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Giants beat L.A. for a much-needed win

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From page B8 | July 07, 2013 |

San Francisco's Gregor Blanco, right, reacts after hitting a double in the Giants' 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. At left is Nick Punto. AP photo

SAN FRANCISCO — Madison Bumgarner drove in two runs and struck out nine in seven innings, and the San Francisco Giants overcame an embarrassing lineup mistake to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2, on Saturday night.

The Giants were caught batting out of order in the first inning, wiping away Buster Posey’s RBI double. Manager Bruce Bochy submitted a lineup with Posey batting fourth, but the reigning NL MVP and batting champion hit third.

On the day he earned his first All-Star selection, Bumgarner (9-5) helped erase Bochy’s big blunder by retiring his first 14 batters. Tim Federowicz’s two-run homer off Bumgarner accounted for each of Los Angeles’ runs.

Gregor Blanco had three hits and an RBI to end an 0-for-25 skid, and Marco Scutaro drove in another run to help San Francisco stop a four-game losing streak.

Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.

Stephen Fife (3-3) allowed seven hits and four runs — although only one was earned — in 4 1/3 innings. The Dodgers committed three errors and never got going offensively, with rookie sensation Yasiel Puig striking out four times for the first time this season.

Help is on the way for the Dodgers. They acquired right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Miami Marlins during the game in exchange for three minor league pitchers.

But they couldn’t find a way to match Bumgarner, who gave up three hits and walked none. The big lefty has won five of his last six starts.

It was only the fourth time in 15 games the Giants had scored more than two runs. San Francisco also had lost 10 of its last 11 games and started off looking even worse.

After Posey hit third in Pablo Sandoval’s spot to give the Giants a 1-0 lead, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called out the mistake to umpires. Posey was ruled out but got to bat again in the fourth spot, ending the inning on a flyout to right field.

Posey had batted third in 15 straight games until Friday night.

The Giants also had Posey batting third in the digital lineup in the clubhouse and on papers passed out in the press box — but not in the official lineup card submitted to the Dodgers and umpires. Bochy even talked before the game about wanting to return Posey permanently to the fourth spot with Sandoval healthy again and San Francisco struggling.

“Call it superstitious, I’m going back to where we did have success — that’s Pablo in the 3-hole and Buster in the 4-hole,” Bochy said.

Los Angeles made plenty of its own mistakes on Saturday night.

In the second inning, Nick Punto’s throw pulled shortstop Hanley Ramirez off second base for an error. Bumgarner walked to force in a run, Blanco’s single drove in another and Scutaro flied out to right to put the Giants ahead 3-0.

Torres also reached in the fourth when Ramirez misplayed his grounder and was slow to recover, setting up Bumgarner’s sacrifice fly that stretched San Francisco’s lead to 4-0.

Andre Ethier’s bloop single to left with two outs in the fifth was the first baserunner off Bumgarner. Federowicz followed with his third home run to trim the Dodgers’ deficit to 4-2.

Ramirez tripled leading off the seventh before getting thrown out at the plate by third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

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