Dodgers hit 4 HRs off Vogelsong in 7-3 win over Giants
LOS ANGELES (AP) Home runs are difficult to hit at Dodger Stadium at night because of the marine layer hanging over the ballpark. The home team didn't have much trouble hitting them out against Ryan Vogelsong on Wednesday night, however.
Joc Pederson, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier and went deep against the San Francisco Giants' right-hander in the first inning, and Jimmy Rollins did likewise in the third to power Los Angeles to a 7-3 victory in the rubber game of the series. The Dodgers lead the NL with 36 homers after hitting 134 last season.
''It hadn't even crossed my mind,'' Rollins said. ''You can't predict that, or do anything but let it happen. I don't think anybody in here worried about whether we led the major leagues in home runs, as long as we were winning our division. That's the only thing we've focused on and will focus on.''
Zack Greinke (4-0) allowed three runs and seven hits with six strikeouts. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is 22-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 32 career starts against NL West teams since signing a six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers in December 2012. Greinke is 6-0 with a 2.28 ERA in eight starts against the Giants.
''My arm still felt good when I came out. It was just that they drove the pitch count up - and they only give you so many pitches to use,'' said Greinke. ''I didn't really get tired from it.''
Vogelsong (0-2) threw 55 pitches over three innings, giving up six runs and five hits in his third start this season after replacing injured Jake Peavy in the rotation. It was the second time in 146 major-league starts that he surrendered four homers in a game. He did it on Sept. 3, 2014, in a 9-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
''I warmed up fine in the bullpen and felt fine, physically. I just didn't make very good pitches,'' Vogelsong said. ''Not all of them were up, but some were, for sure. They weren't terrible pitches, just not as good as they needed to be.''
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly shuffled his lineup considerably - flip-flopping No. 3 and 4 hitters Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick, dropping the struggling Yasmani Grandal from fifth to seventh, moving Pederson from eighth to the leadoff spot for the first time and shifting the slumping Rollins to the 2 hole.
Mattingly, trying to compensate for injuries to injured corner outfielders Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford, got more than he bargained for as the Dodgers got four runs on Vogelsong's first 16 pitches with four homers from their first 11 batters.
Pederson drove the right-hander's second pitch of the game to right-center for his fourth homer.
''After he came into the dugout, I was like: `I see you've been watching my highlight tapes.''' said Rollins, who hit 46 first-inning leadoff homers in 15 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Dodgers in a trade on Dec. 19. ''That was just a missile. That ball was not dependent on carry. It was hit hard, and it stayed up long enough.''
Gonzalez added his eighth of the season two outs later, and Ethier hit a first-pitch homer to right after a walk to Scott Van Slyke. Rollins led off the third with his second homer of the season and first since his tiebreaking three-run shot off San Diego's Shawn Kelley in the eighth inning of a 6-3 victory at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day.
''It's not a hitter's park,'' said Rollins, who has five homers in 246 career at-bats here. ''Yes, they do seem to go to the outfield and die here very often. Tonight the weather was a little warmer (83 degrees at gametime), so the ball carries a little further. But balls that are hit well, it doesn't matter. All the balls hit tonight were really squared up. They came off the barrel and cleared the infield fast, and that's generally a good sign.''
The defending World Series champions, playing the last of 22 consecutive games against division rivals, cut the Dodgers' lead to 6-3 in the fourth with Brandon Crawford's two-run homer after a leadoff double by Casey McGehee. But Greinke got back one of the runs in the bottom half with a sacrifice fly.
Giants: Chris Heston (2-2) will go against the Angels' C.J. Wilson on Friday night in the opener of 10-game homestand. Heston's first two major league appearances came against the Dodgers last September in relief. This will be his sixth start since then.
Dodgers: RHP Carlos Frias (1-0) will come out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season Friday night against Arizona in place of Brandon McCarthy, who is out for the rest of the campaign because of a torn ligament in his right elbow. Frias, who started two games last season, will be opposed by former Dodgers RHP Rubby De La Rosa.