It was labeled as a must win game for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they lived up to the ..."/> It was labeled as a must win game for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they lived up to the ..."/>

Giants Waste Cain’s Solid Outing, Fall 3-2 To Dodgers

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It was labeled as a must win game for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they lived up to the pressure, winning 3-2, and taking a game back in the National league west.

The highly hyped game was your classic west coast contest. Pitching, defense, a little more pitching, and timely hits secured the win for the Dodgers. Matt Cain and Chris Capuano matched each other pitch for pitch, out for out, yet neither factored into the decision, as Ronald Belisario earned his fifth win of the season for Los Angeles.

Cain was on cruise control through the first five innings. He yielded the Dodgers to just two hits over that span, and his pitch count remained low. The Dodgers, however, evened the game at one in the sixth inning. Ironically, Chris Capuano sparked the one out rally with a single. Mark Ellis followed him with a single, and Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield which was easily deep enough to score Capuano from third.

Capuano was steady all afternoon. The southpaw allowed just five hits and walked three. He instantly settled down after surrendering three hits and a run in the first, yielding the Giants’ bats to just one hit until the seventh inning where he saw Brandon Belt break the tie game with a hard liner back to the mound that scored Buster Posey from third.

The back and forth duel continued when the Dodgers battled back in the eighth frame.

Juan Rivera led the inning off with a double down the right field line. The catcher, A.J. Ellis moved him over with a sacrifice bunt back to the mound. The biggest play in this entire sequence though, came from the dugout. The skipper Don Mattingly elected to pinch run Rivera for the speedy Alex Castellanos when Rivera reached third base. It would paid dividends just a few pitches later when Cain threw a wild pitch that skipped away from the catcher, and Castellanos slid across the plate to beat the toss from Posey by inches. In all likelihood, the slow footed Rivera wouldn’t have scored the tying run.

It turned into a bullpen battle in the eighth when Capuano was lifted for Belisario. Despite walking two, Belisario retired the Giants unscathed. His essence to shut the Giants down was pivotal, as the meat of the Dodgers lineup was due up in the ninth with a chance to break the tie.

Jeremy Affeldt replaced Casilla in the ninth, and he dug himself into a deep hole early when he allowed a leadoff triple to Adrian Gonzalez. Hanley Ramirez, who had eight RBIs against the Giants in nine games in a Dodgers’ uniform coming into the game, cashed in for his ninth RBI off them with an RBI double. Ramirez’s clutch hit proved to be the difference in the close game.

Matt Cain was strong, but he received minimal run support. Sound familiar? He pitched 7.1 innings, permitted just two runs, and struck out five.