SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shane Victorino is all for the Los Angeles Dodgers somehow still finding a way to win the NL West, even as they added to their hole with another loss against rival San Francisco.
On an otherwise solid day, Josh Beckett surrendered Marco Scutaro's tiebreaking, two-run single in the seventh inning, and the Giants beat the Los Angeles 5-2 on Friday night to extend their division lead over the Dodgers to 5½ games.
"Ultimately we want to win the division but sometimes it is necessary to look outside the bubble," Victorino said. "The goal? It's about getting there. The first is to win the division."
The Dodgers dropped their fourth in a row to San Francisco (78-60) after being swept at home from Aug. 20-22. The Giants lead the division by 5½ games for the first time since ending the 2003 season with a 15½-game cushion. They have two more chances with a sellout home crowd this weekend to create further distance from the Dodgers.
"We had a chance to win today, we have a chance to win tomorrow and we have a chance to win Sunday," manager Don Mattingly said. "That's what we came here to do. The middle game will be big for us. We pick up one game here, the next thing you know you pick up two or three and get hot and then it's a whole different game. That's all we're going to talk about."
After Angel Pagan drew an intentional walk from Josh Beckett (1-2) to load the bases, Scutaro followed with a bloop single to shallow right. He came through yet again for his new team — and in a key series opener in early September this time.
"I didn't really make good contact. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Scutaro said of his broken-bat base hit. "I pretty much know what my game is. I'm not a power hitter, I'm not an RBI guy. My game is to try to get on base. I stay with my plan. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."
Santiago Casilla (7-5) relieved Lincecum and recorded the final two outs of the seventh for the win.
The Giants answered after Adam Kennedy hit a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the sixth to make it 2-1.
Hunter Pence, another recent addition for the playoff push, tied it on an infield single down the third-base line in the bottom half. Kennedy tried to barehand the high bouncer, which got under his glove and allowed Pagan to score.
Hector Sanchez singled to start the seventh and Gregor Blanco entered to pinch-run, then stole second. Brandon Crawford walked and pinch-hitter Emmanuel Burriss sacrificed. Pagan was intentionally walked to load the bases for Scutaro, who delivered another clutch hit in a career full of them. It was his second one this homestand after a game-winning single in the 10th inning of Monday's 9-8 win against Arizona.