The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Giants Take Rubber Match From Dodgers 4-3

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Jonathan Sanchez really only made two mistakes on Wednesday night. Fortunately for the Giants, Ted Lilly made a few more pitching gaffes, and the Giants squeaked out a 4-3 win to take the rubber match against the Dodgers at AT&T.

    Sanchez' first error occurred when he hung a fastball over the heart of the plate in the top of the fourth, and Rod Barajas belted a two-run shot to left that let L.A. tie things up.

    And he followed that up by grooving another fastball to Aaron Miles -- with Ted Lilly taking swings on deck no less -- and Miles smacked a double to left, scoring Marcus Thames.

    Other than that, Sanchez looked pretty impressive, striking out nine and walking two over six innings of work.

    Lilly's mistakes were much more costly: in the bottom of the sixth, he lobbed a pair of grapefruits that Pablo Sandoval and Mike Fontenot each smashed out of the park, giving the Giants a 4-3 lead that the bullpen wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the night.

    And that right there is what makes these Giants so dangerous. If they can get to the seventh inning with a lead, Ramon Ramirez/Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson are a pretty formidable blockade against opposing offenses.

    They showed as much on Wednesday, as the four of them worked two efficient innings where they combined for three strikeouts and just two hits. Romo (or more specifically, Romo's slider and his muttonchops) looked especially filthy.

    And Wilson pitched back-to-back nights for the first time in 2011, and also recorded his first back-to-back saves of the season ... which also happen to be his only saves of the season. But he hit low-to-mid 90's on the radar gun, and perplexed Dodger hitters with his two-seam fastball just the way you'd expect the 2010 saves leader to.

    Things got a touch chippy at one point, as Lilly pegged Buster Posey twice. Once in the bottom of the first following an Aubrey Huff sac fly that scored Aaron Rowand and then the second time in the third inning, which drew a warning from the umpiring crew and nearly resulted in an awkward moment for Bruce Bochy.

    Perhaps not as awkward as Bochy giving Fontenot about "five or 10 minutes notice" that he was starting at second base. Fortunately, the not-so-Ruthian utility man responded quite well, going 2-for-3 with what ended up being a game-winning tater to right.

    Which, really, is the type of thing you'd expect from the Giants in 2010. And, perhaps, the type of thing that's becoming more the norm for the 2011 version of the team.