LOS ANGELES (AP) - From a personal standpoint, wins and losses aren’t as important to Ryan Vogelsong as vindication. So is keeping his team in the games he pitches.
Thursday night, the San Francisco Giants’ right-hander succeeded on both counts, pitching into the eighth inning and giving them a chance to pull out a 3-1 victory in 10 over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez drove in the decisive run with a sacrifice fly in the opener of a four-game series.
“A lot of my focus right now is not proving people wrong, but proving the people right that believe in me,” Vogelsong said. “I know that there’s certain people that had a big say in me coming back this year, and I know it was up in the air for a while. … So I’m just trying to reward the people that wanted me back and prove them right.”
Vogelsong yielded one run and five hits through 7 1-3 in his seventh start and third against the defending NL West champion Dodgers. The other two were San Francisco victories in which he did not get the decision.
“I’m just trying to make pitches, really,” Vogelsong said. “Buster (Posey) called a great game and I was just trying to hit his glove, not overthink it, keep it simple and try to stay with what I’ve been working on mechanically. I was trying to keep the ball down, be aggressive early and trying to get quick outs.”
The Giants are 5-0 in Vogelsong’s last five starts against the Dodgers, and he’s had a no-decision in all of them.
“I try not to concern myself too much with the wins and losses in my column,” he said. “As long as the team wins the game, that’s the most important thing.”
Brandon Belt added an RBI single for the Giants, who had tied the score at 1 when Brandon Hicks homered off Josh Beckett in the seventh.
J.P. Howell (1-3) issued a one-out walk in the 11th to Angel Pagan, who advanced on a wild pitch by Jamey Wright before the right-hander walked Hunter Pence and Posey.
Sanchez, who came in 1 for 10 as a pinch hitter with seven strikeouts, flied out to the warning track in right field to drive in Pagan. Belt followed with a single to make it 3-1.
Santiago Casilla (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win, striking out Yasiel Puig with a runner at second to end the eighth before throwing a perfect ninth. Sergio Romo got three outs for his 11th save in as many chances.
Beckett continued to pitch well despite little run support. The three-time All-Star went 6 2-3 innings, allowing a run and five hits.
It was the fifth straight start in which the Dodgers scored fewer than three runs while Beckett was in the game, leaving him with a loss and four no-decisions. He is 0-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 14 starts since his last victory on Sept. 30, 2012, when he beat Colorado 7-1 at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe left the game because of soreness in his right hamstring. He grounded into an inning-ending double play in the seventh and played one more inning in the field.
Los Angeles opened the scoring in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Drew Butera. Hicks homered to left field in the seventh to end a 4-for-30 skid, after striking out his first two times up. It was his sixth home run this season, doubling the total he had in 90 at-bats over the previous three years with Atlanta and Oakland.
“It’s one of those things. I hung a curve ball to Hicks. If I had made my pitch, the outcome’s different,” Beckett said. “The guys played great defense behind me, but we just couldn’t come up with that timely hit.”
NOTES: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said RHP Matt Cain should be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday - the day he is eligible to come off - and start against Zack Greinke after missing two turns in the rotation. Cain hasn’t pitched since April 23 because of a cut on the tip of his index finger, which occurred in the clubhouse kitchen at AT&T Park when he tried to catch a knife that fell out of his hand. … In the previous three-game series between the teams in mid-April at San Francisco, the Giants and Dodgers combined for just 11 runs while the Giants took two of three. … Pablo Sandoval hasn’t driven home a run in 18 games and 61 at-bats since his RBI single against Howell on April 16 at San Francisco. Sandoval has two hits in his last 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
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