The Dodgers' magic number to clinch the National League West remained frozen at four Saturday night as the Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 9-2 and the Giants not only beat the Dodgers, but scored a Dodger Stadium record 19 runs in beating L.A. 19-3. This marks the first time a team other than the Dodgers held the record for most runs scored at their eponymous stadium since April 12, 1962, when the Dodgers beat the Reds 11-7 in the third game ever held there.
The Reds won the first game in Dodger Stadium history 6-3. The Dodgers tied that record in the second game with a 6-3 win behind Sandy Koufax, then took the series from the Reds with an 11-7 win. The Dodgers then broke their own record of 11 runs on May 25 of that year, beating the expansion Mets 17-8. No team scored that many runs in Chavez Ravine again until September 18, 1977, when the Dodgers beat the Padres 18-4.
That remained the only time that any team reached 18 runs at Dodger Stadium until Saturday night when the Giants jumped all over Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco for three in the first and four in the second, bouncing Nolasco with a one-out double by Pablo Sandoval that plated two runs to make it 7-1 Giants. The Giants added one in the third off reliever Stephen Fife. Then, after the Giants went down in order in the fourth, Hunter Pence hit a two-out grand slam to dead center off Fife in the fifth to make it 12-1. Rookie Onelki Garcia, making just his second appearance in the major leagues, pitched around a walk in the sixth, but gave up a two-run home run to Brandon Belt before getting an out in the seventh to make it 14-3. The Giants then added three in the eighth off Peter Moylan, and two in the ninth off Brandon League with the final, record-breaking run scoring on an error by third baseman Michael Young.
The Giants' 16-run margin of victory was also a Dodger Stadium record, breaking the mark of 15 runs set by the Dodgers against the Phillies in the first game of an Independence Day double-header in that inaugural season of 1962 (another Koufax win), and tied by the Phillies against the Dodgers earlier this year, on June 28, both games ending in a 16-1 score.
The Giants' offensive stars in this game were Belt, who went 5-for-6 with six RBIs and four runs scored, and Hunter Pence, went 3-for-5 with seven RBIs and two runs scored. Belt's five hits, six RBIs, and four runs scored were all career highs, though he had scored four runs twice before, both coming this year. Pence's seven RBIs set a career high and tied the major league high this season, previously set by five players, including the Dodgers Juan Uribe against the Giants on July 5. Pence had tied his previous career high on Tuesday when he drove in six against the Rockies in an 9-8 Giants loss. While the Dodgers were getting lit up by their old rivals, the NL East-leading Braves shaved two games off their magic number with their win 2-1 over the Padres and the Nationals' 5-4 loss to the Phillies to match the Dodgers magic number of four in the race to be the first division leader to clinch this season.