LOS ANGELES -- The Giants admit they're watching the scoreboard, even though they're in control of their own fate.
They already knew the NL West-leading San Diego Padres had lost 4-2 to Colorado earlier Sunday for their 10th consecutive defeat. The Giants then went out and kept up the pressure, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 to move within a game of first place.
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Jonathan Sanchez pitched seven crisp innings and Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer for the second straight game, helping the Giants win their third straight series against the rival Dodgers."This is big to come in here and take a series," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.The Giants have picked up 5 1/2 games on San Diego during the Padres' skid, going 5-4 during that span, and there's seven games left in the season series between the teams. It's the closest they've been to first place in the division in the last 27 days."I didn't think they'd be losing that many games," Sanchez said.After hitting four home runs in a 5-4 comeback victory on Saturday night, the Giants got just enough offense to get by the slumping Dodgers. Los Angeles has lost six of its last eight heading into a three-game series at San Diego beginning Monday."We need to start something on our own, and we might as well do it against the best club in our division," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "They certainly have been struggling, but we certainly haven't been setting anything on fire, and we need to do that."Sanchez (10-8) yielded three hits, struck out nine and walked one to win for just the second time in his last six appearances. The left-hander was 0-5 with a 6.04 ERA in 13 previous appearances against Los Angeles."I just kept the ball down," he said. "It was an important game for us. I was getting ahead on every batter. I feel like I can go deep. I just get better every day."The only hits by the Dodgers were Jamey Carroll's third-inning double, and singles by Rod Barajas in the fifth and Ryan Theriot in the sixth."It doesn't take a genius to figure out that we're definitely running out of time for the kind of run we're been searching for all year," Carroll said. "The Padres have been playing so well all year long, but everybody goes through something like that at some point in time, and this just happens to be their time."Sanchez shut down the heart of the Dodgers' lineup, with Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Casey Blake and James Loney going a combined 0 for 12 with one walk and Loney getting hit by a pitch."Finally I got it [a 10th win] against the Dodgers, the team I want to beat," he said.Brian Wilson pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 40th save.The Dodgers intentionally walked Uribe in his first two at-bats, mindful that first base was open and he had burned them Saturday night with a go-ahead homer in the ninth.But Hiroki Kuroda (10-12) pitched to Uribe in the seventh and he sent a 1-2 pitch into the lower left-field seats, raising his arms as soon as he connected. Pablo Sandoval, who reached on a leadoff single, also scored.Uribe fouled a ball off his left shin before hitting his 19th homer, causing him to leave the game."It hurts right now. I think I can play tomorrow," he said.The Giants led 1-0 in the second on Sandoval's sacrifice fly that scored Buster Posey, who barely beat the throw from right fielder Ethier.Kuroda gave up six hits in eight innings while facing the Giants for the first time this season. The right-hander struck out eight and walked three. It's the sixth time the Dodgers have been shut out this season when he's started."It always helps to have run support," he said in Japanese through a translator. "But I'm out there to do my job and that's what I'm going to do, no matter what situation I'm in. Even without run support, my job is to win the game."
Uribe homered in consecutive games for the third time this season. ... Wilson is one save shy of his career high of 41 set in 2008. ... Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. ... The Giants have won seven of their last nine against L.A., with the teams meeting for the final time Sept. 14-16 in the Bay Area. ... The Dodgers called up 1B John Lindsay, a 33-year-old who has spent 16 years in the minors; 3B Russ Mitchell, who also is making his major league debut; INF Chin-Lung Hu; and pitchers John Ely and Jon Link. They'll join the team on Monday in San Diego. ... C Barajas turned 35 on Sunday.