Giants Hand Billingsley His First Loss

Chad Billinsgley ... first loss

Well, without the former Boston outfielder, the Dodgers have lost a slugfest to the last place Nationals and a much more painful pitcher's battle 3-1 at the hands of the second-place Giants. Chad Billingsley lost for the first time in seven starts this season, allowing three runs while Barry Zito held Los Angles to nine hits and a single run.

Neither team got on the scoreboard until the sixth inning when both clubs scored a single run. San Francisco added a pair of runs in the seventh and the Dodgers managed only a James Loney leadoff single in the ninth from then on.

The loss cuts the suddenly vulnerable Dodgers lead to 4.5 games with two more games against the Giants in the current homestand.

The Dodgers nearly put up another first inning run when Rafael Furcal doubled leading off the game and with two out, Aaron Rowand nearly ran through the right field wall to haul in Matt Kemp's shot.

Los Angeles put a runner on base in every inning; two of them in the third, fifth sixth and eighth frames. Zito and three relievers fought them off with the aid of three double plays. Juan Pierre and Hudson walked in the third, Billingsley and Pierre singled in the fifth and Hudson walked, it took two singles and a double to score in the sixth, Martin and Mark Loretta singled in the eighth.

Loretta, who played first instead of left-handed hitter James Loney in the eighth, was hitless in three trips.

Their only run came in the sixth inning when Kemp beat out an infield hit to short, Russell Martin singled him to second and with one out. Casey Blake doubled him in.

Neither team was proficient with runners in scoring position, L.A. finishing 1-for-9 and San Francisco 1-for-4. Two baserunning mistakes cost the Dodgers. Pierre was caught trying to steal third base for the final out of the third inning with Andre Ethier at the plate and Martin was nailed trying to stretch with no one out in the sixth frame.

"Stupid baserunning on my part, you can taking that chance," said Pierre. "With the No. 3 hitter up, there can't even be a throw." Martin said, "I was trying to be aggressive. I recognized the throw was going to third base and it was just probably too shallow for that play, and Uribe got off the throw quick. It's uncharacteristic of my running."

Billingsley, who should have come into the game 6-0, tied his season-high walk total with four. And before this loss, the Dodgers had won in each of the six times he has taken the ball this season.

Ronald Belisario (eighth) and Ramon Troncoso (ninth) each allowed a hit in their scoreless inning.

Martin had two of the Dodgers nine hits and has had five hits in the last two losses.

Zito, in winning his first game of the season, allowed a run and eight hits over six innings. He struck out five, walked two and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth. The 2002 AL Cy Young winner was removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

The Dodgers have lost both games since Ramirez received a 50-game suspension for violating MLB's drug policy. They've also lost three of their past four games against the Giants after sweeping their first three-game series at home in April.

Eric Stults starts for the Dodgers, coming off a 5 2/3-innings outing in which he beat the D-backs. In his previous start, he couldn't get out of the third inning and lost to the Giants in San Francisco.

LHP Eric Stults (3-1, 4.94 ERA), coming off a win over Arizona draws the start that will be carried on FOX. He worked through 5.2 innings while allowing only two runs, and probably would have lost his job had he not pitched well.

The Giants will go with LHP Jonathan Sanchez (1-2, 3.80 ERA) who walked six and hitting a batter in his last start. Opponents are hitting only .188 against him but he has walked 18 batters in 21.1 innings. He is 0-1 with a 4.18 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers.

  Score by Innings
San Francisco	000 001 200-3
Los Angeles	000 001 000-1

  Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  0  1  0  .250
Hudson 2b	2  0  0  0  .333
Ethier rf	4  0  1  0  .310
Kemp cf        	4  1  1  0  .288
Martin c	3  0  2  0  .267
Loretta 1b	3  0  0  0  .333
 Paul pr        0  0  0  0  .000
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
Blake 3b	4  0  1  1  .245
Billingsley p	3  0  1  0  .200
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loney 1b	1  0  1  0  .288
Pierre lf	2  0  1  0  .378
---------------------------------
  Totals	31 1  9 1
  San Francisco	30 3 10 3

  2B- Furcal (5), Blake (5). RBI- Blake (17). 
LOB- Dodgers 9, San Francisco 9. CS- Pierre 
(2). DP- Hudson and Loretta.

  Dodgers	   in  h r-er bb so  era
Billingsley (5-1) 7.0  8  3-3  4  5  2.45
Belisario	  1.0  1  0-0  0  1  2.95
Troncoso	  1.0  1  0-0  0  1  2.25
  HBP- Pierre, by Billingsley. T- 3:14. Att- 51,2009.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The way Ramirez's contract is structured, he will lose $2,732,240 this season and $1,366,120 in each of the next three years—a saving of 6,830,600 for the Dodgers. "I haven't taken into consideration the financial aspects of this," GM Ned Colletti said. "My main concern is the same today as it was when I found out about it, and that's our pitching—starting and relieving. I feel right now we need to upgrade it, whether it's internally or externally." … Disabled Opening Day starter Hiroki Kuroda played long toss at 120 feet and might be able to begin tossing off a mound by Sunday. Kuroda, out since April 7 with a strained oblique muscle, is still at least several weeks away from returning to the club. ...Hong-Chih Kuo, who has been rehabilitating his sore left elbow in the mornings at Dodger Stadium, will head to the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex next week when the club leaves for a week on the road. ...Club officials said disabled pitcher Jason Schmidt might start a Minor League rehabilitation assignment for Class A Inland Empire Tuesday. Schmidt has been pitching in extended Spring Training games to rebuild arm strength after two shoulder operations.

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