Will Smith’s 2-run double in 10th lifts Dodgers over Giants – Orange County Register

SAN FRANCISCO — Whatever the separate trajectories of the two franchises, the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants always make for a good fight.

They traded blows again Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Oracle Park. Will Smith’s two-run double in the 10th inning decided things, 6-4, in the Dodgers’ favor.

The win was the Dodgers’ 16th in their past 20 games.

The Giants have a losing record since they wrenched a division title from the Dodgers in 2021 – a 107-win outlier that seems more aberrational with time – and attendance has suffered at their Bay-side ballpark. The ticket exchange company Vivid Seats even forecast a Dodgers majority in the stands at Oracle Park for this series – though the “Beat L.A.” chants seemed as robust as ever and the home fans roused themselves to boo Shohei Ohtani for his perceived flirtation with the Giants as a free agent (though not nearly with the vigor the jilted fans in Toronto managed).

Mookie Betts landed the first punch Monday, leading off the game with a home run. It was the 50th leadoff home run of Betts’ career, third all-time behind Alfonso Soriano (54) and Craig Biggio (53).

More to the point, it was Betts’ first home run of any kind since April 12. After starting the season with six home runs in his first 16 games, Betts’ power went out for 26 games. He entered Monday’s game in a 7-for-35 funk overall but had hits in his first two at-bats, giving him back-to-back multi-hit games for the first time since April 27.

In the second inning, though, Dodgers starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto hung a first-pitch curveball to Luis Matos. The fat breaking ball met the same fate as many of its ancestors – Matos sent it deep over the left-field wall for a three-run home run.

Yamamoto course-corrected after that, retiring the next 12 batters. That gave the Dodgers time to climb back into the game on Shohei Ohtani’s RBI infield single and Gavin Lux’s game-tying RBI double in the sixth.

The Giants chased Yamamoto from the game in the sixth, regaining the lead when Betts couldn’t field Heliot Ramos’ ground ball to his right. The ball went into left field, allowing the go-ahead run to score from second.

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