Postgame: Giants 7, Dodgers 2

The Giants beat the Dodgers 7-2 today in the final game of a weekend series in San Francisco. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

* True to form, former Dodger Brad Penny turned out to be a Dodger killer in this one, going seven strong innings and limiting LA to just two runs. He struck out only two and uncharacteristically relied on the fly out.

* Chad Billingsley was ineffective. His ERA is nearing 4 after another mediocre start — in this one, he lasted just four innings and allowed three runs. He didn’t walk anybody but was knocked around to the tune of eight hits.

* Offensively, the Dodgers had only five hits and were scoreless until the seventh. Their only runs came on a two-run shot by Russell Martin.

ETC…ETC:

* Jeff Weaver was simply a hit-inducing machine. In just 1 1/3 innings, he allowed five hits and was charged with four runs.

* Manny Ramirez had the day off, but the Dodgers outfield still had three of the team’s five hits. Juan Pierre replaced Manny in left and went 1-for-4.

* Charlie Haeger pitched the eighth in his first appearance for the Dodgers since September 2 and shut the Giants down 1-2-3.

* The Blue did turn a truly impressive double play in the fifth. On a Pablo Sandoval grounder to first with men on third and first, James Loney threw to Rafael Furcal covering second to get the first out and Furcal threw home, where Martin tagged out Freddy Sanchez.
ON DECK:

* Jon Garland (9-11, 4.23) faces Daniel McCutchen (0-1, 4.85) in the first game of a three-game set with the Pirates.

Postgame: Dodgers 9, Giants 1

The Dodgers beat the Giants 9-1 at AT&T Park tonight. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

* Vicente Padilla continued to shine with the Dodgers, pitching six strong innings. He hasn’t lost a start with LA yet.

* Russell Martin and James Loney drove in a combined five runs, as Martin had a three-run homer and Loney went 2-for-4 with a two-run jack.

* Jonathan Sanchez, of no-hitter fame, was knocked around by the Dodgers. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, three walks, and four earned.

ETC…ETC:

* As I write this, the Rockies and Padres are tied at 2-2 in the top of the 10th inning. A Colorado loss would give the Dodgers a three-game lead in the NL West.

* Padilla has made four starts with the Dodgers, posting an ERA of 2.02. A valuable addition, to say the least.

* The LA bullpen was lights out, with just one baserunner allowed by Hong-Chih Kuo, Ronald Belisario, and James McDonald. They struck out four Giants.

ON DECK:

* The Dodgers try to sweep the Giants tomorrow at 1:05 p.m., sending out Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.93) to face Brad Penny (9-8, 5.15).

Postgame: Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3

The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 4-3 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

* Andre Ethier was the hero in this one, as he drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in the eventual winning run in the seventh and then made a spectacular play on a Brandon Allen drive to right-center. Ethier caught the ball at the top of the wall while on a dead run.

* Matt Kemp homered once again — making it four straight games with a four-bagger for the 24-year-old centerfielder. After a 2-for-3 day, he’s now OPSing an even .900 on the season.

* Dodgers starter Vicente Padilla was effective for his second consecutive start with the team, going 5.1 four-hit innings. He was charged with only one run but got the no-decision.


ETC…ETC
:

* Scott Elbert, just called up earlier in the day from Triple-A as rosters expanded, was nearly the goat in this one. Elbert, who was 2-0 with a 4.80 ERA in three previous stints with the Dodgers, gave up two runs in the sixth after picking up for Padilla.

* Also called up were catcher A.J. Ellis and outfielder Jason Repko. It’s Repko’s first time with the big club since last September.

* Jim Thome, acquired from the White Sox on Monday, will debut with the Dodgers tomorrow. Jon Garland, acquired from Arizona, will start against the Diamondbacks Thursday, taking the spot of Charlie Haeger in the rotation.

ON DECK:
* In game three of the four-game set, the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley (12-8, 3.83) faces Arizona’s Max Scherzer (8-8, 4.26)

Dodgers trade for Thome, Garland

In separate deals consummated just minutes before the 9 p.m. PST deadline for postseason eligibility, the Dodgers have dealt for designated hitter Jim Thome and righthander Jon Garland.

Thome is hitting .249/.372/.493 this season for the White Sox for an OPS of .864, more than 100 points better than Dodger first baseman James Loney’s .738. Thome, 39, has 564 career home runs, but hasn’t played first base since 2007. He’ll likely be relegated to pinch-hitting duties with a start here and there. Chicago will get a player to be named later.

Garland, 29, has a 4.29 ERA in 167.2 innings this season for the Diamondbacks. He has made at least 32 starts in each of the last seven seasons. The Dodgers reportedly gave up minor leaguer Justin Fuller to Arizona. Fuller was hitting .254 in his age-26 season with Inland Empire.

Postgame: Dodgers 3, Reds 2 (12 innings)

The Dodgers beat the Reds 3-2 today in 12 innings. For a full recap and boxscore, click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Clayton Kershaw was at his best, striking out 11 in seven innings while allowing only two runs. His only real blemish was a second-inning two-run homer by Darnell McDonald — James’ cousin.

Until the 12th, the Dodgers’ only runs came in the fifth inning, when Matt Kemp hit a solo homer and Clayton Kershaw drove a ball up the middle that found a hole and brought in Casey Blake.

Then, with the bases loaded in the 12th, Kemp hit a deep fly ball to center that looked like a possible grand slam. Cincinnati center fielder Drew Stubbs caught it on the warning track, but Manny Ramirez came in to score on the sacrifice fly.

ETC…ETC:

The Reds’ Bronson Arroyo was also effective. Arroyo scattered six hits over 7 1/3 innings, maneuvering his way through the Dodger lineup by changing speeds frequently. He struck out only three.

The Dodgers had 11 hits as a team, but not one player had more than one. Rafael Furcal was the only starter held hitless.

The Dodger bullpen continued to shine, as George Sherrill, Ramon Troncoso, Hong-Chih Kuo, James McDonald, and Jonathan Broxton pitched five scoreless innings.

ON DECK:

The Dodgers host Arizona tomorrow night, sending Randy Wolf (9-6, 3.25) against Doug Davis (7-11, 3.75).

Dodgers trade for Ronnie Belliard

The Dodgers have acquired infielder Ronnie Belliard from the Nationals in exchange for minor leaguer Luis Garcia and a player to be named later.
Belliard, 34, has hit .346/.406/.600 in August while platooning at second base for the Nats.
Garcia, 22, has posted a 2.92 ERA in 34 relief appearances this season for the Class-A Great Lakes Loons.