SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have made no bones about wanting to make a statement at AT&T Park this weekend after losing seven of their first 10 to the Giants this season.
Well, L.A.'s opening remarks were pretty loud and clear Friday night, with Yasiel Puig serving as lead spokesman. The Dodgers ripped five triples among their 15 hits -- an amazing three by Puig. Moreover, they scored a convincing fifth-inning knockout of Tim Lincecum and rolled to an 8-1 victory behind Ace 1-B Zack Greinke.
In short, the San Francisco debut of new second baseman Dan Uggla was an ugly one, though no real fault of Dan's. The Dodgers staged a thorough and convincing thrashing in every facet, and the Giants now must find a way to answer back against Ace 1-A Clayton Kershaw on Saturday.
The Giants were still leading the National League West by a half-game at the end of the day, but it hardly felt like it after this lopsided affair.
Puig set the tone early for L.A., crushing a ball to left-center field in the first inning that probably would have been a home run if a fan in a Dodgers jersey hadn't reached over the wall and fumbled it. It dropped on the field for a triple.
The five triples tied an all-time Dodgers franchise record, last accomplished in 1921, and Puig's three triples matched a feat last done by a Dodger 113 years ago, by a guy named Jimmy Sheckard.
For good measure, Puig also laced a double and hit a ball to the warning track in center for an out in his final at-bat. Quite a show, but not one manager Bruce Bochy was particularly keen to talk about in detail.
"I don't really want to. ... He had a good night," Bochy said. "We made some mistakes, and good hitters take advantage of it."
It took that kind of offensive performance to outshine Greinke (12-6), who allowed four harmless Giants singles, plus a walk, over seven shutout innings before turning things over to the bullpen. He struck out 10.
The evening began like it might evolve into a real pitchers' duel between Lincecum and Greinke. Even though the Dodgers scored in the first inning when Adrian Gonzalez drove home Puig, Lincecum settled in and held the Dodgers at one run through the first four.
But after Lincecum got the first out in the fifth, the roof caved in. Greinke got things started with a single up the middle, and Dee Gordon ripped a ball to center that Gregor Blanco couldn't track down, and it rolled to the wall for a triple. Puig followed with his second triple to right-center, and Gonzalez delivered another RBI single.
Hanley Ramirez then shot a hard single to left, and suddenly Lincecum was done. The Dodgers weren't done, though, as Matt Kemp launched the third triple of the inning off the right field wall to make it 6-0 L.A.
Lincecum said he strayed from his pitch plan in the fifth inning and it cost him.
"I tried to overpower guys with fastballs and left them up in the zone," he said. "I know I could have been one pitch away from getting out of that inning. But they put it together on me."
It was a rough night for the Giants in more ways than one. A foul tip clunked starting catcher Hector Sanchez's mask in the third inning. A groggy Sanchez managed to finish the frame and take his at-bat in the third -- he struck out -- but left the game at that point and was replaced by Buster Posey behind the plate.
"Hector has a mild concussion, so he's going to miss some time," said Bochy, who said he had to confer with general manager Brian Sabean regarding a roster move to bring another catcher aboard.
As for Uggla, whose contract was purchased earlier in the day from Triple-A Fresno, he had a quiet Giants debut. He popped out to left field in the second inning and grounded into a force play with two on in the fourth. He was removed in a double-switch when Lincecum exited in the fifth.
A look at how the Giants and Dodgers have stacked up over the course of the season:
Date West leader Lead
April 15 Dodgers-Giants Tied
May 1 Giants 0.5
May 15 Giants 4.0
June 1 Giants 7.5
June 8* Giants 9.5
June 15 Giants 6.5
July 1 Dodgers 0.5
July 4** Dodgers 1.5
July 15 Dodgers 1.0
Friday Giants x.x
* -- Largest Giants lead
** -- Largest Dodgers lead
L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw 11-2) at Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 5-7), 6:05 p.m. CSNBA