SAN FRANCISCO — Marco Scutaro hit a tie-breaking, two-run single in the seventh inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the rival Dodgers, 5-2, on Friday night to extend their NL West lead to 51/2 games over Los Angeles.
After Angel Pagan drew an intentional walk from Josh Beckett (1-2) to load the bases, Scutaro followed with a bloop single to shallow right. He came through yet again for his new team – and in a key series opener in early September this time.
San Francisco (78-60) won its fourth straight against Los Angeles after a sweep at Dodger Stadium from Aug. 20-22. The Giants lead the division by 51/2 games for the first time since ending the 2003 season with a 151/2-game cushion. They have two more chances with a sellout home crowd this weekend to create further distance from the Dodgers.
Santiago Casilla (7-5) relieved Tim Lincecum and recorded the final two outs of the seventh for the win.
The Giants answered after Adam Kennedy hit a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the sixth to make it 2-1.
Hunter Pence, another recent addition for the playoff push, tied it on an infield single down the third-base line in the bottom half. Kennedy tried to barehand the high bouncer, which got under his glove and allowed Pagan to score.
Hector Sanchez singled to start the seventh, and Gregor Blanco entered to pinch run, then stole second. Brandon Crawford walked and pinch hitter Emmanuel Burriss sacrificed. Pagan was intentionally walked to load the bases for Scutaro, who delivered another clutch hit in a career full of them. It was his second one this homestand after a game-winning single in the 10th inning of Monday’s 9-8 win against Arizona.
Since Scutaro was acquired from the Colorado Rockies on July 27, he is batting .331 (53 for 160) with 26 RBI.
Beckett, facing the Giants for the first time since 2005 while with the Marlins, outlasted Lincecum in the right-hander’s third start since being acquired from the Red Sox on Aug. 25.
He was in control until the seventh. Last time out, Beckett had matched his season high with nine strikeouts against Arizona.