<
>

Durham's pinch-hit HR spoils Dodgers' chance to move up

• Summary: Ray Durham's third career pinch-hit homer and second this season put the Giants up 4-2 in the eighth inning to help sink the Dodgers' hopes for gaining ground in the NL wild-card race.

• Wasted effort: Second baseman Jeff Kent belted two solo shots, his career 365th and 366th homers, to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the seventh. Kent hadn't homered twice in a game since Oct. 2, 2004, against the Rockies as an Astro.

• Wasted effort II: Brad Penny scattered eight hits and two runs over seven innings in a bid to match his career high in single-season wins with 16, posted last year when he went 16-9. Penny was done after allowing Kevin Frandsen's leadoff double.

• Quotable: "When these guys come in, we have to play better and make this rivalry as big a deal as it is. I think we did this series.''
-- Giants starter Matt Cain

-- ESPN.com news services

Giants 4, Dodgers 2

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- One dramatic hit will not make up for Ray
Durham
's down season -- yet it sure brightened the Giants' mood for
a day against their archrivals.

Durham stepped in as a pinch-hitter and had a go-ahead,
three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers
missed another chance to gain ground in the playoff race with a 4-2
loss to San Francisco on Sunday.

"That might be the best thing that's happened to him all
year,'' starting pitcher Matt Cain said. "So deserving, too. He's
working his tail off.''

Jeff Kent homered twice against his former club but the Dodgers
couldn't hold a late lead and failed to move closer to the Padres,
who lost at Colorado. San Diego remained 2½ games up on Los Angeles
in the NL wild-card chase.

Durham was behind 0-2 when he connected for his 11th homer of
the year with a shot to the right-field arcade. It was his third
career pinch-hit homer and second this season.

Dodgers manager Grady Little made three pitching changes in the
eighth to try to escape trouble.

All-Star Brad Penny was done after allowing Kevin Frandsen's
leadoff double. Scott Proctor's wild pitch sent Frandsen to third,
then Randy Winn struck out before Joe Beimel (4-2) relieved to face
Barry Bonds.

Bonds was intentionally walked and replaced by pinch-runner
Rajai Davis. Little then went to Jonathan Broxton to face Durham.

Davis stayed in the game to play center field in the ninth and
made a running, leaping catch to rob James Loney of an extra-base
hit to start the inning. Tyler Walker (1-0), back after
reconstructive elbow surgery, pitched the eighth for his first win
since May 19, 2006, with Tampa Bay. Brad Hennessey got three outs
for his 19th save in 23 chances.

Manager Bruce Bochy wasn't sure the speedy Davis would make the
play.

"I expected that everybody was expecting me to catch it, and if
I didn't catch it I was letting everybody down,'' said Davis, a
rookie acquired at the trading deadline from the Pirates. "I had
to make a little push, find the spot, look up, and there it was.''

Kent connected off Cain leading off the second and again to
start the seventh. It was his 19th multihomer game and first since
Oct. 2, 2004, against Colorado with Houston.

Kent also hit his 59th and 60th homers as a Dodgers second
baseman, passing Charlie Neal for third in franchise history at the
position. Davey Lopes (98) and Jackie Robinson (80) are the only
two ahead of him.

Los Angeles went 7-2 in San Francisco this season, losing Friday
night to end an 11-game winning streak in the Giants' waterfront
ballpark. Los Angeles has won 12 of its last 14 road games in the
series. The teams play three more times to end the season at Dodger
Stadium.

The Dodgers begin a key six-game homestand against San Diego and
Arizona starting Tuesday night.

"We're in a position where we can't give games away,'' center
fielder Juan Pierre said. "We shot ourselves in the foot this
series. That makes next week even more important. Now, it's a
sub-par road trip and there's more pressure going home. We can only
blame ourselves.''

Cain has never beaten the Dodgers, going 0-3 in his first five
starts. Cain, who had won three of his last four starts during a
rough season, allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

"When these guys come in, we have to play better and make this
rivalry as big a deal as it is,'' Cain said. "I think we did this
series.''

Penny was trying to match his career-best victory total of 16
accomplished last season.

Cain plunked Penny to load the bases in the seventh. Russell
Martin tripled one out after Kent's 19th homer of the year and
Nomar Garciaparra was intentionally walked two batters later, but
Tony Abreu grounded out to end the threat.

Bonds went 1-for-2 with two walks and a single and Bengie Molina
doubled and had three hits for the Giants. But Durham's hit had
everybody thrilled, and he pointed to his brother, Ronald, in the
stands after crossing home plate.

"I'm sure that was a load off him,'' Bochy said.

Durham had been mired in a 1-for-19 stretch over his previous
six games and is batting just .218 on the year.

"I've still got my head up,'' he said. "I'm looking at film
and doing the things I've been doing all year.''

San Francisco took a 1-0 lead in the first on Winn's RBI
groundout after Dave Roberts led off with a double and went to
third on Frandsen's sacrifice.

Game notes
Giants SS Omar Vizquel returned to the lineup after sitting
out Saturday with food poisoning. ... Cain gave up two or more
homers for the sixth time in his career and third this year. ...
Andre Ethier's single in the second improved his average against
Cain to .667 (6-for-9). ... Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal had the day
off. ... Pierre went 0-for-4 for Los Angeles, ending his 10-game
hitting streak. ... The Giants had their 33rd comeback win of 2007.