SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Shawn Green can sit out Saturday knowing he
was already a huge help to the Dodgers during their crucial series
against San Francisco.
Green hit a two-run homer in Los Angeles' 3-2 victory over the
Giants on Friday night, a day before the first baseman will miss a
game to observe the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.
"It couldn't have worked out better for me personally or for
the team. It's been a tough few days for me going through all this
in my mind, but I felt at peace today," said Green, who is fasting
for the holiday. "For me, it still would have been the right
decision regardless of what happened."
Barry Bonds hit his 702nd home run, but San Francisco couldn't
muster much else against Odalis Perez. Eric Gagne issued three
straight two-out walks in the ninth before retiring Yorvit
Torrealba on a bases-loaded flyout to preserve a tense victory.
In a risky move by Dodgers manager Jim Tracy, Gagne walked Bonds
intentionally with two outs in the ninth, pushing the potential
tying run to second base.
"He was not going to beat us in that situation," Tracy said.
Did Bonds expect the move?
"How do I know? It doesn't really matter. It's about who wins
and loses," he said. "It was a good game all the way around."
The Dodgers increased their lead in the NL West to 2½ games with
another narrow win over the Giants, who also fell 1½ games behind
Chicago in the wild-card race after the Cubs beat the New York Mets
2-1 in 10 innings.
The Dodgers and Giants play five more times, including the final
three games of the season next weekend at Dodger Stadium. Both
clubs have become accustomed to close games in their bitter
Six of their eight meetings in San Francisco this year have been
decided by one run, and nine overall in the season series, led 8-6
by the Dodgers.
Perez (7-6) pitched three-hit ball through eight strong innings
to win for the first time since Aug. 13 at Chicago, a span of eight
The "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A!" chants began when Giants starter
Kirk Rueter was throwing his warmup tosses, but the yelling didn't
do much to throw Perez off his game.
"Even if the fans hate us, that's OK, we're going to play
hard," Perez said. "Tonight was the game of the season for me. I
said to myself, 'If I allow one or two more runs, we're going to go
After Torrealba homered two batters behind Bonds in the second,
Perez got 12 straight outs before Ray Durham drew a sixth-inning
walk. Perez, an emotional left-hander, pumped his fist and hollered
to himself in excitement following a 1-4-3 double play to end the
He allowed two runs, struck out five and walked one to match his
longest outing of the year.
"That type of performance you look for this time of year, when
people's reputations enhance themselves greatly, and he took a step
in that direction," Tracy said. "He made a statement to his
Gagne earned his 44th save in 46 chances.
Bonds' leadoff at-bats are the ones Tracy most fears -- because
more often than not, the slugger walks and comes around to score.
This time, Bonds led off the second with his 44th homer of the
year, sending an 0-1 pitch into the right-field arcade area for a
solo shot. He trails Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755) on the
career list. The homer also gave Bonds 100 RBI for the 12th time
in his 19-year career.
He struck out twice for only the fourth time this year, giving
"If he hit a home run, who cares. I'm not the first one or the
last one," Perez said. "If I make a good pitch, I can strike him
Bonds hit his 700th homer last Friday night against San Diego,
then followed with No. 701 on Saturday.
Torrealba hit a solo homer two batters later to give the Giants
a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers answered with two homers of their own in the fourth
-- Green's two-run shot and a solo homer from Jose Hernandez two
batters later that stood up the rest of the way.
Rueter (8-12) got a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, but that was the
only easy one for the lefty, who is 2-2 over his last six starts
against Los Angeles at SBC Park, with Giants going 4-2 in those
He allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings, struck out
one and walked three.
"I was getting some groundballs and things were going pretty
well, but that one inning hurt me," Rueter said.
The Giants swept the Dodgers in a four-game series here June
21-24 -- San Francisco's first four-game sweep of their archrivals
since June 26-29, 1975, at Candlestick Park.
Green is surprised by all the national attention on him for his
decision not to play on the holiest holiday on the Jewish calendar.
Yom Kippur started at sunset Friday, and the Jewish Day of
Atonement does not end until sunset Saturday.
"I don't see it as a compromise," Green said. "For me, it's
the most consistent way to observe the holiday with my beliefs. I
don't know why it's gotten so much bigger than it was a couple
Only Jimmie Foxx (13), Lou Gehrig (13) and Al Simmons (12)
have as many 100-RBI seasons as Bonds. ... Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis
made a key diving play in the ninth. ... Perez also went eight
innings four other times.