Joc Pederson reflects on WBC qualifier with Team Israel.

Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson was playing meaningful games last week, perhaps more meaningful than any the big-league club will play anytime soon.

They were the first — and so far, last — World Baseball Classic games for Team Israel. Pederson, who was at Dodger Stadium on Friday to receive his Branch Rickey Award as the organizational hitter of the year, couldn’t say enough about the three games in Jupiter, Florida.

“It was a great experience, something I’ll never forget,” he said. “We were only together for I think it was maybe 10 days, and I’ve never seen a group of guys have so much team chemistry. It was an unforgettable experience.”
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Postgame: Dodgers 4, Giants 2

The Dodgers beat the Giants 4-2 tonight in the first of three games in San Francisco. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Timely hitting gave the Dodgers the victory tonight, even though they went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. All four runs came in the fourth on a Matt Kemp three-run double and Mark Loretta RBI single.

Hiroki Kuroda turned in a solid start, giving up just one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. It was also his longest outing since June and gave him wins in consecutive starts for the first time this season.

Joe Torre used his bullpen by the book. Hong-Chih Kuo faced one batter after replacing Kuroda, Ronald Belisario came in to set up a righty-righty matchup, and George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton pitched the eighth and ninth innings. Kuo, Belisario, and Sherrill all got holds. You hear a lot of criticism of the Dodger pen, but there are quite a few solid arms.

ETC…ETC:

Broxton gave up a solo jack to Bengie Molina and a single to Randy Winn with one out in the ninth, but he got Fred Lewis to ground into a force out and Juan Castro made a nice play on a Ryan Garko grounder to end the game.

Chad Billingsley won’t make his Wednesday start with the hamstring injury, so the Dodgers will have to bring up another Triple-A starter or use Jeff Weaver, barring a waiver wire pickup. Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger has a 3.55 ERA in 22 starts with Albuquerque, and he averages nearly seven innings a start.

The Dodgers victory puts them 6.5 games in front of the Giants in the NL West, but the Rockies — on the strength of a cycle by Troy Tulowitzki — stayed 5.5 back.

ON DECK:

Randy Wolf (5-6, 3.55) and Joe Martinez (2-0, 5.87) take to the mound in the second game of the series.