SAN FRANCISCO -– The Giants traditionally play “Don’t Stop Believin’” when they trail after seven innings.
And no, darnitall, a 17-run deficit isn’t enough to push them off script.
One night after the Giants paddled the Dodgers, their archrivals came back with a morning star.
The Dodgers knocked out Tim Hudson after 11 batters, kept battering against Tim Lincecum and set AT&T Park records for hits by any team and runs by an opponent in a 17-0 smothering of the Giants Saturday night.
They even marred a father-son first when Bruce Bochy became the first manager in major league history to hand his son the baseball on a big league mound in a big league game. Brett Bochy struck out Yasiel Puig in his major league debut but also walked in a run and allowed a two-run home run to Scott Van Slyke in 1 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers’ 24 hits was the most by any team in AT&T Park history and matched their most in a game against the Giants since Aug. 13, 1932, when Brooklyn won the first game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds. Sloppy Thurston was the winning pitcher that day 82 years ago.
He would’ve fit right in Saturday night.
The Dodgers pushed their NL West lead back to two games and assured themselves that they’ll leave San Francisco still atop the division regardless of what happens in Sunday’s rubber match.
Starting pitching report
The red flags kept popping up in Hudson’s starts since the All-Star break. Even in some of the moderately clean outings, he needed a line drive or three to escape jams.
He did not have any luck in the first inning as the Dodgers batted around while scoring four runs -– and yes, that’s precisely what the Giants did in the first inning to Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu a night earlier.
Of course, it didn’t help that center fielder Angel Pagan appeared to lag after Puig’s base hit, which turned into a hustle double. And Pagan also appeared to take a rodeo route before coming up short on A.J. Ellis’ two-out single that knocked in the final run of the rally.
Hudson (9-11) could not afford to give up the extra outs. He faced 11 batters and gave up eight hits on nine balls in play. Ellis’ bloop aside, the hits weren’t lucky or well placed, either.
Hudson was pulled after the first two batters singled in the second inning. The one-plus innings was the shortest outing in 455 regular-season starts. His previous shortest start was 1 2/3 innings in 2000 with Oakland. (Hudson also had a playoff start with the A’s that he left after one inning because of an injury.)
Hudson had a 1.81 ERA, held batters to a .223 average and yielded four home runs over his first 13 starts. He has a 5.18 ERA, batters are hitting .308 and have socked 10 home runs off him over his last 16 starts.
In a pregame ceremony, Lincecum unveiled his no-hitter plaque on the portwalk. Then he got good and flossed.
Lincecum relieved Hudson and cashed in both inherited runners by giving up hits to the first three batters he faced. Lincecum allowed runs in each of his next two innings, giving up five in all, and didn’t do anything to move up in the bullpen pecking order.
He walked pitcher Zack Greinke to start a wild third inning that included a stolen base from Dee Gordon, a questionable inside pitch to Puig that was ruled to graze him, a glower back to the mound after said pitch, and then a hard and wide takeout slide from Puig into second base with his team up 8-0.
Mike Kickham followed Lincecum and pitched a mercifully scoreless fifth inning, but he got tagged for four runs in the sixth. Then for the first time in major league history, a manager handed the baseball to his son on a big league mound in a big league game.
Bruce Bochy brought in his son, Brett, to make his major league debut. The bases were loaded, just as they had been one of the first times the elder Bochy brought his son into a spring training game.
Juan Uribe walked to force in a run but Ellis popped up to end the inning. Brett Bochy made Puig his first strikeout victim to elicit the loudest cheers of the night. But then Scott Van Slyke followed with a two-run home run. (As @JATayler remarked on Twitter: Bochy’s son gave up a home run to Andy Van Slyke’s son, which also scored Tom Gordon’s son.)
All the other instances where a manager’s son has played for him involved position players. The Bochys are the first manager-pitcher father-son combination.
It was a nice moment amid the bludgeoning. Every Dodgers starting player not only had a hit, but also scored at least one run and knocked in one run. That included Greinke, who hit a no-doubt homer off Kickham.
Chris Heston became the Giants’ last September call-up to make his major league debut when he pitched a scoreless ninth.
At the plate
Pagan doubled to start the first inning against Greinke, and for a moment, the 4-0 deficit appeared diggable. Then Buster Posey lined a one-out single to right field and third base coach Tim Flannery got a little too flap happy. Matt Kemp threw out Pagan at the plate with room to spare. It was a bad night for the coaches, too.
The Giants had eight more unremarkable turns at bat.
Greinke’s team has never lost to the Giants in six career starts against them. He is 4-0 against them this season; the Dodgers are 3-7 against the Giants in games Greinke (15-8) has not started this season.
Posey was gone after three innings. Even Hunter Pence was replaced after five. Pence entered the game having played all but seven defensive innings in right field this season. He added four more Saturday night. (He played all but 16 innings last year.)
Juan Perez made a diving catch in the fifth, but the center field defense came four innings too late.
The Giants announced 41,533 paid. Bob Costas was a guest of Giants president Larry Baer. For the home fans, a scorching case of pink eye would’ve beaten watching this one.
The Giants and Dodgers wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at AT&T Park. Yusmeiro Petit (5-3, 3.62 ERA) takes the mound against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (18-3, 1.67). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PDT.