Final in 12

Series: Game 4 of 4

San Francisco won 3-0

Game 1: Thursday, April 10
LA Dodgers1Final
San Francisco2
Game 2: Friday, April 11
LA Dodgers2Final
San Francisco3
Game 3: Saturday, April 12
LA Dodgers0Delayed
San Francisco0
Game 4: Sunday, April 13
LA Dodgers4Final
in 12
San Francisco5

Dodgers 4

(5-8, 3-7 away)

Giants 5

(11-1, 5-1 home)

    8:05 PM ET, April 13, 2003

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    23456789101112 R H E
    LA 12000000000 4 14 0
    SF 00020000001 5 11 1

    W: J. Brower (2-0)

    L: A. Ashby (0-2)

    Benard's huge 12th inning lifts Giants over Dodgers

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- After two weeks of inactivity and a night of false starts, Marvin Benard finally got the chance promised to him by manager Felipe Alou.

    Marvin Benard

    Given the San Francisco Giants' uncannily charmed existence these days, the seldom-used outfielder's two spectacular plays were a fitting end to another dramatic victory in an 11-1 start.

    Benard hit an RBI double off the wall in the 12th inning as the Giants extended their best start in 65 years, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 on Sunday night.

    Following a rainout Saturday, the Giants swept a three-game series from their longtime rivals for the first time in San Francisco since August 9-11, 1991 -- and Benard, who didn't have a hit and hadn't played in the outfield all season before the 12th, was the unlikely hero.

    "I guess it was my turn,'' he said. "Everybody else has done something for us.''

    Benard had just three at-bats this season before entering the game in a double switch before the 12th. A few minutes before his big hit, Benard made a spectacular throw from right field to third base, throwing out Todd Hundley to hurt Los Angeles' final rally.

    Benard then became the latest star in their amazing start with a long drive to right field against Andy Ashby (0-2). Benard's hit easily scored Marquis Grissom, who also doubled, to end the 4-hour game.

    "The ball slipped out of my hand,'' Benard said. "I didn't even realize I had him until I heard everybody making noise. ... (The hit) was lucky, too. If I'm not lucky, the wind knocks that ball down and it gets caught.''

    Benard, a veteran who's been booed regularly at Pacific Bell Park for his struggles in recent years, nearly got into the game twice earlier. He was recalled from the on-deck circle, and an earlier double-switch in the ninth inning was canceled by Alou -- and both times, Benard went back to the dugout with a chuckle.

    "A couple of years ago, I would have got mad,'' Benard said. "But there's nothing I can do. I just have to wait my turn.''

    From Alou's first day on the job during the winter, he promised playing time to Benard -- but he didn't promise when it would come.

    "I had a big talk with him after yesterday's rainout to reinforce my trust in him,'' Alou said. "When I was named manager, he was the first guy I talked to. He's a big-league guy, and he showed it tonight.''

    San Francisco remained on pace with the best starts of the New York Giants, who went 12-1 in 1938 and 18-1 in 1918.

    Both teams desperately wanted to win the series finale. Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy used all seven pitchers in his bullpen and every hitter on his bench, while Alou used five relievers and four bench position players.

    "I don't know that you could see much better pitching from two good teams than you saw in this series,'' said Tracy, whose team has the day off on Monday. "We took it as far as we could take it. We went so deep in the game that we used all our resources to try and win.''

    In addition to their 12th-inning threat, the Dodgers also had two runners on and nobody out in the 11th. But the Giants ended it with a double play when Shawn Green struck out and catcher Yorvit Torrealba threw out Dave Roberts at third base.

    Jim Brower (2-0) pitched one inning for the win. J.T. Snow drove in two runs for the Giants.

    Daryle Ward drove in two runs for the Dodgers, whose offensive struggles continued despite 14 hits. Los Angeles hasn't scored more than five runs since opening day, and they had just seven in three games against San Francisco.

    "We have to start playing better,'' said Green, who went 3-for-5 with a double. "We're playing just good enough to lose right now. We have to do a better job if we want to deal with those guys. It's that simple.''

    When it began, the game seemed likely to be a pitchers' duel between Jason Schmidt and Kevin Brown. But neither hard-throwing right-hander was in top form despite an extra day of rest following Saturday's rainout.

    Brown allowed one run in his first two starts this season, but struggled with his control against the Giants. He walked five, allowing six hits and four runs in five innings.

    Schmidt wasn't much better, allowing nine hits, three walks and four runs while striking out six in six innings. Neither pitcher retired the side in order until Schmidt did it in the sixth.

    Game notes

    Umpire Mark Hirschbeck infuriated the Giants' fans with his balls-and-strikes calls. They chanted "Go home Hirschbeck!'' several times in the late innings. ... Dodgers reliever Troy Brohawn retired Bonds for the third straight game, getting him on a fly to left in the seventh. Bonds is hitless in nine career at-bats against Brohawn, who was with the Giants last season. ... Ray Durham went 2-for-2 and scored the Giants' first run, but he left in the fourth inning after straining his groin while running out a bloop single. He said the injury wasn't serious.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press