Matt Cain did not have his best stuff on Sunday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers (5-3) were able to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of their rival San Francisco Giants (5-2) with a 6-2 victory. The Dodgers were able to pick up their first home win of the season behind big nights at the plate by Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.
Cain (0-1) went six innings for the Giants giving up three long balls and five runs. Kemp got things rolling in the second inning with a solo shot to center. Ramirez hit a solo shot of his own in the fourth followed by another Kemp blast that drove in two runs. Dodgers starter Zack Greinke (2-0) kept the Giants off the board until the sixth inning when he gave up a solo shot each to Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence. Greinke went six innings and gave up two runs, striking out eight.
Ramirez matched Kemp with a second blast of the evening in the eighth inning to put the game away for the Dodgers. Both players brought their A game Sunday night to avoid the sweep and lead their team to a big early season win. Angel Pagan stayed hot with two more hits for the Giants and leads the team with a .419 batting average. Pagan missed a majority of last season with a torn hamstring and has really proven to be a big boost returning to the San Francisco lineup. Brandon Belt also stayed hot at the plate for the Giants, connecting on his fourth home run of the season. That’s second behind the Diamondbacks’ Mark Trumbo in the National League.
Carl Crawford continued his early season struggles going 0-4 and dropping his season average down to .227. He’s just 5-22 on the year. Crawford, coming off of an injury riddled 2013 campaign, is looking to get back into the swing of things as he battles for a starting position with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig in the crowded Los Angeles outfield. It hasn’t been much of a battle for any of the four stars with at least one of them on the shelf with injuries most of the time. Puig is the latest Dodger to go down as he missed Sunday’s contest with a sprained left thumb. Even though Puig’s x-rays on his thumb came back negative for a fracture, he’s still undergoing an MRI and the thumb was swollen Sunday.
The Giants head to San Francisco for the first time this season for their home opener as they host the Diamondbacks on Tuesday afternoon. Tim Hudson will take the mound for San Francisco as he takes on Trevor Cahill. The two met head-to-head just last week as Hudson dazzled his way to a 2-0 Giants victory.
With just a 2-7 start, Arizona looks to right the ship in San Francisco. The Giants have other plans as the current leaders of the division. Bruce Bochy and company will be happy to be home in front of what is sure to be a sold out, raucous crowd.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer for the San Francisco Giants