to-back innings and Tim Hudson overcame his personal Dodger Stadium hex to work 6 1/3 effective innings Saturday as the San Francisco Giants continued their dominance of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 6-2 victory.

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Maxwell entered the game in the bottom of the first inning after Nori Aoki sustained a right ankle bruise upon being hit by a pitch. With the score tied in the fifth inning, 2-2, Maxwell followed Hudson's two-out single off Dodgers starter Carlos Frias (4-5) with his sixth homer of the season. Belt ricocheted his ninth homer off the top of the right-field wall with one out in the sixth after Buster Posey walked.

Video: [email protected]: Belt connects on a two-run homer to right

"That was two big mistakes in the game, two changeups," Frias said. "You have to figure out how to make less mistakes and today there was no room for mistakes."

Back-to-back homers by Joc Pederson and Justin Turner in the home half of the first erased San Francisco's 2-0 lead. But Hudson (5-6) recovered while yielding three hits in his final 5 2/3 innings. The Giants' power and pitching improved their record against Los Angeles to 9-2, extended their winning streak against their longtime rival to five games and trimmed their National League West deficit to a half-game behind the first-place Dodgers.

The 39-year-old Hudson entered the game with a 1-4 record and a 4.37 ERA in 10 career starts at Dodger Stadium. He said he rebounded from his rough beginning by throwing more low strikes, changing speeds and harnessing a curveball that, he said, might have been his best of the year.

"He's amazing, at his age and on this hot day, to give us that kind of work," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Help me help you: Frias had two outs in the fifth inning and had retired nine in a row when Hudson came to the plate. The opposing pitcher lined a single up the middle to extend the inning, and Maxwell launched an 0-2 changeup over the wall in left-center to give the Giants a 4-2 lead. More >

Video: [email protected]: Maxwell belts a two-run shot to left-center

Back to back: After the Giants seized a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, the Dodgers wasted no time evening the score. Pederson and Turner belted back-to-back home runs -- just the second time this season that the club has gone back to back. Pederson's home run hit the back wall of the visitor's bullpen in right field and was projected by Statcast™ to land 449 feet from home plate.

Video: [email protected]: Turner belts a solo homer to go back-to-back

"We kind of felt like, OK, it's going to be one of those games," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "But we had a few chances early and didn't capitalize and they really tacked on from there."

Posey pounces: San Francisco's catcher stopped a Dodgers rally before it started in the fifth inning when he quickly grabbed Frias' bunt in front of home plate and whipped a throw to third base that retired Jimmy Rollins, who had hit a leadoff double.

Bullpen, again: Giants relievers remained on a roll as Hunter Strickland and Sergio Romo combined to allow one hit in 2 2/3 innings. Strickland stranded a runner, extending the bullpen's streak of inherited runners left on base to 22.

Video: [email protected]: Strickland fans Puig to end the inning

"I think his adjustment needs to improve a little bit more. Know where he wants to throw in different pitch counts and realize what situation he's in. At times, I think he gets away from that, and that's when he gets hurt." -- Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal on Frias.

"I'm from the South. To me, this was nothing. This was a walk in the park. Actually, it was kind of warm." -- Hudson on the heat at Dodger Stadium, where gametime temperature was measured at 83 degrees.

In the top of the second, the Giants challenged the call on the field, arguing that shortstop Brandon Crawford was hit by a 2-2 pitch. After originally being called a ball, a replay review overturned the call on the field and Crawford was awarded first base.

Video: [email protected]: Crawford hit by a pitch after overturned call

Giants: Tim Lincecum, who openly acknowledges his enthusiasm for participating in the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, will start Sunday's 5:08 p.m. PT series finale. Lincecum has had mixed success at Dodger Stadium, where he's 5-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 14 appearances. He has lasted past the sixth inning just once in his last six outings here.

Dodgers: The Dodgers will close out the three-game series against the Giants with Brett Anderson on Sunday. Anderson (2-4, 3.43 ERA) doesn't have a win since May 8 and is winless in six career starts against San Francisco.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Nori Aoki, Joc Pederson, Brandon Belt, Justin Maxwell, Carlos Frias, Justin Turner, Tim Hudson