Series: Game 3 of 4

San Francisco leads 3-0 (as of 6/23)

Game 1: Monday, June 21
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San Francisco3
Game 2: Tuesday, June 22
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San Francisco11
Game 3: Wednesday, June 23
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Game 4: Thursday, June 24
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Dodgers 2

(37-32, 17-19 away)

Giants 3

(40-32, 23-15 home)

10:15 PM ET, June 23, 2004

AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

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LA 200000000 2 8 0
SF 03000000 - 3 7 0

W: J. Williams (7-5)

L: J. Weaver (5-8)

S: M. Herges (19)

Win over rival Dodgers puts Giants 1 1/2 up

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- With contempt and colorful language, Michael Tucker and Jeff Weaver blamed each other for the collision that led to a bases-clearing scuffle.

Jerome Williams simply blamed this classic rivalry.

Jerome Williams

Ray Durham

Ray Durham hit a bases-loaded triple and Williams pitched six strong innings in the San Francisco Giants' fifth straight victory, 3-2 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

The Giants increased their NL West lead to 1½ games with their third straight win over their longtime antagonists. San Francisco has claimed the NL's second-best record largely on the strength of 14 wins in the last 15 home games.

Williams (7-5) mostly stayed out of trouble in his third victory in four starts, yielding six hits and two walks over six innings. He barely outpitched Weaver (5-8), who allowed just five hits in six innings while retiring 10 of his last 11 hitters.

Williams is in just his second year with the Giants, but the uncommon tension and drama of this series already seems normal -- even when it nearly leads to a fight in a one-run game when two players seem determined to run over each other at first base.

"That's the name of the rivalry, right there," Williams said. "That's what it's about. ... These two teams don't hold anything back."

Both benches cleared in the fifth inning when Weaver and Tucker collided while Weaver applied a tag in front of the bag. Weaver charged toward Tucker, who poked his finger in Weaver's face -- but no punches were thrown, and there were no ejections.

Weaver, who left with nothing to show for an impressive outing, thought Tucker was too aggressive.

"He just tried to run me over at first base, and that's what happens," Weaver said. "He was out by 20 feet. There was no reason for him to go in like that [with arms raised], and then back up 20 feet after it. ... I'm sure he doesn't like me. He wasn't doing much else, so I guess his job was to do something to get me out of my focus."

Tucker saw it differently.

"If you're going full speed down the line and somebody's in front of you, you've got to brace yourself," he said. "If he doesn't like it, he doesn't like it. We're not trying to get hurt out there."

The Giants got their runs in the second inning on a bases-clearing triple by Durham, who has missed half of the season with several injuries and a minor-league stint. Durham then stood on the base and applauded his sixth hit in 11 at-bats against the Dodgers during the series.

"By going down to [Triple-A] Fresno, I got some games in," he said. "I got into my groove, swung the bat well and played some defense. I feel I'm better prepared now to go all-out. I really don't know how to hold back, and so far the legs are holding up fine."

The rally began when Weaver hit A.J. Pierzynski on the elbow with a two-strike pitch -- but Weaver also was incensed by the San Francisco catcher's strategy at the plate.

"I don't know how many times that guy takes it off that elbow pad," Weaver said. "There's no incentive for him to get out of the way. He's probably done it four or five times in his career when I've faced him. That's all he's trying to do, is step into it."

Wayne Franklin, Felix Rodriguez and Scott Eyre combined for two scoreless innings of relief, and Matt Herges finished for his 19th save in 24 chances.

Adrian Beltre had four hits for the Dodgers, who took their fourth loss in five games. Los Angeles, which had a 2½-game division lead Friday, finishes this disappointing four-game series in San Francisco on Thursday.

The Dodgers scored two runs in the first inning on Dave Roberts' leadoff triple and RBI singles by Cesar Izturis and Beltre. But Los Angeles got just one runner to third base in the final eight innings.

Deivi Cruz's unlikely streak of eight consecutive hits was broken up in the fourth inning. Cruz, a backup shortstop who went a career-best 5-for-5 Tuesday night, had the Giants' longest streak of consecutive hits since Livan Hernandez also got eight straight in 2001.

Game notes

Barry Bonds went 0-for-2 with two walks -- his 100th and 101st of the season. He has been walked at least 100 times in 12 seasons, one short of Babe Ruth's major league record of 13. ... Dodgers CF Milton Bradley was a last-minute scratch with stiffness in his right shoulder. He hit .387 in his last 10 games. ... After the game, the Giants activated RHP Brett Tomko and sent reliever David Aardsma back to Fresno.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press