Dodgers beat Giants with balanced attack, sweep series – Daily News

LOS ANGELES ― It’s only been a month, but a certain type of baseball game has come to define the 2022 season. The Dodgers have mastered it, as they did in a 9-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

They played small ball. They hit two home runs. They out-hit, out-pitched, out-ran, and out-fielded their biggest rival, turning a close game into a blowout.

“We’ve played a number of ballgames this year,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “I think collectively it was the best one we’ve played.”

By sweeping the two-game series, the Dodgers (16-7) opened a 2½-game lead over the third-place Giants (14-10) and maintained a one-game cushion over the second-place San Diego Padres in the National League West. They’ll enjoy one of their two off-days this month before embarking on a road trip to Chicago and Pittsburgh beginning Friday.

Mookie Betts greeted Alex Wood (2-2) with a solo home run to begin the sixth inning. Max Muncy broke an 0-for-16 slump with a single in the seventh inning, then clobbered a two-run homer to left field in the eighth.

Typical for a season featuring dampened baseballs and depressed scoring, the Dodgers didn’t rely on the home run to win. Seven singles and four walks ensured that every Dodgers starter reached base – including designated hitter Justin Turner, who ended an 0-for-17 streak of his own with a single in the eighth inning.

“I think we’re capable of this every night,” Betts said. “Obviously it’s hard to do. Hopefully, we can get on this wave and ride it.”

Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin (2-0) threw a relatively efficient five innings. He left holding a one-run lead with only 65 pitches on his ledger. But this is 2022, when teams have been allowed to carry more pitchers than the kitchen section at IKEA. Even with closer Craig Kimbrel down for the night, Roberts was comfortable giving Gonsolin the early hook.

A parade of relievers – Evan Phillips, Tommy Kahnle, Phil Bickford and Reyes Moronta – did not allow a run while the Dodgers broke the game open late. Their bullpen has a 2.65 ERA, the lowest in the National League.

After Betts’ homer gave them a 3-1 lead, the Dodgers rallied for four runs in the seventh inning. It started when the Giants ordered an intentional walk for Chris Taylor, which loaded the bases for No. 9 hitter Gavin Lux.

Having been denied home runs on several fly balls hit to the warning track this season, Lux did the only sensible thing: he chopped a ground ball between first base and the pitcher’s mound. When Giants left-hander Sam Long was slow getting to first base, Lux was safe and the Dodgers had a run. A sacrifice fly by Betts and a two-run triple by Freddie Freeman extended the lead to 7-1.

Muncy’s home run, an opposite-field shot against right-hander Tyler Beede, was his third this season and his first since April 22.

The Dodgers announced Gonsolin as their starter earlier in the day Wednesday. The right-hander had not pitched in eight days and had not beaten the Giants in his career.

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